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A few basic questions Print

by Randall McConnell
Fort Collins Coloradoan
April 7, 2008

This morning's lead article on House Bill 1161 raises some questions for me, and perhaps others living in Northern Colorado. I understand that this (in-situ uranium) mining process is considered very safe, except in parts of Australia and Argentina, where it has been outlawed. Apparently, there are also questions from residents of South Dakota and New Mexico.

My questions are a bit more basic. Will Powertech (USA) Inc. still be a viable corporation 20 years from now, or in bankruptcy court from fear of litigation? Will Richard Clement, Powertech president and CEO, still be available for uncomfortable questions in this state, or will I need to track him down in retirement in Costa Rica or Mexico? Will anyone who benefits economically from pumping clean ground water used for drinking and agriculture into a mineral deposit and returning highly contaminated water back through the same process (with no loss through evaporation and leakage, of course) time and again still be available for questions, comments and the payment of damages to the residents of Northern Colorado?

Or having made their fortunes here, they moved on, leaving the tailings, the polluted water table and the radioactive gases in Weld and Larimer counties. Will I be able to go to Clement's front door and ask him why my granddaughter has only three fingers and no thumb or an IQ of 62 on good days?

Randall McConnell lives in Fort Collins

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