The Virginia Energy Independence Alliance is a pro-energy group which is advocating uranium mining benefits in Virginia. The pro-uranium group has launched an advertising campaign which includes television adverts in Central and Southside Virginia to highlight the possible benefits of uranium mining in the state.
The ads of the Virginia Energy Independence Alliance currently focus on five potential benefits that can come through uranium mining. These include energy independence, jobs, economic development, tax revenue and the environmental benefits of nuclear energy.
Ray Ganthner the Chairman of the group said that developing Southside Virginia’s vast uranium resources is the single largest opportunity in their state for helping to reduce America’s reliance on imported energy.
Close to 119 million pounds of uranium are indicated to be present in Coles Hill near Chatham, a small town in the Pittsylvania County. The uranium here would be enough to meet all Virginia’s energy demands for the next 75 years. The group hopes to get the General Assembly to lift the three decade old moratorium on mining uranium in the state.
Virginia Uranium In wants to begin mining operations at the deposit in South side Virginia and has developed a travelling mobile exhibit to win public support for mining. It has been lobbying for the renewal of uranium mining in the state since the 1982 ban.
They have been opposed by a collective group of environmentalists and other groups known as the Keep the Ban Coalition. They content that the mining and milling of uranium in the state is unsafe and that it would harm the water supplies of the state.
The Coal and Energy Commission of Virginia has asked the National Academy of Sciences and the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech to review whether the uranium can be safely mined.