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LETTER: SD officials should oppose Powertech

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To the Editor:

Why would the governor, most of the Legislature, the secretary of DENR and others agree to give Canadian Powertech 20 years of our precious water here in the Black Hills?

We're in drought and weather models predict we'll remain there for quite a long time. An influx of residents and increased tourism place increasingly greater demands for water. We can ill afford to give away our most cherished and necessary mineral -- water; 8,500 gallons per minute from the Inyan Kara and 551 gal/min from the Madison will be devoted to this dirty industry of ISL uranium mining. The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) rates the expected economic impact as "small." The draw down and contamination of our aquifers and wells renders great risk for ranchers, health and economy.

First pine beetles and now this. It's ironic that Rapid City's economic development director champions this "Trojan Horse" under the guise of economic development. The opposite is true -- just study other states. We all care about jobs -- but giving away what we already have (agriculture and tourism) for a "pie in the sky" operation is poppycock.

There's overwhelming and compelling scientific evidence indicting this industry and the company, Powertech, which is a "micro cap" penny stock hedge fund with gargantuan risk. Why would the governor and state leaders betray the people so? That question is one that needs to be answered -- now.

Rebecca R. Leas, Ph.D., is a health education specialist from Rapid City.

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