Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Virginia Uranium Mining Study Delayed Until 2009

According to NewsAdvance, science lost to politics:

Virginia Uranium and its allies in the Assembly proposed a study, as a first step, to examine the question of whether mining could be done safely using today’s modern techniques.

...

That was the sole intent of SB 525, legislation introduced by Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach. As amended in the Senate, a blue-ribbon panel of experts and stakeholders, appointed by the governor and General Assembly, would be directed to contract with an organization along the lines of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct the safety and feasibility study.

In the Senate, Wagner accepted a number of changes to his original legislation proposed by environmentalists and Southside Concerned Citizens, an environmental group based in Halifax County. ... But apparently it still wasn’t enough for the folks opposed even to a study of mining.

Dels. Watkins Abbitt, I-Appomattox, and Clarke Hogan, R-Halifax, proposed amending Wagner’s bill to simply call for a study of whether to conduct a study at all. When Wagner objected, the House panel decided to hold the bill over until the 2009 session. Del. Lacey Putney, I-Bedford, joined Abbitt in voting to hold the bill over.

...

But apparently, fears based upon possibly outdated science and that old “Not in my backyard” syndrome have trumped science and concerns for America’s energy independence.

The question of whether to study mining’s safety is all but dead for this session of the Assembly, but it will come back in 2009.

Perhaps by then more rational heads will have prevailed.
Hopefully.

3 comments:

Joffan said...

Ignorance is so much more comfortable than knowledge. You don't have to make decisions based on facts, you can just do whatever you feel like, and whether it's better or worse, who knows!

They probably spent almost as much as the proposed study cost just messing about in the legislature.

robert merkel said...

Dear Virginia legislature:

thank you for making us richer and yourselves poorer.

Signed,

the citizens of Australia and Canada.

Joffan said...

In another interesting light on this, this article points out that the study was always going to be paid for by Virginia Uranium Inc. and carried out by an independent party. And now they'll probably do it anyway, but I guess the opponents can try to claim that it wasn't as independent, while losing the chance for the state to make sure the right questions are answered.