The Coles family has lived and worked on its family farm in Virginia since 1785. Their farm, Coles Hill, rests 1,600 feet above what is believed to be 119 million tons of uranium, the largest uranium deposit in the country. The deposit is valued at $6 billion, and contains enough fuel to power all of America’s 104 nuclear reactors for two years.

But the Virginia government believes the risks of mining uranium outweigh the benefits and has blocked the Coles from developing this resource.

The Heritage Foundation’s Jack Spencer and Katie Tubb explain the issue at the heart of this debate:

At issue is whether the Virginia General Assembly will produce regulations that allow uranium mining. Uranium mining would create jobs and wealth in a region that badly needs it, and would provide an important energy source. Those factors are significant, but even more is at stake: the underlying issue over private property rights. May people safely develop their own property as they see fit?

The uranium deposit is located in southern Virginia, which has long suffered from a depressed economy. Considering the economic boost the mining of uranium ore would provide the struggling region, it’s almost neglectful for the state to deny its development.

The state makes an environmental argument against the development, but this falls short since uranium has been mined safely and successfully elsewhere. Virginia itself, Spencer and Tubb report, “has extensive experience in regulating the mining of other resources, like coal and titanium.”

Unfortunately, mining opponents are propagating misinformation about nuclear energy:

These anti-mining arguments rely on incomplete or incorrect information and have successfully scared some Virginians. In the end, they do not stand. In fact, assuming that uranium is mined safely under rigorous oversight, the benefits to the surrounding community and the state could be substantial.

The demand for clean, cheap nuclear energy is increasing, making this uranium more valuable. It is time the state allowed the Coles to use the valuable resources they already have at their fingertips to sustain themselves for another generation.

Do you think Virginia is right to limit the Coles’ use of their land?

Comments (146)

Frank Cole - October 18, 2012

On Safety I would take issue but, I believe that the Government knows how to mine this and should let them go.

Charles Spence - October 19, 2012

Once again a government interfering with the rights of citizens. As long as they do it without harm to anyone else the government, state or federal should stay out of it. The state can create regulations to insure the safety of the operation but to out right ban is violation of our rights as God has given them to us.

Ron Weydert - October 19, 2012

They should be able to mine on their own property and the EPA and other Government agencies have no right to stop them.

jb80538 - October 19, 2012

If they own the property and the mineral rights, why not let them? W all the government regulations though it will most likely be cost prohibitive for them. The government will condemn their land, take it away and mine the uranium themselves at a much higher cost than private enterprise could do it for.

Kathy Cruz - October 19, 2012

The Coles own the land, not the government, whether state or federal. They should be able to do as they wish with their own resources as long as it is done safely and responsibly.

Dale Wilson - October 19, 2012

It’s the Coles’ land. They have owned it for a good number of years. I would assume they have also paid a goodly amount of taxes on that land over the years as well, as they still appear to own it. Even at the risk of the product they want to mine it is still their land and the government needs to work WITH them and not against them to recover a product that is needed in this country. The US knows how to do this safely and, the state of Virginia knows how to mine safely as well. It could also send a clear and strong signal to the midget in Iran that we still have overwhelming capabilities to use this product for not just good reasons, but defensive as well. I’m just saying…

Donald McNeil - October 19, 2012

Let’s get serious on Nuclear. Allow the mining and build nuclear power plants.

Eugene Stiles - October 19, 2012

2 years worth of fuel but what do you do with the spent fuel?

Bruce McCallum - October 19, 2012

By all means the owners should be able to develop this asset……it would be good for them, their neighbors, the state and our country. It’s a win-win situation.

Jules Dubuisson - October 19, 2012

I think they should unless there is a compelling danger to the community. We have s similar problem in Florida and I’m sure other states with wetlands. One man in a nearby county went to prison because he filled in some of his property to make it usable and wouldn’t pay the fine they imposed.

Dewey Switzer - October 19, 2012

No question or doubt involved!! The state should oversee safety and otherwise get out of the way.

JAMES JORDAN - October 19, 2012

Of course they should have the right as long as they follow all safety requirements that the government requires. How can this NOT be allowed? If it were gold or silver or diamonds they would be allowed.

Richard - October 19, 2012

I am far from expert on the subject, but it seems to me that a resource is a resource and the policies and procedures already in place for mineral rights etc. should cover the uranium deposits: the real dangers emerge much further down the road from taking it out of the ground, which risks have also produced regulations governing that phase of development. Bottom line: what we don’t need is yet more regulation!

