Monday, June 8, 2009

Primary Considerations: Leadership on Uranium Mining in Southside

Too bad these guys don't realize (or don't want to admit) that all areas containing uranium within the entire state will be up for grabs (and mining) when the study comes back saying it can be safely mined. The rest of Virginia is still under the false impression that this study is geared toward Coles Hill and Southside only. Surprise!!

At any rate, here's where the candidates appear to stand on U mining and milling in Southside:

Terry McAuliffe has waffled on the issue of whether “he’d back uranium mining in Virginia as he expanded what he calls his business plan for the state,” according to The Associated Press. A Virginia commission study on the impacts of uranium mining first reported in The Washington Post last November is ongoing.

The overwhelming consensus is that uranium mining is not worth the risk.

Virginia Beach officials recognized this a few months ago when they came out strongly against the proposed study, citing concerns over the possible effects of a uranium mine nearly 200 miles away from the coast.

It is no secret that the land containing the hard sought stash is in the hands of two families and is largely pursued by one corporation, Virginia Uranium Inc., which claims that lifting the Commonwealth’s longstanding ban on uranium mining will create jobs in Southside.

The health hazards of uranium mining have been known for quite some time and thankfully the industry suffered some serious shrinkage as nuclear power fell out of vogue over the past few decades.

With all the emerging technological options available to an innovative nation, why spend time and resources (either public or private) on the dubious science of a by-gone era?

Southside, like southwest Virginia, is hemorrhaging jobs. Impatient politicians clamor for quick solutions. This may be understandable, but it may also be unwise.

We asked Deeds Campaign Communications Director Brooke Borkenhagen to pass a question along to her boss. We wanted to know if Deeds was willing to conjecture on the record about the long-term efficacy of uranium mining in Virginia before the results of the study are released:

Senator Deeds has serious reservations about whether uranium can be mined in Virginia. He looks forward to reviewing the study, but he believes that our top priorities must be to ensure the protection of our water supply and the safety of all workers. He is not convinced that uranium mining can meet either of these requirements.

Moran and the Surry Plant

Moran has been credited with leading the fight against the Surry coal-fired power plant.

As recently as yesterday, however, Moran reiterated his belief in the viability of clean coal technology and the possibility of green energy research in southwest Virginia.

Moran has called for the creation of a research cooperative to create sustainability energy jobs for Virginia:

“Virginia has some of the best public universities in the country. That’s why it’s completely unacceptable that there is more private university sponsored research at Duke University, alone, than in the entire Virginia system. Brian knows that we can do better. That’s why he will work tirelessly to bring private sector funding to Virginia’s research universities to create new, innovative technologies and strengthen our economy. He knows that Virginia can lead by developing new energy technology that will create thousands of new green jobs right here in Virginia. As governor, he will focus not only on increasing private funding of research and development, but also focusing that research and development in areas that will create jobs and strengthen Virginia’s economy.”

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