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Virginia Democrat Wants To Roll Back Key Environmental Rules: ‘I’m Not Going To Be Here’ To Suffer Consequences

By Josh Israel  

"Virginia Democrat Wants To Roll Back Key Environmental Rules: ‘I’m Not Going To Be Here’ To Suffer Consequences"

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State Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-VA)

State Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-VA)

As Virginia’s state legislature considers whether to lift a decades-old ban on uranium mining in the Commonwealth, Senate Democratic Leader Richard “Dick” Saslaw has been among the most vocal proponents of such a move.

While a wide array of environmental groups, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, and local chambers of commerce have opposed lifting the ban — citing serious environmental risks — Saslaw dismissed any long-term threats because he’s “not going to be here” and they might not affect him personally.

WAMU reports:

State Sen. Dick Saslaw does not mince words about his support for uranium mining. A Northern Virginia Democrat who is also the Senate minority leader, Saslaw says burying the radioactive byproduct known as tailings underground should be a solution to environmental concerns. And he says he can’t be concerned about what might happen 100 [years] from now.

What about 10,000 years from now? I’m not going to be here,” Saslaw says. “I can’t ban something because of something that might happen 500 or 1,000 years from now.

The ban, of course, is already on the books. And while the state’s Coal and Energy Commission has recommended repealing the ban, a report by the Southern Environmental Law Center warns that lifting the ban could impact residents near the proposed mining site “both directly, by increased environmental and occupational exposure to uranium and other toxic substances through the air, soil, or groundwater, and accidents resulting from mining operations, and indirectly, through stress and other health effects related to community changes, including potential loss of recreation sites, declining property values, changes to the local economy, and the perceived stigma of uranium mining.”

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28 Responses to Virginia Democrat Wants To Roll Back Key Environmental Rules: ‘I’m Not Going To Be Here’ To Suffer Consequences

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Saslaw speaks in the first person, but he is not going to live near those uranium tailings anyway. In a moment of honesty, he admitted it’s all about him. Not exactly surprising for a politician, though they wonder why we distrust them so much.

  2. KingDz says:

    Ok, well I’m not going to be here to see the deficit destroy the nation, so why bother addressing it?

  3. Robert says:

    Un. Believable. I’ve emailed Sen. Saslaw to clarify his thinking on generational justice. Not holding my breath…

  4. sal esman says:

    Whack job greens made us burn coal instead of build nukes in the 70′s, causing global warming, but now they want to lecture us about saving the planet?? What hypocrites, like the guy that monitors these posts and keeps mine from being seen. Very progressive. ban speach good start.

    • Jacob says:

      Once you find a way to not poison the Earth with nuclear waste, please let us know sal esman. The only way I can think of is to send it towards the sun and let the sun incinerate it, but how to get it out of the earth’s atmosphere without it blowing up in the sky is a big concern. Either way, burying nuclear waste is not the right way to dispose of it. Like climate change this requires thinking outside the box for a solution.

    • Chris Winter says:

      I remember the energy crisis of the 1970s, and the ads for coal appearing every week in Newsweek for a long time. It wasn’t “whack job greens” that put those ads there.

      As for nuclear plants, you should check your history. Wikipedia is a good source. There were protests, sure, and they closed some plants. But safety and reliability issues closed far more.

    • rcpmac says:

      No, we put solar panels on the white house and planned for a sustainable future. Several republican presidents and wars and trillions later we are starting over. You got nothing.

    • Timothy Hughbanks says:

      It is 2012 and not a single U.S. nuclear power plant has been completely decommissioned – i.e., the waste is still sitting around, undisposed of. It is true, of course, that concern over climate change was barely are blip even in the scientific community – though that blip was growing even then. Things have changed, the evidence for climate change has strengthened enormously. As facts change, progressives think that we have to take them into account. (In fact, that belief was held even by many conservatives, once upon a time.) Grow up, face reality.

