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FORUM: Writers too close to Powertech project

FORUM: Writers too close to Powertech project


Natural gas is the new major focus for energy and has negatively affected the nuclear industry, resulting in decreased demand for uranium. Germany is nearly nuclear-free and other countries are closing down reactors.

The USA’s reactors are in ill-repair and very susceptible to weather events, earthquakes and terrorism. Our method of storage for spent fuel is outdated, making our reactors very vulnerable. Europe uses a “HOSS” (hardened on-site storage) system, greatly reducing risks.

The USA is closing reactors and has sufficient uranium available. France is perfecting a system of re-using uranium, which will further decrease demand.

Confusing the public are Powertech employees, shareholders and supporters writing letters to the editor but not identifying their relationship. This is important for the public to know.

Rep. Mike Verchio stated cancer wasn’t a problem in Fall River County but cited no source. He failed to mention that he helped write and pass SB 158, stripping our state protection (along with legislators Lance Russell, Bruce Rampelberg, Brian Gosch and David Lust).

Randy Brich’s letter failed to mention his beneficial Powertech relationship and his wife’s being a Powertech lobbyist in Pierre. He claims the Crawford, Neb., mine has no problems, but government documents demonstrate otherwise.

Cindy Turner wrote a Forum article bemoaning Rapid City Council’s resolution, comparing the proceedings to the Salem Witch Trials and calling Dakota Rural Action an “environmental extremist group” and then threw in pine beetles!

Bev Gehman wrote an outrageous Journal Forum article, engaging in extreme name-calling and fallacious claims against an Edgemont rancher, and Edgemont’s Bill Curran calls opponents “Chicken Littles.”

Rep. Mark Kirkeby called Rapid City Mayor Kooiker a liar.

It certainly would be helpful if the public were to be apprised of these people’s relationships to Powertech.

In a Journal Forum article, Powertech CEO Richard Clement belittled a Rapid City church for opposing the mine and stated “ISL mining is intrinsically safe,” contrary to EPA admittance that in situ leach technology is way ahead of health and safety knowledge. Clement’s claims are unethical and without scientific support. In fact, because the damage done underground is “hidden” and we can’t observe it nor perfectly predict what occurs, the likelihood of greater long-term damage occurring is significant.

Powertech’s project manager Mark Hollenbeck wrote an article, accusing opponents of fear mongering. Interestingly, if one reads the NRC, EPA, USGS literature and scientific studies from premiere geology programs, one concludes this is bad business. Hollenbeck’s statements are conjecture, not fact.

Citizens should read scientific documents themselves and not rely on what a company “claims” it will do; that is called a “sales pitch,” not fact.

Citizens opposing uranium mining have been reading scientific documents and their letters to the editor have repeatedly referred to government documents and scientific sources. Peer reviewed science, not “sales pitches,” is what our state leaders should be using to guide South Dakota’s future.

Beware: water will be the delimiting factor for future economic growth and sustainability.

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