U.S. Gov’t Green-Lights Grand Canyon Uranium Mine

(ConservativeInsider.org) – Energy Fuels Inc., the largest uranium producer in the United States, is ramping up operations at the Pinyon Plain Mine located south of Grand Canyon National Park. This move comes amid a surge in uranium prices fueled by global instability and the growing demand for nuclear power.

Aligned with many other nations, the Biden administration is advocating for a tripling of nuclear power capacity worldwide as part of efforts to combat climate change. This push also seeks to diminish Russia’s dominance over the nuclear fuel supply chain, prompting widespread policy adjustments.

Nevertheless, concerns from Native American leaders and environmentalists are mounting regarding the potential impact on communities near the milling and mining sites across the Western region. As the U.S. strengthens its nuclear power capabilities, calls for stricter regulations are growing louder.

The recent development at the Pinyon Plain Mine, situated within the Grand Canyon National Monument designated by President Biden in August, has emerged as a focal point of contention. Despite opposition from environmental and indigenous groups, Energy Fuels is moving forward, citing existing rights.

Curtis Moore, a spokesperson for Energy Fuels, maintains that the project will have minimal environmental repercussions and poses no threat to groundwater. Spanning 17 acres and with operations anticipated to continue for several years, the mine aims to produce a minimum of 2 million pounds of uranium.

In response, a coalition of Native American groups has petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to pressure the U.S. government into updating mining laws and further restricting the exploitation of marginalized communities. Carletta Tilousi, a former member of the Havasupai Tribal Council, voiced frustration over authorities’ lack of responsiveness despite extensive efforts to engage in dialogue.

While courts have consistently upheld the legality of the Pinyon Plain Mine against various challenges, the Biden administration has chosen not to intervene directly, instead committing to consulting with Native American tribes in a broader context.

This controversy over energy development on sacred lands reflects ongoing disputes in Nevada and Arizona concerning lithium mining and renewable energy infrastructure. The Havasupai tribe, in particular, expresses concern about the mine’s proximity to their water source beneath the mine, fearing adverse impacts on their water supplies, wildlife, and surrounding geology.

Environmentalists remain skeptical despite assurances from Energy Fuels and state regulators regarding stringent safety measures. They question the Biden administration’s dedication to environmental justice.

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