    • danzig138 says:

      “Speech”. And private sites like this have to the right to ban whatever speech they want. Your freedoms are not under attack, man, just your ignorance.

  5. Ric Haustein says:

    Is this guy really a Democrat? This is not a good representation of the Democratic Party.

    I wonder if he is also a Christian. Although I am not a Christian, I thought there was something in the Bible about God appointing man as the steward of the earth.

    Does this guy have any children or grandkids? Is he willing to say this to them? He really doesn’t care about the future generations? What an idiot! He should be kicked out of the human species on general principles.

    • RH says:

      I think this represents most baby boomers in general and political conservatives in particular of recent years — party like there’s no tomorrow — global warming is a hoax, live free or die. I think this guy actually said what way too many really believe — Who me? Personally I abide by the native American statement — “We do not inherit the world from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children” -

  6. peter whitehead says:

    ‘Why should I care about future generations, what did they ever do for me?’ -Groucho Marx

  7. Chris Winter says:

    As long as this congressman is being honest, someone should ask him what his time horizon of concern really is.

    (I suspect the time window on that opportunity may be closing rapidly…)

  8. Robert says:

    Hmm, perhaps when he has mutated, four-headed great grandchildren he might eventually change his position.

    How, WHY, do we keep electing these sorts of idiots to represent us? And this is a Democrat? Jeez!

  9. Theodore says:

    The real environmental hazard associated with uranium mining is that the uranium might fall into the hands of the nuclear power industry or the bomb builders. If I were as big a boss as I would like to be, one of the first items on my agenda would be to close all uranium mines on planet earth and keep the stuff out of the hands of these irresponsible humans.

    • quokka says:

      Absolutely awful that uranium should be used to generate low emission electricity. Here’s a news flash. Nuclear power and hydro are the only energy technologies that have made any meaningful difference to atmospheric CO2 concentration. They remain by a long way the most important means of producing low emission electricity.

      Shutting down nuclear power is environmental vandalism of the first order.

      • QuaxMercy says:

        Amory Lovins said it decades ago, and it’s still true: “Using nuclear power to boil water is like cutting butter with a chain saw.”

        • quokka says:

          Is that supposed to pass for critical thinking about energy?

          • lbern says:

            Does completely ignoring the Fukushima meltdown, and the environmental disaster that has followed constitute a critical assessment of the benefits of nuclear power?

  10. Alex says:

    Even Republicans are smart enough not to say they don’t give a damn about global warming and the environment because it won’t/doesn’t affect them.

    This guy’s a complete tool.

  11. afisher says:

    he’s not my congressman, but hopefully someone here is. There is an ongoing disaster in Louisiana. This has been ongoing since 8/2012. It is relevant to Saslaw, because it is a 30 yr in the making disaster. Maybe he doesn’t plan on living for 30 years either?

    http://enenews.com/international-media-covers-sinkhole-never-one-unleashed-oil-gas-environment-heavy-stench-inside-homes-mornings-audio

  12. k. b. m. says:

    “Saslaw says burying the radioactive byproduct known as tailings underground should be a solution to environmental concerns. And he says he can’t be concerned about what might happen 100 from now.” http://wamu.org/news/13/01/07/uranium_debate_heats_up_as_virginia_assembly_session_begins

    It’s a good thing our founding fathers did not share Saslaw’s philosophy. Saslaw should resign in shame. He exemplifies the worst kind of elected official.

  13. Terry says:

    How about we make it mandatory that his children, grandchildren and all future generations of his family live next to the mine for the next 10,000 years. See if he likes that idea, even though he won’t be here.

  14. Andrew says:

    Well, then, build a mine on his land, if he has enough. See how he likes that.

  15. Bee Edmunds Espy says:

    That’s a lame attitude and a dereliction of an elected official’s duty to ensure the health, safety, and general welfare of the public he’s been sworn to serve. Impeach the twit.

  16. It just doesn’t make sense that local chamber of commerce’s be against any type of legislation which would -at least in the short term- bring more economic development to the state. What’s their angle?