Report on Dec. 8, 2008 Press Conference
On Friday, Dec. 5, the front page of the Rapid City Journal reported that the SD Governor’s brother-in-law worked for a media firm that does all the media for Powertech Uranium Mining Company. The firm‘s organizational papers for Diamond B Media, were filed by the governor’s sister.
We called for a Press Conference along with our allies, another local grassroots organization, ACTion for the Environment. We also invited the other groups trying to stop Powertech from Colorado, CARD, and from Wyoming, Ranchers and Neighbors United, and Powder River Basin Resource Coalition.
The Press Conference was held on Monday, Dec. 8, 2008, at 11:30 AM. Only 2 television stations and one radio station arrived, although after the conference, we did receive a few calls from other local media outlets.
KEVN-TV reported on our letter campaign to the SD Governor, Michael Rounds, starting a couple of years ago, asking for a moratorium on more uranium exploration or mining until the existing abandoned uranium mines (142+) are cleaned up, and until the existing 4,000 plus exploratory wells are filled, capped, and marked. Now we know why he would not do it.
The other station, KNBN, reported on our wondering why the SD Board of Minerals would consistently approve anything Powertech asks for even against other state agency recommendations, and now we know. The pieces of the puzzle all fit together. The only comment was from Powertech’s project director, Mark Hollenbeck, who stated that the media firm does not give comments at hearings. Of course, they don’t give comments at hearings. Their job is to do all the publicity for Powertech.
Local radio and TV station, KOTA, did an extensive interview, and were the first to air the information a little after 4:00 pm.
However, no one from print media showed up and they are the ones who needed and could have used the documents we have available on the Governor and the Board of Minerals. The Governor appoints the Board members, and also is the boss of the staff of SD Department of Minerals and Environment, who give approval for all of Powertech’s applications.
Submitted by Charmaine White Face, Coordinator