VA Republicans are Even More Against Uranium Mining than VA Democrats, and What That Tells us About the Fracking Fight.
The NY Times is carrying an article called Rift Widens Over Mining of Uranium in Virginia I’m not really sure if the average VA Republican legislator is more opposed to uranium mining than the average VA Democratic legislator, but clearly there is strong support against uranium mining from the Repub legislators, given that:
Opponents include most state lawmakers from the region, all of whom are Republicans.
. Since they are much more likely to be in the pocket of industry than the Republican base, I infer that appealing to Republican voters on other issues involving groundwater contamination is a no-brainer.
Bills introduced last week would lift a moratorium on uranium mining at the site here, known as Coles Hill. Political supporters say that the mining would bring economic benefits and that risks from radioactive wastes, or tailings, can be safely managed. Opponents fear the contamination of drinking water in case of an accident, and a stigma from uranium that would deter people and businesses from moving to the area.
The politics of the issue do not divide neatly along party lines. Opponents include most state lawmakers from the region, all of whom are Republicans. A prominent supporter is the minority leader of the State Senate, Richard L. Saslaw, a Democrat, who lives in the northern suburbs. Asked about buried uranium tailings that remain a risk for hundreds of years, Mr. Saslaw, who is known for unguarded statements, said in a radio interview, “I’m not going to be here.”
I have recently argued that anti-fracking and anti-GMO efforts are compelling value propositions for activists, in part because the they cut across partisan walls. This article from the NY Times on uranium mining in VA supports that general point of view.