Ann Pierce - October 19, 2012

I believe the environmental argument is a smokescreen.
Uranium is mined safely in other parts of the world.
Virginia General Assembly should produce regulations without delay to guide the Coles family in mining the uranium on their property. Could it be that the environmentalists and others who oppose the mining operation are anticipating that the Coles family will pay exorbitant fees for the privilege of mining the uranium?

Gary - October 19, 2012

Many of our families came to this country to establish rights to property. This is a fascist initiative that considers all property to be the holdings of the government. Mining is not developing a bomb or even slugs for an reactor. It’s social engineering by the fuhrer in DC. I side with the freeholders and not the regime.

Bob Grisetti - October 19, 2012

The Coles should be allowed to mine their land for the Uranium ore.

Marty Miasserian - October 19, 2012

Certainly there should be regulations protecting the public from any abuse of private property use by the owners, however they should be allowed to develop the potential of their property rights without any unnecessary government interference. The same process that is used for oil should be used here. The tentacles of the government have been extended long enough. It’s time to shave them considerably.

Donald Buchholz - October 19, 2012

Yes, the Coles should be able to use their land as they see fit. The problem here is there are many people that violate the 10 Commandment, they are envious of anyone that has a penny more in their pocket than they do. This would help put us on track with a good energy source and one that has a great track record for producing clean energy. So let them mine and let us all prosper.

patti radovich - October 19, 2012

well, has anyone seen/read ayn rand? hello. this is socialism/marxism. ‘for the common good’, right?

Jim - October 19, 2012

As long as they mine safely, they should be able to use their property as they desire.

Ken Thompson - October 19, 2012

I assume they own the mineral rights. They absolutely have to right to mine the property and the state has an absolute obligation to stay out of it.

Anita - October 19, 2012

Isn’t this just like living on top of an oil field. I bet if it was oil, they wont hesitate one second. What valid, solid, plausible reason do they have for strong-arming this family from benefiting from their good fortune???

Stephen Lewis - October 19, 2012

They own the land and have for generations. It is government getting in the way of the American citizen once again.
One day this may all add up to be too much for too many and a revolution might get started. I pray it does not and we have a peaceful solution of the common citizens becoming representatives once again and kick out career politicians that are bought and paid for by idiotic interests.

Jerry Bateman - October 19, 2012

One of the very important rights in America is the right to own property and use the property as you see fit. If your use of the property does not harm someone else, then you should be able to do as you please.

natch - October 19, 2012

In a word – no.

Lynn Shallis - October 19, 2012

Not being able to do as you want on your property is a problem that I hav’nt heard discussed at the national level. It needs to be addressed now! Of course the Coles should do as “they” see fit on “their” own land.

Jack Boyer - October 19, 2012

Get out of the way, you regressive, selfish, power-seeking politicos. The Coles and all all other landowners must be allowed to mine for uranium, coal, oil, etc. in sensible and safe ways. Diito for state and federally owned land.
The U.S.A. needs to get back on track to improving whatever we can, not impede or even destroy it because of narrow-minded fools. Get rid of the lobbyists, and allow private enterprise to flourish with honest and innovative technology.

mach37 - October 19, 2012

I will echo Ann Pierce: I believe the environmental argument is a smokescreen. Uranium is mined safely in other parts of the world, and the state should not obstruct the full use of the Coles’ property rights.

Donald Conn - October 19, 2012

As long as mining is done safely they should be able to mine this valuable resource. This is their land and they should reap the rewards.

Marie Frocke - October 19, 2012

Enough with government intervention. What is happening to “Land of the Free”??? It is their property, PERIOD; not government property. Are we Socialist now??? Communist and Marxist can not be far behind. We are over regulated in the name of Safety. Enough already, wakeup America!!!

Newt Burkhalter - October 19, 2012

This is the entire issue as to why the Pilgrims came to America in the first place – FREEDOM!! If the Virginia gov’t will not allow them to develop their property, the gov’t should pay them the equivalent amount of the value of the resource. We need the energy!

Keith Luxton - October 19, 2012

Here they go again. The democrap, trying to rule everybody. America was once the land of the free, now it is becoming the land of the freebooter, or perhaps Jackbooter. The gestapo is gaining more and more ground in USA>

Louis Bartley - October 19, 2012

The Cole famiy should be allowed to mine their Land Where they have the mineral rights Grandfathered in. They should be able to do with it what ever they want it is their RIGHTS. wE NEED THE NUCLEAR POWER.

Lylah Saunier - October 19, 2012

Yes, the Coles should be able to develop the resources on their own land! The government is WRONG to try and stop someone from profiting from their own resources!

Mary Gonzales - October 19, 2012

Whats good for this family will be good for the community & country. Let them mine.

Thomas Hart - October 19, 2012

Hell No…..that family has owned that land since before we actually became a Nation…it is theirs to do with as they wish.

Frank Dinenna - October 19, 2012

Yes, I do believe the Coles should be able to do just about anything they want with their own land as long as it is legal and safe. They should be able to farm it, forest it, mine it, lease it for hunting, or any else the want to do with it. and VA. should sit back and collect the taxes, and than them.

Larry Moore - October 19, 2012

I believe that the State has the right to verify that a safe mining process is in place, Protecting surrounding people and environment. We have a similar uranium mining issue here in northern Colorado that could affect me if a contamination of our water aquifer happens from their mining operation. This is a crucial step to make sure the mining process is safe.

Dean G.Newman - October 19, 2012

The possible dangers of mining uranium have been much overstated. Assuming owners meet any existing requiremnts, they have every right to conduct mining on their private property.

ben shipper III - October 19, 2012

if they had a lobbyist helping them they would be able to do it. lobbyist what a nice name for a briber !

Dave Frakes - October 19, 2012

The Coles’ land + the Coles’ mineral rights = the Coles’ can do whatever they want with their property and anything on or under it. PERIOD! They have the rights, our country needs the resource and people need jobs.

Arthur booth Jr MD - October 19, 2012

There multitudes of ways to assure Public
Safety. They should be allowed to use their own property in any way that doesn’t (in a documentable form) infringe on their fellow man.

Allen Andrews - October 19, 2012

They should be allowed to mine under reasonable, responsible, and non-punitive regulations and standards.
Also, as long as the activity does not unreasonably interfere with neighboring property owners use of their property.

William McMurtry - October 19, 2012

As long as they mine it in a safe manner, the government should not interfer.

Sam Snyder PhD - October 19, 2012

What is the so called downside of the family mining its own uranium by some government EPA? I would let them mine there own property….Constitutional purpose!

Dan Castleberry - October 19, 2012

Property rights is a basic and positive part of our democracy. The government has no business or right to do any controll over it except where the community is actually endangered. That is not the case here. Mining regulations have been expanded for government control special interests. It must be brought into reasonable bounds. We watched the eminient domain practices of Fairfax Co Va destroy personal property holdings there. Here in Ia we see the same patterns STOP IT!

Paul - October 19, 2012

Hell NO…..

Bill - October 19, 2012

Next they will be taxing them more because their property is worth so much more.

Lincoln Robertson - October 19, 2012

This is only one example of nixed operations that could create 100s and 1000s of jobs. The only reason for this is to keep the private sector from becoming more powerful than the government. If the government could take the property for itself, it would be mined.

Curtis L. Evans - October 19, 2012

Good Grief!
I am an old man and we are back to property rights and the constitution.
If they do it safely and by the laws of Virginia give them a pass and let them get started.
In fact if the local leadership has their caps on straight they will be there helping every step of the way.

Anne Barrett - October 19, 2012

No question that the Coles own the land and the right to its resources within the limits of the law.

William Grabski - October 19, 2012

There is no reoson for this goverment inttrusion after
being assured that all reosonable safty precautions
will be followed. Its greed or illegal ideology at work.
No brainer! It will benefit everyone.
Just stop these phoney interests and get out of the way. Private rigts are paramount.

Patty Morgan - October 19, 2012

I think that a land owner has every right to mine and the government should stay out of it.

JOHN STEWART - October 19, 2012

I believe that they should be allowed to take advantage of their good luck of having uranium on their property. I have been involved with the nuclear energy business for 50 years, and I know that they could mine this deposit without causing any environmental issues.

KHM - October 19, 2012

I agree with Charles and Ron. This is private property. Assuming the Coles have the mineral rights they should be able to benefit from the resource on their property. If the state (or Fed) government “takes” this resource, the Coles will lose their heritage farm and get pennies compared to the potential of this resource.
I wish them good luck and lots of patience as well as a good lawyer.

MaryvotesR - October 19, 2012

Spent nuclear fuel is contained in a glass vitrification process at a plant on the Savannah River that is currently operated by Westinghouse for the Govt. at the cost of $1 per year.

John Stypes - October 19, 2012

Stop letting the government interfere in everything. Fight back by voting these people out of office. Put your money where your mouth is. Eliminate or severely curtail the EPA. If you don’t help these people your rights are next in line!

jtpearson - October 19, 2012

How long are we going to allow ourselves to be pushed around by governments that only serve themselves?

Barton L. Hartzell - October 19, 2012

The Coles should have the right to mine the uranium on their own private property, and no government agency, such as the EPA, should have the right to interfere, as long as they comply with any required safety requirements.

Rhonda - October 19, 2012

Looks like the Radical Liberal Muslim Communist government is trying to take over the American people. Well is the time for every man to stand up for his country and his neighbor. That is the reason when every person goes to the polls Nov 6 they need to vote for Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney will make sure that every person who owns their own land will be able to do what he or she wants on their on property. This is a disgrace to the human race and we have to get rid of these evil radical people that is trying to take our country to the boottom of the barrel. Rise up America and call the WH and let them have it.

Rob Schmidt - October 19, 2012

Of course the Cole’s should be able to take advantage of their own property. The state of Virginia has no reasonable excuse to deny them their right. Uranium is mined all over the planet and if correctly done poses no harm or real risk to others. It is time for Virginia and all other governmental entities to get off their “power trip” and recede to the people.. The government is supposed to work for us, not us for them.

James Towle - October 19, 2012

This family should be able to mine their own land, with all the safety regulations that are in place at all the other sites where uranium is mined. Once again the government believes that they are the only ones who know how to do something. This family has been on that land since 1785 and the government has no right to even try to take it. Washington, GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Steve Seely - October 19, 2012

Private property = hands off government (you listening EPA?)

John D Nelson - October 19, 2012

The Coles should have the right to manage their land as they see fit, abiding by safe extraction practices.

Diana Robinson - October 19, 2012

Yes, it’s their land. God will tell them what to do with the money or proceeds beyond what they can use if they ask Him. But keep the government OUT except for health and safety issues that affect others. Outside of that, they have NO rights. This is America where you own your land.

Cynthia Stang - October 19, 2012

It is their land and we need the energy. As long as it is mined responsibly it should be done.

Patricia Webster - October 19, 2012

This is their private property and they should be able to under safe regulations mine what is on their own property.

James - October 19, 2012

The government has the authority to ensure that the property owner complies with safety and reasonable environmental considerations. There must be no other impediments imposed by government – this kind of abuse of power must be STOPPED. If there are new laws, they should ban frivolous lawsuits whose sole purpose is to block reasonable use of property and there should be a practical way to impeach judges who also abuse their power by ruling outside existing laws.
You all have the power to vote, use it!

Pat Cox - October 19, 2012

ABSOLUTELY. They have every right. Get the government regs out of our lives.

Michael Doyle - October 19, 2012

It is my understanding that the deal with Russia to supply the U.S. uranium terminates this year which could cause a shortage for our nuclear power plants, and we have no energy policy. Maybe what we need to do is shut off the power to the environmentalists first when we run short.

Linda G. White - October 19, 2012

I believe Virginia’s only responsibility is to implement and monitor safe uranium mine practices for the Coles family. The Coles’ land use is their right to mine uranium on their property. The state has a safety responsibility for the mine workers only.

hal metzger - October 19, 2012

we say it’s OK, but the Administration including the “save the planet” extremists(Obama devotees) will never alow it and the Federal gov’t will tie up the family for years and millions in legal fees to make their nefarious point. Remember, Obama must placate his base!

Lori - October 19, 2012

They should be able to do what ever they want with their land!!! The government is entirely to intrusive in our lives, it is unconstitutional.

