Water, uranium, and – China?

Day three of the South Dakota Water Management Board’s review of the proposed Dewey-Burdock Project. And day three of rousing citizen intervention to protect our water, hills, and community. If you missed yesterday, you missed an incredible afternoon testimony about the impact land application of waste water has on wildlife. Any hunters out there? You need to hear this (about half way through).

One of the main reasons cited by Powertech’s spokesperson for pushing this project through is “energy independence.” It is a refrain heard time and time again by a lot of dirty fuels producers, from Powertech to TransCanada and beyond. And it is a refrain that is nothing more than a pile of lies. Digging up tar sands in Alberta and shipping it through pipelines underneath America’s heartland to export ports doesn’t give us energy independence. And giving our water to a Chinese-owned Canadian-listed uranium company to mine in the Black Hills doesn’t give us energy independence, either.

A recent article by MarketWatch lists energy as the number one asset China will be looking to buy out from the United States in the next decade. But Powertech is apparently ahead of the curve; just a couple months ago, Hong Kong-based Azarga Resources bought up 17% of Powertech’s outstanding shares. And just a few weeks ago, to get the flailing company through the permitting process, Azarga made an even bigger investment, with the potential to hold almost 40% of the shares in the company (and closed its Canadian office). But what does that mean for South Dakotans?

It means the company who wants to mine South Dakota’s hills has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with South Dakota. And everything to do with China and other export markets. And it isn’t like the exporting many South Dakotans do right now, exporting wheat and corn and other crops. In those instances, the farmer owns the wheat and sells it. But in this instance, the state of South Dakota is looking at giving away our water and uranium for a pittance of a severance tax. And that’s it – no local money, no long-term local investment. The owners don’t live here, and they never will.

If you want energy independence, put a solar panel on your house. Or pester your local REA to develop a community solar program. Or bug your legislator about why South Dakota doesn’t have more locally-owned renewable energy. And if you want to talk about economic development, destroying aquifers is a really bad way of going about it, especially when renewables are generating billions of dollars in investment in the US economy.

There are other ways of growing our economy and making ourselves independent. There is really no reason to permit the Dewey-Burdock Project. So let’s keep the pressure on, and make sure this state makes the right decision.



  1. RIGHT ON!

  2. Reblogged this on Mining Awareness Plus and commented:
    As documented in a lengthy article at PowertechExposed.com Azarga is registered in Hong Kong but it is mostly owned by Australian Alexander Molyneux, recently fired by Rio Tinto. Molyneux is protege to Robert “Toxic Bob” Friedland who caused the Colorado Summitville diaster and left the US taxpayer to clean it up. Friedland is a Canadian-US dual national living in Singapore. Since Hong Kong used to be British the uranium may just as easily be going to the UK for their new nuclear build. Wherever it goes doesn’t matter. The mining is not safe, the nuclear power is not safe, the wastes are not safe. The US sunbelt could light up the US and probably Canada with some to spare.

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