Monday, January 7, 2013

Virginia Coal and Energy Commission vote results on uranium mining

The Virginia Coal and Energy Commission voted Monday 11-2 to move forward with regulations on uranium mining. It effectively limits mining to one company and the only known, commercially viable deposit of uranium in the state.

Virginia Uranium Inc. and a 119-million-pound uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County is the largest in the U.S. It is valued at $7 billion. Only Sen. Ralph Smith and Del, Donald Merricks of Danville voted against lifting the ban. Del. Greg Habeeb of Salem voted “yes” and Delegate Onzlee Ware of Roanoke was “not present.” There were three abstains and four absent and not voting.

Virginia Uranium lobbied hard to end the ban. They paid for trips to fly legislators to France and Canada to tour mining and milling facilities and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to legislators including commission members.

Senator John Watkins (R-Powhatan) Vice Chair of the committee will craft a bill for the 2013 legislative session that will lift Virginia’s moratorium on uranium mining for the Coles Hill site only so it will have a better chance of passing. The vote below shows how the commission voted. Votes are grouped in order by Delegates, Senators and citizen members.


Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

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