With the 2013 Virginia General Assembly session in the legislative record books, the issue of uranium mining has fallen off of the mainstream media’s proverbial radar, but not Virginia Uranium Inc.’s (VUI). Far from sitting on the sidelines and waiting passively for another round of political battles with Virginians who see the significant dangers of mining uranium in Virginia, VUI has continued to push, prod, lobby, hob-knob, and discuss strategies for defeating Virginians concerned about the welfare of their state.
And on Monday, more bad news came out on the uranium mining front. At a presentation sponsored by the Roanoke River Basin Association (RRBA), the Director of Southwest Information and Research Center, Mr. Paul Robinson, discussed some of the misdeeds perpetrated by the Virginia Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy (DMME).
According to one source, the DMME “chose not to promulgate regulations to protect the environment, public health, and public transparency.” Instead, VUI was allowed to drill for uranium without the public’s knowledge or consent. Furthermore, DMME doesn’t require uranium mining companies to notify the public before they go digging for uranium. It almost sounds as if Virginia’s political system is gamed on the side of energy interests…
For a good deal of Virginia lawmakers, the idea of “energy independence” and the windfall profits that can be had from the copious extraction of uranium ore from Virginia’s soil is an offer they simply can’t refuse, except of course for the elected officials who live near the uranium extraction sites.
The debate over uranium mining in Virginia has boiled down to two opposing viewpoints: those who stick on the side of caution and want to take the process of lifting the moratorium on uranium mining slowly (if at all) and those who somehow believe that uranium mining can be carried out safely in the Commonwealth of Virginia and would like to lift the moratorium immediately.
If the moratorium is to be lifted on the mining of uranium in Virginia, the impetus to prove that the process of mining can be done safely is obviously on those who wish to see the moratorium lifted. To date, the greatest evidence that has been given are false analogies between uranium mining sites in other U.S. states and Virginia, clearly disregarding the notable climatic differences and the fact that uranium mining sites in the U.S. have hardly been environmentally benign.
But VUI and its friends and supporters are not interested in the facts or the welfare of Virginians who stand to lose their homes and their ways of life if uranium tailings start showing up in the groundwater, or worse. VUI is worried about digging up the earth to the benefit of its shareholders, political puppets, and ownership.
Ultimately, it is the people of Virginia who must stand up and resist attempts to mine and bury Virginia’s future. There won’t be a second chance so let’s act now and continuously until VUI and its ambitions are as soundly buried as the uranium ore it so desperately wants to dig up.