Uranium Industry and Lobbyists Putting Profits Ahead of People
December 20, 2011
Keep the Ban reported yesterday, "The long-awaited report issued by the National Academy of Sciences today echoes numerous pitfalls with potential uranium mining, milling and waste disposal in the Commonwealth that many concerned Virginians have expressed in past months. The 300-page report [link] was commissioned by the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission and is part of an ongoing contract between the commission and NAS that includes a public outreach and public meeting period over the next five months. The report does not make any recommendations about whether Virginia should or should not allow uranium mining, but raises significant environmental and public health concerns."
Progressive Point: Uranium mining is banned in Virginia because it is a danger to our environment and our families, and yesterday's NAS report confirmed that. We can create good jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but letting foreign investors corrupt our land and poison our water isn't going to do it. The uranium industry is only interested in coming to our Commonwealth to make a quick buck and doesn't care about the long term consequences that this dangerous practice presents. Legislators who support repealing the ban are just trying to dress up their payoff to campaign donors as an effort to help Virginians. The uranium industry and their lobbyists are trying to buy their way past Virginia's ban--a ban that was put in place to protect our environment and our communities from risk. If legislators and lobbyists really care about Virginians, they'll stop trying to contaminate our communities and water supply with radioactive waste.
Get the Facts:
- The NAS study validates the concern that a flood, hurricane, or earthquake could result in an uncontrolled release at a uranium facility--all three of which Virginia has experienced this year. (Cale Jaffe, senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center, Keep the Ban, December 19, 2011)
- Virginia Uranium "has spoken to 100 of 140 legislators and flew more than a dozen of them to France and Canada to visit uranium mines. It has donated more than $150,000 to candidates in Virginia and retained five of Richmond's most influential lobbying and public relations firms." (Washington Post, December 19, 2011)
- The report itself states that there are "steep hurdles to be surmounted" before any mining or processing could even be started and safely regulated, especially when considering Virginia has absolutely no experience in the field. (National Academy of Science, December 19, 2011)
- For a full list of cautionary points, please visit Keep the Ban here.