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We just returned from a beautiful trip to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. Sadly, we learned that behind the amazing views, there is a tragic story well-known to the locals.

The story of uranium mining and the companies and government that has failed them. The projects were all legal, all done with government approval. The experts assured the communities that there was nothing to worry about. Now, the companies are long gone, the government cannot afford the extensive clean up required, and to this very day obscene amounts of radioactive material is leaking into the Colorado River and blowing in the wind.

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You can bet that the people now wish they had been passionately involved in this issue BEFORE the damage was done. They too trusted their company experts. They too trusted that the government would have their best interests in mind. In this day and age, with the vast amount of examples provided to us about the failure of projects like these, where does this child-like faith in companies and government come from? Are you so certain the Powertech project will turn out so different from so many before? Do you bet our water on it?

— Daniel Cole, Rapid City

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Managing Editor

Opinion editor for the Rapid City Journal.