Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Facts point to uranium problems

The Editorial Board | Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013 6:15 am
To the editor:

One might conclude, reading Mr. Moser’s letter to the editor (Sept. 25, “Facts needed in uranium debate”), that Mr. Moser was not in attendance when ex-regulator Kevin Scissons delivered his spiel before the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors.

No disrespect intended, but Scissons’ credibility dipped when he based his opinion in support of mining on regulations which are currently nonexistent (and unwanted) in Virginia. His credibility completely bottomed when he admitted knowing very little about the Coles Hill project.

Virginia’s legislators, local elected officials and citizens who have read the numerous extensive and relevant reports regarding Coles Hill know that there has been no prediction as to the safety of uranium mining in Virginia. There are, contained in the reports, known risks of uranium mining and concerns that key pertinent questions remain unanswered.

Virginia’s legislators, local elected officials and citizens understand that uranium mining in Virginia will add a new layer of bureaucracy to the state, funded by tax dollars, in order to administer the regulations.

When an “accident” happens, there will more regulations and regulators at taxpayers’ expense. When there is no water or water is contaminated (in the vicinity of the mine or for an entire watershed), taxpayers will be funding waterlines.

Taxpayers will be responsible for upgrading and maintaining roads and infrastructure for mines and mills.

Taxpayers will suffer when the negative stigma of uranium mining robs them of future economic opportunities. When the mine closes, there may be some taxpayer relief as regulatory staff shrinks. Their only jobs then will be to monitor the radioactive hazardous materials — forever.

If Sen. Watkins’ proposed bill, SB 919 (2013), is any indication of taxes that might come from the industry, we’ll see revenues put in a special fund and divvied out by another set of bureaucrats, adding yet another layer of bureaucracy, which the taxpayer will fund.

Moser asks to debate facts; he must first learn to recognize one. The only obvious fact Scissons brought to the table is that VUI brought him to Chatham to hawk their wares.

Westover District