Nearly every uranium operation studied in this report had environmental and/or labor violations. The following case studies -- taken from our publication, Nuclear Power's Other Tragedy: Communities Living with Uranium Mining -- highlight some of the most controversial uranium projects in the United States.
CASPER, WYO.— Under a settlement agreement approved today, the Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission must adopt more rigorous policies for scrutinizing industry requests to keep the identities of fracking chemicals secret.
Under the agreement, the Oil & Gas Commission must require substantially greater factual support for oil and gas industry claims that the identities of fracking chemicals used in Wyoming qualify as trade secrets or confidential commercial information and are therefore exempt from state public disclosure requirements.
Many people have asked me: “Jhon, why did you choose the career you are in? Why do you do what you do?”
I have often wondered the same thing. Environmentalists are not famous. We don’t make a lot of money. And we often find ourselves on the losing end of long battles against powerful companies with endless amounts of resources. It is not rare to get a phone call or email informing us of some terrible accident that has just spilled millions of gallons of oil into a pristine ecosystem, or to hear that an indigenous community is being pushed out of their ancestral home because a mining consortium wants to extract minerals under their feet.
En Wyoming, el fracturamiento hidráulico ocurre por en todo el estado. El desarrollo de petróleo y gas natural es una de las principales fuentes de ingresos para el gobierno estatal y los gobiernos locales, y es una de las mayores fuentes de empleo en Wyoming. Aunque muchas personas no están dispuestas a hablar contra la industria, otros están haciendo lo que es correcto, y luchan para proteger su salud, sus comunidades, y el medio ambiente.
Durante nuestro viaje a Wyoming, tuvimos la oportunidad de reunirnos con Deb Thomas, una activista que vive en el Condado de Clark. En 1994, Deb y su esposo, Dick, compraron un terreno en este pedacito de cielo. Rodeado de picos nevados, Deb y su familia construyeron su hogar. Unos años después, Windsor Energy comenzó a perforar pozos a la vista del hogar de Deb. Una explosión en un pozo cerca de su casa en 2006 forzó la evacuación de varias casas, y Deb y su familia no pudieron regresar a su hogar por varios días. Con el fin de proteger a su familia, Deb comenzó a organizar, y logro obtener varias concesiones de Windsor y el estado para proteger las fuentes de agua.
In Wyoming, fracking is taking place all over the state. Oil and gas development is one of main sources of revenue for state and local governments, and one of the biggest sources of employment for communities. Although many are unwilling to speak up against the industry, others are doing what is right, and fighting to protect their health, their communities, and their environment.
During our trip to the area, we had a chance to meet with Deb Thomas, a current activist living in Clark County, Wyoming. In 1994, Deb and her husband, Dick, purchased land in this little piece of heaven. Surrounded by snowy peaks, Deb and her family made this area their home. A few years later, Windsor energy began development, and placed several well pads within view of Deb’s home. A blowout at a well near her home in 2006 forced the evacuation of several homes, and Deb and her family were not allowed to return to her home for several days. In order to protect her family, Deb began organizing, and managed to get several concessions from Windsor and the state to protect water sources.
In October, Energy Corporation of America's CEO, John Mork, made a huge mistake. In a press conference, he declared that he would like to "bring something like the Bakken" to areas surrounding Red Lodge, on the flanks of Beartooth-Absaroka Wilderness, and then added salt to the wound and announced that it would "fundamentally change these areas the way it has changed other areas of the United States."
Mr. Mork is exactly right -- it would fundamentally change these areas. If his plans succeed, folks can expect to see changes in the scenic landscape, and in crime rates, road conditions, the affordability of rent and food, and perhaps most importantly, changes in the clean water and air currently enjoyed in the area.