Statement: DOE push for expanded uranium mining threatens the Grand Canyon and other public lands

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Energy released a new plan today for the government to purchase domestically mined uranium. Dubbed the Strategy to Restore American Nuclear Energy Leadership, this suite of policies seek to boost uranium mining and uranium industries operating in the U.S. 

In 2018, Environment America Research & Policy Center detailed the risks of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon in a report titled Grand Canyon at Risk: Uranium Mining Threatens a National Treasure. 

Environment America’s Senior Conservation Program Director Steve Blackledge issued this response to the announcement: 

“This ‘Strategy to Restore American Nuclear Energy Leadership’ is neither strategic nor does it demonstrate leadership. Uranium mining is dirty and dangerous, and the Grand Canyon and other public lands are too beautiful and too hallowed to ruin. Why risk America's public lands for dirty energy that we simply don't need, especially with the remarkable rise in clean renewables?

“Uranium mining has left a toxic trail across the West—including at the Grand Canyon itself. It has contaminated tributaries of the Colorado River, which supplies drinking water to 40 million Americans. Americans love and revere the Grand Canyon and it’s raw beauty. We love our public lands. We don’t need the federal government to expand the toxic trail created by uranium mining.” 

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Environment America is a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Our staff work together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the United States put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment America is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.