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Uranium, JFK and the Warren Commission Print

by Jeff Dunn

Guest Commentary
Greeley Tribune
September 20, 2007

What do these uranium mining, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and the Warren Commission have in common? A principle we should keep in mind concerning the future of uranium mining in northern Colorado.

On Nov. 29, 1963, the Warren Commission was formed to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. In the end, the decision was made to have the files sealed up for 75 years. Many comments were made, such as there would not be anyone left alive who would remember the incident, be legally able to do anything about it or even care by that time. Although it appears all the files have been made public, there is still a lot speculation that there are some 10,000 pages and JFK's brain still not available to the public.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe there is a principle of thought here that should be considered in determining the proposed uranium mine in northern Colorado.

For instance, I would want to know if this is the attitude of mining corporation officials when they move in to an area and try to convince the public there is no harm to the future of that area or its residents. If the mining company is just trying to get permission to mine the uranium hoping that 75 years from now, if there are any problems, there won't be anyone alive who will remember or could have an impact on what to do about it, then we have a bigger problem than we realize.

In the Aug. 20 Tribune, there was a news story that stated that there is an estimated 9.7 million pounds of uranium to be mined at $120-$130 per pound. That gives the mining company $1.16 billion to $1.26 billion in profits. In an earlier article from Aug. 15, there appears to be a concern that if there is contamination, the taxpayers end up paying for it in dollars. But what do we pay for it 75 years from now when the money is gone and the mining company has moved on to other areas with little or no concern for what happened in the past except to boast of profits?

Are we asking the right questions or just accepting what we are being told? For a mining company to ask for weaker safety standards, as stated in the Aug. 15 article, to meet "acceptable limits" when it comes to spills and contamination is reckless at best! For government officials to grant those weaker standards should be considered criminal, that is, unless they and the mining company are hoping for 75 years to pass before any concerns surface.

When the northern Colorado communities became skeptical over a proposed prison in Ault, at least it would have been something we could see, touch and realize on a daily basis. With the proposed uranium mine, the possibility of irreversible problems have the potential to be a silent killer that cannot be seen, heard or defended against for generations to come.

And who knows. Maybe 75 years from now, maybe nobody will even care.

Jeff Dunn is from Eaton, and his wife was born and raised in Ault. They now live in Pierce.

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