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LETTERS: Sunday, August 4, 2013

Read everything about Powertech

Now that we are living under the dictatorship of corporations, our rights have been taken away from us, and now we are letting foreign corporations come in and take our natural resources away from us also. It is all about the water!

In-situ mining is basically the same as fracking for oil, only for solid, instead of semi-solid or liquid. They both use huge amounts of water and the water that is returned is no longer “clean.” Read “Gone For Good: Fracking and Water Loss in the West” at And while you are at it, also read “Undermined Promise” from the same website. Then see if you believe all of the song and dance show that Powertech has put on.

Get involved, go to meetings, read everything, not just one side. Watch movies that expose these corporations that have taken over control of our lives. Emulate our soldiers that have fought for our freedom. Don’t miss the big showdowns at the Ramkota in Rapid City this fall starting at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 23, and continuing, same time, same place on Oct. 7.

Mary Helen Pederson, Hot Springs

Attend meetings on Powertech permits

Are you aware of the threat to the Black Hills water supply due to the proposed plan by Powertech to begin uranium mining in the Southern Hills? Possible contamination of our aquifers and the huge volume of water that would be used in the mining process are major concerns. Any of you who care about clean and sufficient water for your family should investigate this issue.

Powertech is requesting an exemption from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act so they can dispose of mining waste water in and above our sources of drinking water. The U.S. Geological Survey has stated, “To date, no remediation of an ISR (in-situ recovery) operation in the U.S. has successfully returned the aquifer to baseline conditions. Often at the end of monitoring, contaminants continue to increase.” Check online and you will find many instances of contamination from in-situ leach uranium mining.

Every drop of water counts here in this semi-arid region. Show your concern by attending some of the public hearings at 8:30 a.m. at the Rapid City Ramkota during the weeks of Sept. 23 (mining permit), Oct. 7 and 28 (water permits). And spread the word. or

Mary Ellen Uptain, Rapid City

Sen. Thune, please support cigarette tax

A bill was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would nearly double the federal cigarette tax to $1.95 per pack. Increasing the tobacco tax would have a dramatic impact on the public health of our nation by preventing disease and premature deaths and reducing health-care costs associated with tobacco use.

A half-million Americans will die from smoking-related diseases this year alone. Research has shown that increasing the tax on tobacco has proven to be a very strong incentive to help adults quit and children from starting this deadly habit.

My only question is, Sen. John Thune, why are you hesitating on signing and supporting bill S.826? It will save lives, reduce smoking, lower health costs and place more money into our budget, instead of the tobacco companies’ pockets. If there is a down side to this, I fail to see it.

Please, Sen. Thune, let your conscience be your guide.

Clayton Hieb, Rapid City

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