In a somewhat surprising move, last week Governor John Hickenlooper’s Department of Public Health and Environment flew a rather noticeable middle finger to President Obama’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission and members of his base (radical environmentalists in Telluride) over a recent letter from the Obama Administration raising concerns with the process used to permit a uranium mill in western Montrose County.
First, drinking frack fluid – and now this from Hick?! The West Wing and the yurt otherwise known as the Sheep Mountain Alliance headquarters in Telluride must be fuming.
To understand the dynamics playing out on this issue is to understand the constant barrage of shady antics and dime-store activist attorneys scattered throughout western Colorado who put organic bacon and free range chicken on the table by obstructing development and devising creative ways to paralyze projects through delay and constant analysis.
Having gone through years of scientific analysis, public hearings, outreach meetings and thousands of public comments, Energy Fuels, Inc. recently received a radioactive materials license from the State of Colorado. Clearly dissatisfied with this scientifically based outcome, attorneys with the Sheep Mountain Alliance continued their legal assault on the company and took it upon themselves to drop a dime to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hoping they would ride in on their shiny white horse to halt progress on the job-creating project in an economically depressed area of the state.
What they didn’t expect was the State of Colorado actually standing up to defend the process it followed in issuing the license as well as its authority to do so under long standing agreements between the State and the federal government.
From where we sit, it’s refreshing to see the State of Colorado finally stand up to unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.. Construction of this processing facility will create much needed jobs and economic activity in an area that’s truly struggling.
Perhaps now the governor could take a few minutes in between trips to Kansas and Washington, D.C. to thumb through the “bottom up” economic development plan he asked counties to come up with to see that many other projects involving the federal regulatory regime are languishing on the vine.