Thursday, June 4, 2009

Uranium Offers Empty Economic Promises

Mr. Austin has done his homework. The uranium industry's track record in the US is abysmal. Its track record around the world is abysmal. There is no reason to believe that it will be any better in Virginia.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chatham Star-Tribune

This letter is in answer to a letter from Philip Shelton of Blairs published in your paper on May 20, 2009.

I have read your letter regarding the issue of mining uranium in Pittsylvania County where you state, hopefully, that this industry will be such a boon to our economy that our taxes will be reduced.

Let me state now that if this industry is allowed to mine uranium we will lose the enrollment of both Chatham Hall and Hargrave Military Academy.

Both of these institutions are a prime source of local tax revenue.

No one who knows anything about the past history of this industry with its widespread elevations of cancers, birth defects, and death would dare to send their children to a school that is within five miles of an open-pit uranium mine.

Further, if you study the records of uranium mining sites out west, where the industry has tried, unsuccessfully, to mine uranium without harming the environment or the surrounding population for years, you will note that in each case, the cleanup of toxic waste sites is left up to the local taxpayers to foot the bill.

Mr. Shelton, are you aware that Mr. Coles has sold Virginia Uranium Inc. to a Canadian mining company named Santoy?

Why would he sell out? Why is a Canadian mining company buying Virginia Uranium?

The answer is that Santoy's mining operations have been closed down by the Canadian government because of the pollution mines have caused in Canada.

Additionally, VUI has promised record employment here in Pittsylvania County. This is a bald lie.

Their plan states that they will use experienced mining personnel as well as students from the newly formed nuclear science school at Virginia Tech.

VUI claims it will produce 300 to 500 jobs in the county. How can we believe that when, nationwide, the uranium mining industry employs considerably less than 500 people in mining uranium?

It is only through knowledge of the problems of the uranium mining industry that you may begin to realize what a disaster we are in for if the existing moratorium were to be lifted.

I suggest that you, and anyone else who wishes to inform themselves about this industry, study what has gone on before now, worldwide, with the mining and milling of uranium.

I have come to love this area of Virginia and the people who reside here. It is for this reason that I will continue to educate myself and anyone who will listen to the dangers of the uranium mining industry.

I am not, to quote your letter, an "anti-everything" person. However, with what I know I am an anti-uranium mining, tree-hugging resident of Pittsylvania County.

Hunter Austin


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