Thursday, August 04, 2011

Point-counterpoint on Arizona uranium mining

The Palm Springs area newspaper Desert Sun published point-counterpoint pieces on mining in northern Arizona. The paper's editorial was countered by an op-ed by Hal Quinn, president of the National Mining Association. [right, cross hatched areas withdrawn from exploration and mining. Credit, BLM]

The paper started off by declaring "Congress should know better than to mess with a national treasure."

"The Desert Sun agrees that more mining is necessary, helping to boost the economy and to strengthen our energy independence, but uranium mining near the river is just too dangerous."

Quinn argues that "the environmental premise for this withdrawal is belied by the government's own findings. The Department of the Interior's Feb. 18 draft environmental impact assessment of potential impacts to the Grand Canyon National Park found no compelling reasons to suspect that uranium mining would damage the surrounding environment. Park recreation and tourism “are unlikely to be affected” by uranium mining, said the assessment, nor would aquatic life and water quality be significantly impacted. One big reason is that uranium mining, like all U.S. mineral mining today, is heavily regulated by multiple federal and state agencies."

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