Monday, August 19, 2013

Breaking News: Remind Gov. McDonnell why the ban was not lifted and not use the APA and regulatory process to come up with a construct: Mining rules still a quandary for governor

Comments:  Again we must contact the Gov. Bob and tell him not to lift the uranium mining ban or use the "APA and regulatory process to come up with a construct" (Virginia’s Administrative Process Act could be used "to come up with a construct" — not actual regulations, but something close to that.) 

Also the new information from the mining bunch has proven you cannot trust their actions, yet another reason not to lift the ban, you cannot trust mining companies (nothing new here) :  Virginia Energy Resources misleads about Coles Hill Project Value on its Website: 

So please click here and tell the Gov to keep the ban:  Remind Gov. McDonnell why the ban was not lifted:

Also consider writing to  Sen. John Watkins and tell him to stop working for the uranium mining company, the People of Virginia has spoken!  We demand all Virginia to protect us and Keep the Uranium mining Ban! 

Contact Sen. Watkins:  Email: or

Remind Gov. McDonnell why the ban was not lifted

During the 2013 General Assembly session, legislators were forced to withdraw a bill that would have lifted the state-wide ban on uranium mining. This was an important victory.

As we near the end of Gov. McDonnell's term, mining backers are hoping to persuade the Governor to act against the will of the General Assembly -- pressuring him to draft rules that would lift the decades old ban on uranium mining and millng in Virginia.

Help us make sure the Governor knows that lifting the ban is not the kind of legacy he should leave behind.
[To send an email, enter your zip code and click submit below.]
Please click here to write the gov:

Mining rules still a quandary for governor

The Virginian-Pilot

Gov. Bob McDonnell has spent four years touting a vision of Virginia as the "energy capital of the East Coast."

But when it comes to deciding whether the commonwealth should start drafting regulations to mine uranium for use in nuclear reactors - arguably the biggest energy policy decision that he can affect unilaterally - McDonnell has twisted himself into a pretzel to avoid taking action.

"He's not been able to come up with what I felt was a good excuse," said Sen. John Watkins, the Powhatan County Republican who sponsored legislation this year to repeal Virginia's 31-year-old ban on uranium mining. He withdrew the proposal after he couldn't drum up support - from McDonnell or a majority of other legislators - but has implored the governor to invoke the Administrative Process Act to draft regulations guiding uranium mining.

"With all his issues right now," Watkins told me, "I have my doubts as to whether or not he's willing to do that."

Those issues, of course, are the federal and state investigations into whether McDonnell traded influence for loans and gifts from the chief executive of a supplement maker.

Last week, as McDonnell tried to mend his battered public image on a week-long tour across the commonwealth, he stopped in Pittsylvania County for a groundbreaking ceremony. A reporter asked about uranium mining.

Regulations, McDonnell said, wouldn't be written until legislators repeal the moratorium. Then he hedged, noting he hadn't made up his mind whether to proceed administratively, as the Danville Register & Bee reported.

"I think that you could use the APA and regulatory process to come up with a construct," McDonnell told the paper. "We've come close to doing that already in the report that my team put out last year. It's not in regulatory form, but it basically gives a blueprint for what regulations would look like. Many legislators have told me, 'We'd like you to take that to the next step, take the science and research you've done and write regulations so we could see them before we vote.' That's not an unfair request and several people have asked me about that. There's a number of others down here that say, 'We don't even want you to study it.

"So we're still looking at that," he said, "but I've got a full plate of things we're trying to do now to implement major K-12 reforms and a game-changing transportation bill. It's just balancing what I think is most important right now."

Three more days of his public relations tour followed.

Supporters of uranium mining contend the operation at Coles Hill in Chatham, where Walter Coles Sr. and his company, Virginia Uranium Inc., want to mine a 119 million pound reserve of uranium ore, could create hundreds of high-paying jobs in Southside and help fulfill the governor's vision.
Opponents argue a catastrophe at the mine could imperil lives, thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in regional economic activity, and irreparably harm drinking wells and the tributaries feeding into Lake Gaston, which supplies water to about 1 million people in South Hampton Roads. Such a disaster would further tarnish the governor's already stained legacy.

The risks and rewards of uranium mining have been studied exhaustively during McDonnell's term. And the hard part already has been done for him: After weighing the research, the legislature rebuffed Watkins' proposal, and the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, the entire legislative delegation from the Southside region and his own chief jobs creation officer, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, opposed repeal of the moratorium. McDonnell should join them.

Yet he can't seem to bring himself to do so, despite being down to his final four months in office.
"I thought that the significant research that was done laid out a pretty good road map through a regulatory process that showed certainly that with the right science and the right regulatory scheme that it could be done safely," McDonnell told the Danville paper.

It's the kind of overly qualified position that leaves both sides in the debate exasperated.

Watkins said he planned to meet with other mining advocates this week to figure out how to press the governor.
"Time is running out," the senator said.
And that seems all right with the governor.

Shawn Day is an editorial writer for The Virginian-Pilot. Email:

Respecting the will of the people

The Editorial Board | Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 6:30 am
Gov. Bob McDonnell’s visit to Danville this week wasn’t about the uranium mining, but this newspaper made it about uranium mining by asking McDonnell where he stood.

Uranium mining, if allowed to go forward, could — and probably will — have profound implications for life in the Dan River Region.

At the core of the issue is whether the development of a naturally occurring resource should be allowed to endanger the water, land and air for everyone else. During the course of McDonnell’s administration, this issue has boiled over several times.

But the General Assembly has never passed a bill to advance uranium mining, and the representatives of local governments, businessmen, environmentalists, farmers and citizens have rallied against uranium mining in Pittsylvania County.

It was no surprise to hear this week that McDonnell is still in favor of uranium mining, but will likely not use his political power to push the issue in his remaining months in office.

"I’ve done a lot of reading of the reports, and I think it’s more likely than not that it can be done safely. Ultimately, that decision was up to the General Assembly. The study commission felt that it could, but it did not draw the support during the session. It’s taken us 32 years just to get to today from the last time it was considered."

We’ll agree to disagree with the governor; we’ve read those same reports, and there is nothing but more questions — and serious challenges — to the health and safety of this community if uranium is mined here. For that matter, "… it’s more likely than not that it can be done safely …" is hardly a ringing endorsement of any project.

But what McDonnell is also saying is that Virginia’s Administrative Process Act could be used "to come up with a construct" — not actual regulations, but something close to that.

We’d like to believe this governor is willing to let the legislative process decide what will happen in our state — not the desires of a few pro-mining legislators pushing him to wield executive power.

If McDonnell used the Administrative Process Act to advance uranium mining, we believe he would be circumventing the will of the people who have spoken through their elected representatives.

We know McDonnell supports uranium mining, but he’s in the minority on that issue. The question we have to ask is how many more voices will be needed to speak out before mining supporters in state government — like Bob McDonnell — get the message and let this project die, once and for all?

Virginia Energy Resources misleads about Coles Hill Project Value on its Website

by: Progressive86

Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:48:09 PM EDT

While Virginia Uranium Inc.'s (VUI) Project Manager, Patrick Wales, has talked about VUI's dedication to uranium mining safety, its parent company, Virginia Energy Resources Inc. can't even differentiate between "indicated resources" and "mineral reserves" in technical disclosures released on its website. This is especially odd given the significance of its 'mistakes'. One source found the following:
"The Company [VUI] filed a technical report dated September 6, 2012 titled "NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment Update, Coles Hill Uranium Property, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, United States of America" by Lyntek Inc. and BRS Engineering "in support of a listing application dated August 31, 2012. The technical report did not comply with the requirements of NI 43-101 and Form 43-101F1 because it incorrectly included wording that "the preliminary economic assessment...indicates that the portion of the [indicated] mineral economic under current conditions" (Indicated resources are simply economic mineral occurrences that have been sampled from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits and drillholes to a point where an estimate has been made, at a reasonable level of confidence, of their contained metal, grade, tonnage, shape, densities, physical characteristics.)."
Progressive86 :: Virginia Energy Resources misleads about Coles Hill Project Value on its Website
The source goes on to state, "With respect to the Company's disclosure of the Coles Hill PEA on its website and corporate presentations, the economic analysis appears unbalanced because the Company discloses upside uranium price sensitivity without providing equal downside sensitivity." The point is that if Virginia Energy Resources cannot be forthright with its investors and potential investors about the economic opportunities the Coles Hill uranium deposit holds, Virginians in particular should be weary of claims made by any company affiliated with Virginia Energy Resources, including VUI.  A company's integrity is measured by the sum of its parts. If one part of a company, in this case a parent company, willfully lies to its investors, it creates the perception that the company in question has a business culture that doesn't respect, much less care about, the truth. More often than not, if one part of a company demonstrates improper business practices, it can be found throughout its daughter, sister and/or parent companies as well.  What Virginia Energy Resources demonstrated by its informational "inaccuracies" is its willingness to put profits above facts, the truth, and not inconceivably, the safety of its business practices in order to turn a greater profit. So why should Virginians trust that its daughter company, VUI, wouldn't do the same to protect and enhance its profits?  The reason why I oppose uranium mining in Virginia goes beyond the fact that an 'incident' could have irrevocable harm on Virginia's environment and the people living in that environment; it also has to do with the motives of those who would be performing the mining.

In the case of VUI, its motives and that of its parent company are clear: profits over people and profits over truth

Comments:  Please contact Watkins now!  Tell him the people of Virginia has spoken when he had to table his bill! 


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