Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Uranium, energy big issues at forum

By John Crane

Published: April 28, 2009

Approximately 200 people turned out Tuesday to hear the three contenders for the Democratic nomination for governor — Creigh Deeds, Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe — in a forum at the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research.

The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and the Danville Register & Bee were hosts of the forum, which was moderated by Danville’s former Mayor Linwood Wright and Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute.

The forum is part of an ongoing series of events the Sorensen Institute sponsors in Danville.

On uranium

•McAuliffe said public safety is the No. 1 issue. He said we have to protect the environment, but he supports a study to determine whether uranium mining can be done safely. Mining and milling at Coles Hill could provide “40 years worth of jobs,” he said.

•Moran said “This is one you can’t get wrong.” There are water sources near Coles Hill, and the study must be independent, objective and not paid for by those who stand to profit from mining, he said.

• Deeds said he has serious reservations about whether uranium can be safely mined but said he supports the study to determine that.

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