Decision Virginia Special Report: Battleground Uranium
It could be one of the most important battles in the upcoming Virginia General Assembly legislative session. The Commonwealth has held onto a 3 decade old moratorium on uranium mining. Could 2012 be the year the moratorium is lifted? I examine the efforts being made on both sides in this debate and how Tuesday’s election could play a big role in the ultimate outcome.
CHATHAM, VA (WWBT) - It has been illegal in Virginia for more than three decades, but now a powerful push is on to lift the ban on uranium mining.
This Tuesday’s election could play a crucial role in deciding the future of that ban. Virginia Uranium has donated more than $100,000 to candidates across Virginia.
Their goal is to take a 35 hundred acre site in Chatham and turn it into a $10 billion mine.
Pittsylvania County is the next frontier in uranium. The element is the principle building block of nuclear energy and an incredibly valuable commodity.
“As a world we already operating at a deficit,” said Patrick Wales, a Danville native and the project manager for Virginia Uranium’s potential mine.
The company is stepping up their efforts to get that expensive material out of the ground and into the global economy.
“Creating energy independence, for this commonwealth, for this country,” said Wales. “And we can do it all by putting 325 people to work.”
Chatham native Walter Coles, the owner of Virginia Uranium has invested heavily in the idea that Virginia is up to opening up this mine.
Over the last three years his company has employed 15 different lobbyists from 4 different firms and has directly donated more than $116,000 to candidates in the General Assembly.
Chesterfield Senator John Watkins is one of them.
“I don’t stand to profit from Virginia Uranium,” said Watkins
…read the rest of the story on NBC12.com.