Henry Harriss - October 19, 2012

Its their own private property. Uranium mining is already happening. There is no reason for the state of Virginia to
object. Someone needs to make them change their minds.

kbm - October 19, 2012

Some points to consider:

1) Is it Coles’ land? Virginia Energy Resources Inc. (TSX.V: VUI) is a uranium development and exploration company. The Company holds a 100% stake in the advanced stage Coles Hill uranium project in Virginia, USA. Additionally, the Company is pursuing an active uranium exploration program in the Otish Basin of Quebec. http://www.virginiaenergyresources.com/s/Home.asp http://www.virginiaenergyresources.com/s/NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=549926&_Type=News-Releases&_Title=Virginia-Energy-and-Anthem-Resources-Complete-Plan-of-Arrangement

Virginia Uranium, Inc. http://www.virginiauranium.com/investor-relations/ shows a diagram of it’s investor relations. Mr. Coles on the diagram. It is challenging to figure out the corporate structure.

2) Yellowcake resulting from the processing of the uranium ore is a commodity that will be traded on the open market involving both both short and long term contacts. There are no contracts. IF there is actually 119 M tons of uranium on the site it is at present unknown with whom, if anyone, the contracts will be. It may have no impact on American Energy Independence whatsoever.

3) Virginia’s government has not taken a stance regarding the risks and benefits of uranium mining in Virginia nor has it “blocked” Virginia Uranium, Inc. from developing the resource. There have been several recent studies/reports which you can view at http://www.readthereports.org/ They are worth reading as Virginia examines the prospect of uranium mining. The Chmura report will be of interest to you in that it outlines scenarios and potential impacts of each scenario.

4) Governor McDonnell created a Uranium Work Group which is, among other things, developing a conceptual regulatory framework. http://www.uwg.vi.virginia.gov/

5) In addition to the mining operation there will be a milling facility and radioactive/hazardous waste disposal in located in a major watershed that serves as a drinking water source for a million people in 2 states. Also, there are additional areas in Southside and other parts of Virginia known to have had uranium leases (about 62.000 acres) in the 1980s. Southside Virginia has spent time and resources to develop plans for diverse economic growth to “reinvent” itself after the loss of textiles and tobacco. There is grave concern that uranium mines, mills and radioactive/hazardous waste sites will negatively impact future diverse economic development to the region.

6) We cannot assume that uranium will be mine safely when the state does not yet have regulations on which to base an assumption.

7) Do I think Virginia has the right to limit the Coles’ use of their land? Is it “their land”? I guess, for the sake of argument, that should first be established as fact. Regardless, we exist as a representative democratic republic subject to state and federal laws and constitutions. We can enact and repeal laws and amend constitutions. Land use law is not new. Coles, VUI, VERI, Southside Cattle…whatever they call themselves today are no different than the rest of us and will have to comply with laws. However, the bigger question might be if laws are not stringent enough to protect human health and water quality and quantity (residents in the vicinity of the proposed mine rely on wells for drinking water) or human error occurs and there is migration of contaminants offsite, who compensates the adjoining landowner for the inability to use his/her land? Is it worth the risk to a county, region or watershed just so, as you put it, the Coles can “sustain themselves for another generation”?

Nancy - October 19, 2012

Yes! The Coles Family has every right to mine on their own property. Get the Government out of the way and let America prosper once again.

Gary Moore - October 19, 2012

I believe that mining must be done responsibly and as long as that requirement is met for their neighbors, they should be allowed to mine their property with no interference from the Federal or State Governments.

Dominick Chiricosta - October 19, 2012

The Coles have a Constitutional right to develop their own property. In this particular case, mining uranium at 1,600 ft below the ground, the State should only be involved to the extent of ensuring the safety of the workers and of the process to accomplish the necessary extraction.

The State or Federal Government MUST NOT interfere with the Coles property rights.

Jack Leishear - October 20, 2012

No!! But most people don’t much care about property rights, unless of course its thier property rights being denied.

Pam - October 20, 2012

As long as the uranium is collected in an environmentally responsible manner, I don’t think the government should get involved. The family legally, over 200 years, has owned this land and has the right to use it as they want to. Besides, water rights are extended to the government no matter how deep they have to go.

Mary - October 20, 2012

It is sad to even read an article about the invasion and stripping of our rights guaranteed by the many brave heroes who have fought and many dies for these precious rights. When land is purchased or received through inheritance, it is not co-owned by the government or any branch or department of the government. My daily prayer is for this nation to WAKE up and equally important, to stand up for this wonderful republic. Not enough true history is being taught in our school and colleges. God Bless the USA.

