Yep. I am after the *Big Three.* EPA, DOE & DOI. Some of us have to be eternally agitated or nothing gets accomplished. EPA has gotten my goat and others as well with their most costly mandate ever which is meant to bankrupt the coal industry. One of the few promises Obama kept and announced in 2008 and made good a couple of weeks ago.
Now it is Interior’s turn. Ken Salazar, ya know the guy who has been in civil contempt of court two times for failure to lift the drill moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. Back in July of 2009 Salazar defied Congress and imposed a 2 year ban on new uranium mining in the Grand Canyon area. 1,000,000 acres out of play. Grand Canyon National Park composes about 1.2 million acres so there is not much left to deal with since this is the only place in the United States where uranium is found. Please see the map at the top of this article.
Below is the reaction of Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee to Salazar’s ban in 2009:
Then in June of 2011 Salazar announced he was extending the 2 year ban for another 6 months because of “fears” of a mining accident, water contamination and the Grand Canyon is a *national treasure* which shouldn’t be put “at risk.” What *risk* Mr. Salazar? Uranium is found in the cliffs lining the Colorado River and leeches into the river water naturally without any assistance from mining, as noted in a letter to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer by geologist M. Lee Ellison. Some of the key points he makes to her are:
- “We conclude that even the most implausible accident would increase the amount of uranium in the Colorado River by an amount that is undetectable over amounts of uranium that are normally carried by the river from erosion of geologic deposits.”
- “Even if the entire annual uranium production from an operating mine were somehow implausibly dumped into the river, the resulting increase in uranium concentration in river water would increase from 4.0 to 12.8 parts per billion (ppb) for one year, which is still far below the 30 ppb EPA Maximum Contaminant Level.”
- “We believe the fears of uranium contamination of the Colorado River from mining accidents are minor and transitory compared to the amounts of uranium that are naturally and continually eroded into the river.” [Emphasis mine.]
Can’t stop Mother Nature, Ken. She’ll do what she wants anyway. So here we are 6 months later and you have extended the ban on mining for 20 years which will make the U.S. dependent of foreign sources of uranium.
For those of you who have not been to the Grand Canyon I have visited twice. It ain’t just a little hole one would see in your backyard. It is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide. Not just your ordinary little National Park.
The U.S. position could very well change since the uranium dominance in the U.S. is in Arizona. With Salazar’s announcement it will cost many jobs which American workers can ill afford to lose. Uranium is used for atomic weapons, nuclear naval vessels and of course it is the fuel used in nuclear power plants so Salazar’s action may well signal another assault on our domestic energy production, putting nuclear at risk.
President Obama has continually said he wants the U.S. to move toward “clean energy” and nuclear energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy available. Rep. Hastings made this press release after Salazar’s announcement:
“The Obama Administration is putting politics above American jobs and American energy security by blocking mining on what is the most uranium-rich land in the United States. Safe and responsible mining of this land could have produced thousands of high paying, family wage mining jobs. The United States is already 90 percent dependent on foreign sources of uranium and this decision only exacerbates our foreign dependence by locking up our own clean energy resources.
“This unilateral, arbitrary decision is an extreme action that is not based on science. The Department’s own Environmental Impact Statement does not justify the withdrawal and studies have shown that uranium mining outside the park’s border can be done safely with negligible environmental impacts. We can responsibly mine while still protecting the environment. It doesn’t have to be the all or nothing approach that the Administration has unfortunately decided to take.”
Yep, the Obama administration’s war on fuel, energy and jobs continues unabated.
I guess all we have to do folks is buy uranium from Iran.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks