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Industrial science serves its master, the bottom line, while simulating disinterested scientific truth. Around here, this sleight-of-hand choreography keeps repeating itself: The mysterious outsider strolls into town shrouded in a mystical cloud of technological hocus-pocus.

From the folds of his long coat he flashes a few jobs. With the wave of his cunning drill, he conjures the tinkle of cash in the till. Transfixed, we do the "get rich" jig.

Since we repeatedly go soft-headed before this technological ruse, maybe, this time, we should try a hard-core business approach: Any banker worth his salt will tell you that Powertech's project bristles with red flags.

A corporation with no uranium-mining experience and wobbly financials proposes to enter the even-wobblier nuclear energy market. Moreover, this shaky outfit wants access, with its chemicals and drills, to our irreplaceable aquifers, proffering suspect "scientific" reassurances.

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What's the sane business response? Any banker would double-down on due diligence, standard practice for protecting the bank's interests. Yet, astonishingly, we seem prepared to heedlessly trust this seemingly unbankable stranger with our priceless water without even minimal assessment of organizational capacity and integrity. Instead, we dream on, enchanted by the Powertech jig.

— Harold Storsve, Rapid City

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Managing Editor

Opinion editor for the Rapid City Journal.