To the Editor:
The uranium debacle occurred because of the creation of Senate Bill 158 in the Fall of 2010 under Governor Rounds. Uranium project director Mark Hollenbeck and lobbyist Larry Mann, in collaboration with West River Representatives, Lance Russell, Mike Verchio, Brian Gosch, David Lust, Senator Bruce Rampelberg, and then-Senator Elizabeth Kraus - whose husband worked for the company - pushed this bill, taking away our state protection through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This was an egregious undoing of prior S.D. water protection law, which actually was pretty good. Our health and fate are now in the hands of the EPA and NRC - far away and inept. The public doesn’t want uranium mining - they know it will have a lasting devastating effect on water and local/regional economies.
A bi-partisan effort was mounted on numerous occasions in Pierre and Mr. Rampelberg voted against the people every single time! He also sat with the industry during one hearing and even testified for them last September in the state mining hearing. He, Verchio, and Russell are the “big guns” behind this uranium project ignoring the wishes of the MAJORITY. Instead, they buddy up with those who seek to rape and pillage our resources to line their own pockets.
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