The company trying to persuade the Virginia General Assembly to eliminate the ban on uranium mining in Virginia is suspending its lobbying efforts for the time being because Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe opposes lifting the ban and they admit trying to get the ban repealed in the 2014 legislative agenda would be a waste of money.
The suspended effort doesn’t mean the issue is dead — just in a pause mode until McAuliffe’s four-year term is up or 2015 elections put enough pro-uranium mining lawmakers into the General Assembly to override any vetoes by the new governor.
“We’re in this for the long haul,” Virginia Uranium’s project manager Patrick Wales claims. “We are committed.”
But after counting where members of the General Assembly that takes office in January stand on the hot-button issues, the company realizes that the votes aren’t there and putting time and money into any lobbying effort would be a waste.
So the company says it will not support introduction of uranium mining legislation in the 2014 session and will suspend its efforts to mine a 119 million-pound uranium deposit at Coles hill in Pittsylvania County.
Which means legislative efforts are on hold until at least the 2016 legislative session and then only if the makeup of the General Assembly is more friendly to the idea of pulling radioactive material out of the ground in the Old Dominion.