Friday, February 4, 2011

Trip to France tops gifts of three Virginia legislators

Virginia Uranium retains four lobbyist groups in matters relating to legislation, regulation, studies and policies for potential mining of uranium ore in Virginia. Virginia has a moratorium on mining uranium and there is a highly lucrative deposit near Chatham just out of their reach.

Hence the trip offered to any legislator willing to visit France where they mine uranium ore safely they claim. It was labeled an educational trip – a little money spent on “educating” legislators could go a long way when a vote comes up on rescinding the moratorium.

Senator John Watkins, Senator Frank Wagner and Delegate Onzlee Ware all members of the Uranium Mining Sub-Committee of the Virginia Commission on Coal and Energy visited Bessine, France. The trip entirely paid for by Virginia Uranium Inc. This put Virginia Uranium as the second largest gift giver at $27,488 for 2010. The disclosures were released on Virginia Public Access Project Thursday.

The top gift giver was the American Turkish Friendship Association with the third largest being Dominion Power – not a surprise. The ATFA was recognized in the gallery of this General Assembly session. There is a large Turkish population in Northern Virginia.

The City of Virginia Beach announced Tuesday the results of a study concluding that a heavy rain could result in water containing radiation flowing into Lake Gaston. The flow could contaminate the drinking water of  Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

The guests of VUI’s trip to France and members of the Uranium Mining subcommittee met December 8 to review Requests for Proposal for study of the effects of mining the uranium deposit. According to the Agenda this was the first meeting that Delegate Onzlee Ware had attended. Meetings date back to November 2008 with one meeting in Chatham June 22, 2010. Both Wagner and Watkins attended that meeting following their return from France on Jun 18.

I found some interesting conflicting information needing confirmation that may take awhile so stay tuned.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

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