Mr. Cole must not have read the recent statement by Walter Coles that the study must only establish that it's "fairly clear" that the mining will be safe. Thus we needn't be reading any more quotes about "If it can't be done safely, it won't be done at all"; the new standard must now be quoted as "If it can't be done fairly safely...blah, blah blan." All we need to determine is what "fairly" means. With uranium, particularly with radon and water contamination, it's pretty much all or nothing...there's no "fairly safe" to it.
I live in KY...lots of mines and miners in KY. I've never yet met a wealthy miner. Wealthy mine owners, yes. Fairly wealthy off-site mining supervisors, yes. Comfortable mine inspectors, yes. But wealthy miners, never.
Just to set the record straight, I recall it was Virginia Uranium that originally said, "If it can't be done safely, it won't be done at all" in reference to the feasibility and possible development of a mine in the area.
Instead of raking Virginia Uranium over the coals with unfounded accusations, anti-mining groups should applaud a company that makes a statement like that and wants to stand behind it.
In the next decade the supply for domestic energy will nearly double and alternative energy just won't meet the demand.
But oddly enough, the SCC, Alliance and other naysayers insist that uranium - the very mineral that produces 30 percent of the domestic electricity in Virginia - should not be mined.
Simply put, these groups don't like mining, whether uranium, coal or otherwise, but they enjoy the daily benefits of a warm house, lights, computer, etc.
If you are so adamant, please call the power company and disconnect your electric service.
Better yet, stop driving your car and move into a mud hut, because those are all made from mined materials.
Although the existing moratorium is what carries the real weight, agencies and supervisors are being pestered with proposals for bans and resolutions.
A detailed study is being overseen by the Coal and Energy Commission and the opportunity to comment was given.
Yet before the study even started, the naysayers declared it "bogus" and publicly accused sub-committee members of taking bribes, which is untrue.
If opposers had any integrity, they would either prove their accusations or make a public apology.
Some accuse Virginia Uranium of greed, then turn around and want to tax a mineral deposit before it's even mined. How reasonable is that?
Until the study is completed all this posturing and conjecturing is a waste of time and money.
Homer Hickham, NASA engineer and author of "Rocket Boys," which was made into the movie "October Sky," gave a most stirring and inspirational speech last Monday at a benefit dinner for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Danville and Chatham.
His roots go deep into the coal-mining town of Coalville, West Virginia, and he is proud of his heritage.
He said that this nation has been carried on the backs of coal miners like those of West Virginia.
So why don't we honor the mining industry instead of demeaning it?
Let me salute Virginia Uranium and Walter Coles for trying to do the right thing in the face of such opposition.