5th District Republican candidate Laurence Verga is elbowing with other Republican candidates to become the conservative alternative to State Sen. Robert Hurt. Mind you, Hurt has perfectly adequate conservative bona fides, but if you're trying to distinguish yourself in a field full of wingnuts you have to do your best. Verga wrote a guest post on Bearing Drift this morning where Verga applauded Hurt for voting to authorize a study on repealing the ban on uranimum mining, then chided Hurt for not fighting to repeal the ban on uranium mining. Heaven forfend we wait for the study to conclude!
The best part from Verga's post?
The National Research Council is finally set to begin an environmental impact study, which is expected to take 18 months. In the meantime the General Assembly should repeal its irrational, unconditional ban on uranium mining and replace it with code that awards immediate approval upon projects that successfully complete an environmental impact study.
Let's get this straight. Verga insists on the immediate and automatic approval of projects that simply complete an EIS, without regard to what the local government happens to think, or even what the rest of the state happens to think. It's quite unfortunate we insist on knowing the consequences of our actions before granting automatic permits!
Uranium mining is one of the most toxic types of mining known to man. From the Piedmont Environmental Council:
Enormous quantities of radioactive waste are generated by uranium mining and milling, with only 2 to 4 pounds of concentrated uranium oxide yellow cake obtained from each ton of ore taken out of the ground. The resulting waste, or tailings contain 85% of the original radioactivity and remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Tailings can contain several hazardous substances, including radium (which decays to produce radon) selenium, molybdenum, uranium, and thorium. The mill tailings and the mill tailings effluent are highly radioactive and acutely hazardous.
Directly downstream from Pittsylvania County are major drinking water sources, including Lake Gaston, water source for the City of Norfolk.
It would seem that no matter how loopy 5th District Republicans can get, they'll always fight to outdo each other. If I were Tom Perriello I wouldn't mind a Verga nomination.