Obama Blocks Uranium Mining without the Support of Science

Posted: May 24, 2012 12:01 AM

Sigh. They aren’t even trying anymore.

The news came out today that the administration imposed its 20 year ban on uranium mining on federal land in Arizona with no scientific basis to support the move. In fact, an email from a National Park Service hydrologist states that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement fails to establish links between impacts on water and uranium mining.  The leaked email states in part:

This is obviously a touchy case where the hard science doesn’t strongly support a policy position. Probably the best way to ‘finesse’ this would be fall back on the ‘precautionary principle’ and take the position that in absence of even more complete certainty that there is no connection between uranium mines and regional ground water, we need to be cautions[sic]??

You can read more here.

One thousand jobs and $29 million in revenue are on the block in this situation.

Utah Congressman Rob Bishop who is the chairman of the House, National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee released this statement.

“I am concerned and troubled by the Department of Interior’s decision to proceed with the ban despite the fact their own experts cautioned that scientific evidence was lacking. It is now increasingly apparent that the decision was motivated by politics rather than science as the Administration would have us believe. We feared this was the case when the DOI announced its intentions in January, and it is unfortunate that it has proven to be true…These emails illustrate that Secretary Salazar blatantly ignored the scientific analysis in order to advance the Administration’s narrow-minded political agenda. The Administration is working hard to protect certain interests, but just not those of the American people.”

Bishop and House Natural Resources Chair Doc Hastings are requesting all of the documents in the matter. Given the forthcoming nature of the administration, I suspect their grandchildren might receive them. Unless they get lucky and someone leaks something else.

It’s one thing to oppose nuclear energy. It is another thing to curtail it without scientific evidence.

Those of you east of the Mighty Mississippi might be surprised at this, but energy advocates in the West are merely shaking their heads and recalling the immortal words of  Captain Renault from Casablanca : I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”