Sunday, March 29, 2009
- The top story comes from Wednesday, when the Subcommittee on Uranium Mining released its tentative draft of the proposed uranium mining study objectives. The list of items to be looked at in the study is too long to list here, but most of the concerns center around health and safety, environmental/ecosystem effects, and long-term economic sustainability. The study will take around two years and cost around $1 million. My big question: who pays for it?
- State Sen. Creigh Deeds has come out publicly saying that he doubts the science behind the proposed uranium mining study. This comes after Terry McAuliffe bunted on the issue early last week.
- The Danville Register-Bee published an editorial that raises a very good point about one of the study questions--how reliable is the market demand for uranium? A sudden drop in demand for played a big part in killing the first proposed uranium mine at Coles Hill back in the 1980s. If demand for uranium is unstable, it may not be smart to tie Pittsylvania's economy to such a volatile industry. (h/t Dem Bones)
- Virginia Uranium has hired a lobbying firm called Kemper Consulting. This development got a passing mention in an editorial in today's Virginian-Pilot out of Hampton Roads. Apparently Kemper also represents the city of Norfolk as well as an Illinois company looking to run port operations in Virginia if the state privatizes the ports, prompting conflict-of-interest concerns. Other than that, I honestly don't know anything else about Kemper.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
"When I hear the constant vilification of corporate America I personally don't understand it," Dimon said.
"There are going to be business school case studies for generations about exactly these decisions, and people will be learning forever about what incredible stupidity these executives showed," said Minow.Look, don't get me wrong. I think capitalism is the best system ever devised for the exchange of goods and services. With enough hard work, smart moves and some luck, a high school dropout can become a self-made millionaire. But like democracy, the whole thing can collapse in the blink of an eye when there's too much power in too few hands. Our founders understood that pure democracy is nothing more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner, and so we got a republic. In the same way, we have allowed the balance of power in our economy to shift into the hands of people like Dimon, who have become so insulated from reality that they've lost their grip on it.
Monday, March 23, 2009
From the Danville Register and Bee:Democrat Terry McAuliffe wouldn’t say whether he’d back uranium mining in Virginia as he expanded what he calls his business plan for the state.He effectively punted here, but I haven't heard Moran or Deeds on the issue.
... McAuliffe said he’d await the results of a study on health and environmental effects of the proposed mine near Chatham.
When asked whether Virginia Uranium Inc., which stands to make billions from mining, should pay for the study, McAuliffe had no objection to it.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
- Last week, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors brought up the possibility of enacting a uranium mining ban within the county. This comes after a previous resolution, which required any uranium mining not result in damage to the county, passed unanimously. I don't have to tell you what a potentially huge deal this could be; legal battles anyone?
- The Danville Register & Bee has--sort of--come out on the side of Chatham Mayor George Haley, who wants his town to adopt a less ambiguous ordinance--pro or con--regarding VUI's proposed mine at the Coles Hill site. Gretna and Hurt have already passed ordinances requiring the mine not bring harm to Pittsylvania County, which seems to reflect the general public opinion.
- The Pittsylvania County NAACP has expressed concerns about how mining would affect water quality in the county. Apparently the exploratory drilling that occurred in recent months has led to a drastic increase in lead levels at at least one household's water well.
- The Southside Virginia Against Uranium Mining blog (which is worth a look in its own right) posted a map today of land leased to would-be miners Marline Properties in the 1980s before the statewide moratorium on uranium was enacted. It may take a while to load the picture, but I think it's worth a look; major swaths of land were slated for uranium mining, and it would be interesting to see what role the old leases would play in any new mining.