Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ancient Curse

Uranium mining in New Mexico.  An ugly history no doubt, but now that we know better can it be done correctly?  In my opinion not as long as the ancient curse of the 1872 Mining Law remains in effect.  That law was passed during the Presidency of Ulysses Grant.  And it still allows miners the right to claim hard rock minerals on federal land as their own and not pay a dime for it.

The Journal reports a Canadian and Japanese partnership will come in to mine uranium once again near Grants, NM.  They will get all of it for free.  And there is nothing that can be done about it since the mining interests  block any reform.  Can you imagine what these foreign companies CEO's say over lunch?  Probably they say this, "those stupid Americans just give away their minerals under a century and a half old law.  Its too good to be true!"

In the meantime Congressman Steve Pearce lobbies to get more nuclear waste into the WIPP site.  This tail end of the process is controversial at least.  But storing that waste on rail sidings at power plants is even more dangerous.  But stop and think about this process.

The miners get the uranium out of public land for free and then the public has to pay big bucks for the waste storage.  How is that sensible?  

1 comment:

Bubba Muntzer said...

Indeed, and not just the waste storage. On I-40 in Grants going both ways are big billboards asking the last uranium miners to come in and get checked for cancer. North of Grants at the old mine site vast tons of radioactive tailings still sit there, just as they do over on the reservation where the dam holding a lake full of it broke loose and made hundreds of acres uninhabitable.

I used to deliver supplies to the oncology center in Farmington, where those old guys would walk in pretty well, and almost had to be carried out.

And if we keep refining that stuff everyone will eventually be going through it. They keep saying it can be done safely. And that stuff will be around causing cancer many times longer than the longest civilizations have ever lasted. Many, many times more. Hundreds of times more. All to light a light bulb for a few hours.

Oh, and to blow lots of people apart.