‘The road to hell was paved with greed and cavalier disregard for human and other planetary life.’

~  Sensura Utilis

Here is the transcript, if you’d rather read.

“But this isn’t just an issue for here. Wherever there’s an environmental crisis, there’s a cultural crisis, because we are people of the Earth.”

Now when Ken Salazar announced Obama’s executive order to ban large-scale uranium mining ‘on a million acres near the Grand Canyon’ in Jan. of 2012, environmentalists hailed the move and said it would secure his Green Legacy.  Well, sure, but even at the time, there were a few caveats (from the Guardian):

‘The measure does not affect some 3,200 existing mining claims around the canyon, however. The administration said there would be continued development of 11 uranium mines.’

But on April 30, 2013: Yeppers; Oopsie!:

‘The road to hell was paved with greed and cavalier disregard for human and other planetary life.’

~  Sensura Utilis

Here is the transcript, if you’d rather read.

But this isn’t just an issue for here. Wherever there’s an environmental crisis, there’s a cultural crisis, because we are people of the Earth.

Now when Ken Salazar announced Obama’s executive order to ban large-scale uranium mining ‘on a million acres near the Grand Canyon’ in Jan. of 2012, environmentalists hailed the move and said it would secure his Green Legacy.  Well, sure, but even at the time, there were a few caveats (from the Guardian):

The measure does not affect some 3,200 existing mining claims around the canyon, however. The administration said there would be continued development of 11 uranium mines.

But on April 30, 2013: Yeppers; Oopsie!:

Energy Fuels Resources has been given federal approval to reopen its old Canyon Mine, located six miles south of the canyon’s popular South Rim entrance, that attracts nearly 5 million visitors a year.

The Canadian company says that the Obama administration’s ban on new hard-rock mining over 1m acres doesn’t apply because its rights date from when it closed over 20 years ago.

However, its approval is based on an environmental study the US Forest Service conducted more than 25 years ago, in 1986.  [snip]

But (Roger Clark, also from Grand Canyon Trust) Clark argues that uranium’s radioactive properties only become dangerous once it is brought up out of the ground and exposed to air and water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, such properties include radon gas, a substance that was not regulated when the government conducted its initial study of the mine in 1986. The lawsuit contends that radon and other chemicals could pollute the area.

In addition to environmental impacts, the lawsuit argues that the mine will harm the nearby area of Red Butte, which is sacred to the Havasupai, one of the plaintiffs, as well as other tribes, including the Hopi, Zuni and Navajo.

There are lawsuits pending by different mining companies wanting to reopen former mines, and as Benally indicated, any number of agencies and bureaucracies can green light them.  But given that the price of uranium is on the rise…there will be a lot of pressure brought to bear.

He’d also mentioned the fact that many former sites were not just ignored for ‘clean up’ by the EPA and state agencies, but now act as actual dump sites.  As in:

A local story

Not far to the northeast of where we live, the folks at Grand Canyon Trust and the Ute Tribe have filed lawsuits against the self-same Energy Fuels Corporation’s White Mesa uranium mill near Blanding, Utah, the Utes, whose northernmost reservation is there, have also filed suit against the EPA.  It is the sole ‘conventional’ uranium processing mill in the continental US, and the resultant yellow cake is sent out for processing into fuel rods for power plants.

(more…)

Oxdown Diaries

Oxdown Diaries