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Uranium mining, Powetech lack believability, integrity Print

by Jeff Dunn, Letter to Editor
Greeley Tribune
February 10, 2008

As one of thousands of Coloradoans opposed to the proposed uranium mine in Northern Colorado, I am tired of Richard Blubaugh's, and Powertech's deceit, lies and insults. If these attitudes represent their business practices, then there is absolutely no way we can allow them to mine uranium in our state.

These kind of attitudes should raise serious concerns that they may handle their mining operations with the same contempt by denying any spills or contamination, failing to meet any requirements of the law governing these operations and refusing to accept responsibility for any violations of the same.

Blubaugh continues to push the permitting process as the key to making this work. The fact of the matter is, the permitting process is the only chance he and Powertech have of ever removing a single ounce of uranium from the proposed Centennial Project. This diversion is what he wants us to focus on, rather than the dangers of contamination of both the environment and the water. Blubaugh knows that, if he can get us to focus on satisfying the permitting agencies requirements, then they can start the mining process whether or not it poses any threats. Blubaugh also knows this is the only loophole they have to make this thing work. However, even if they satisfy the requirements of the process, it is still a choice, which determines whether or not they receive their permits. This is the big deceit. The choice to deny the permits is what we are fighting for.

Blubaugh says we need to listen to the science for a rational conclusion, yet the science has not prevented major contamination and irreversible damage from dozens of mine sites around the globe. When asked about these incidents, he avoids answering with statements like those from his Jan. 6 Tribune article; "Dunn's emotional assertions and the unsubstantiated action of the Fort Collins City Council did not advance the public's knowledge of the proposed project." To ignore or deny the damage and the contamination from all previous mine sites is the lie.

In a public discussion held at Harmony Library in Fort Collins, Powertech and Blubaugh again attempted to show how safe the mining operation would be. These are the same mining processes that have already proven, time after time, that they fail to protect us by contaminating water and the environment of previous mine sites. The predictable result is something like the Big Eagle Pits near Jeffrey City, Wyo., where uranium mining left a ghost town and three super fund sites, or the Midnite Uranium Mine, a superfund site in Washington state. Continuing to deny that we understand the truth about uranium mining is Blubaugh's insult to us all.

Finally, money had to be brought up. It was estimated that $3 million a year for the state would be made from this project. Over 20 years, that is $60 million. The Summitville mine disaster in southern Colorado has already cost taxpayers $150-$210 million and it is still not cleaned up with costs continuing to rise! We could be $90-$150 million short that taxpayers would have to provide. Blubaugh was involved with that mine as well.

If money is the key factor in approving this mine, then send me a check for $10 million so I can move my five children and nine grandchildren out of Colorado, because if this is approved, the Front Range will no longer be safe to live in. Emotional enough?

Jeff Dunn and his family live in Pierce.

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