It’s not hot-off-the-press, but it’s news worth mentioning again. On Friday, Gov. Bob McDonnell left Del. Don Merricks (R-Pittsylvania County) with the distinct impression that the moratorium on uranium mining will not touched upon anymore in 2013 and that it might not be touched on again for some time to come (yeah right!).
After his meeting with Gov. McDonnell, Del. Merricks stated that “The only thing that could happen is if the governor were to amend another bill or issue an executive order, which he assured us he wasn’t going to do.” Please note that Gov. McDonnell’s ‘assurances’ are only as viable as the political winds which shift his policy positions from one pole to the next and from one day to the next.
According to Merricks, Gov. McDonnell assured several legislators from Southside Virginia that “he wasn’t planning to do anything right now” on Watkins’ request that McDonnell use his executive authority to begin the creation of uranium mining regulations.
As for the nuclear energy consortium agency being proposed, Merricks also stated that “I hope people will rest assured it has nothing to do with mining.” Really, because the “nuclear energy consortium agency” certainly seems to hint at being involved with all things uranium. But perhaps the concerned people of Virginia are simply acting out of “emotion and fear” again, as Sen. John Watkins suggested after he pulled his uranium mining bill from the senate.
But for Virginians who have been keeping track of the uranium mining issue, the struggle to keep the ban has only just begun. With so much uranium ore in the ground and so much profit to be had, the big bad wolf known as Virginia Uranium Inc. (VUI) will be back on the hunt again as soon as it can. For all anyone knows, VUI is working at this very moment to undermine the ban on uranium mining in Virginia (wouldn’t that be shocking!).
Just as this time around, Virginians wont lay down in the face of such an enormous potential threat. VUI may have billions of reasons to mine for uranium ore. But for the Virginians who stand to directly lose from uranium mining in Virginia, the reasons for opposition go beyond any quantitative figure.