Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Will Virginia Uranium Succeed in Buying the Virginia Senate Today?

Massive risk for millions of Virginians while huge profits concentrate in the hands of a few - that's what would happen if the Virginia General Assembly cast aside Virginia's moratorium on inherently risky uranium mining.

But that's not stopping the few from spending huge amounts of cash to try to swing today's ultra-tight elections for control of the Virginia Senate! From today's E&E News (subscription required):
Virginia Uranium Inc., which wants the General Assembly to lift a moratorium on uranium mining, has contributed almost $100,000 this year to groups and candidates, according to disclosure records complied by the Virginia Public Access Project. Most of those donations, $68,000 so far, have gone to Republicans. [...]

Virginia Uranium has been lobbying for years on the issue, hiring several firms to promote its cause, including well-known McGuire Woods LLP. The latest disclosure report shows Virginia Uranium spent more than $50,000 on lobbying efforts between May 2009 and April 2010.

In late September, the company took interested residents and lawmakers to a mine in Canada to show how uranium mining can be done safely. Earlier this year, Virginia Uranium also took a group to France to see a former mine site, in an effort to show how the process can occur in a climate like Virginia's. The move proved controversial, with critics saying the company wanted to buy lawmaker votes with trips to Europe (Greenwire, July 7).

The company sponsored a similar trip in 2010, paying roughly $9,000 for at least three lawmakers to attend, according to Virginia Public Access Project records.
To learn more about why the Virginia General Assembly and Gov. Bob McDonnell should fight to protect Virginia's ban on uranium mining, visit KeepTheBan.org.
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