Rhonda Bain - October 20, 2012

Government is killing this country and our constitution, it is their land, this is ridiculous, what if the gold miners in the west would have had the government to deal with there would be no west, I am so tired of the government always thinking they have know better than we do and have to tell us what to do like children. This is why we have so many who have given up and just take what they’ll give them.

Consuelo Bodie - October 20, 2012

Here is another case of the government trying to manipulate the rights of citizens. My guess is the family will look for reputable and knowledgeable contractors and formulate a plan to do this safely, they will become billionaires and retire and live the life they choose. What the government would prefer is to take over the land using some excuse, extracting the uranium and giving the family a tiny token. It is also clear that this administration is not going to explore and use the natural resources on public lands so it’s imperative that we allow citizens to explore the vast riches held on private lands for the benefit of our great nation.

CB - October 20, 2012

It should be watched over for communal safety, but the property is 100% theirs. Or else, who do you think gets all that money? It aint for the public interest if they disallow the family to mine the uranium; its so the rich can get that money!

Gmalaska - October 20, 2012

They should be able to mine their own land as long as it is done safely. The government has no right to tell people what they can do with their own land, except as it concerns safeth and health issues.

Richard Eldridge - October 20, 2012

Sounds like the same BS we’re going through in New York with fracking for natural gas. Other people know better about what you should do on your own property then you do.

Mark Yingling - October 20, 2012

Given a thoroughly reviewed mining and reclamation plan and ongoing & reasonable oversite, yes, energy resources in this country should be developed. If not provided from the US, fuels will come from much less responsible countries with the US getting much less of the economic gain.

Ben Burnheimer - October 20, 2012

Private property rights are the hallmark of our republic. As long as the property owner has the mineral rights, I feel they should be able to do with their land as they see fit. In this day and age this mineral should be able to be extracted safely.

Maureen Shea - October 20, 2012

They have owned the land for over 200 years and should be able to do what they want with it! Just think of the benefit to them, their community, their state and this country.

Charles Helm - October 20, 2012

Just another case demonstrating that government should not be allowed to micromanage our lives for the good of?

David Gunderson - October 20, 2012

There should be no denial of a permit to mine on their own property.

Fred Clarke - October 20, 2012

Until we have a Congress, a Court and a President that embraces our sacred Constitution, our property rights along with all the other rights of assembly, religion, free speech and right to bare arms will be progressively usurp/abrogated in favor of some bureaucrat’s temporal definition of ‘fairness’.

Where do we find the grit of our forefathers? As
Shakespeare observed, first Kill all the Lawyers, might be too draconian but revising Tort laws and making the frivolous lawsuits costly to those that engage in them would be a good start. If they lose THEY pay. See how the ACLU funds that.

Tom McDonald - October 20, 2012

Public Safety is very important. But the Virginia State government is raising this issue improperly – and, in this case, unconstitutionally. Uranium can and is mined quite safely, using appropriate existing safeguards. Therefore this is a contrived issue to keep these people from doing only what is their right. Damn government anyway…

tom - October 20, 2012

The State and Federal government has become so overwhelming with regulations, it is almost impossible to do anything. Uranium mining has obviously been done elsewhere, so common sense would tell me to look at the impact studies, and go from there. If this family wants to do the mining and follows those regulations, the government should have no right to dictate that they can or cannot do it.

Pola Hansberger - October 20, 2012

Sure. It’s their land. Ditto Dale Wilson.

Allen Chadish Sr. - October 20, 2012

All property is owned by the gov. If you don’t pay your rent(TAXES) they take it back. So when the Gov. pays the taxes then they can tell us what we can do with it. As far as I’m concerned, I have the deed they should have no say so on what I do with it. You can’t destroy it!

Donald Vastlik - October 20, 2012

Regulations shpould be changed to allow safe mining.

Scott Kampmann - October 20, 2012

The government has a responsibility to provide regulations.
However, The regulations seem to be based more on a”political agenda’ then science. An then you have the whole issue of who is buying or providing the so-called expert scientific testimony.
My hope is they are allowed to use their land and provide American jobs and American “Energy Independence.”

Dudley Toelke - October 20, 2012

The United States is the only nation on earth where the rights to minerals can be owned by an individual. The rest of the world has a system that evolved from a royal sovereign possessing all mineral ownership, to that of the state assuming those rights. Here, if you own the land, you own the minerals; unless severed by a previous owner, Louisiana being an exception. And at the heart of individual mineral ownership is the law of capture – the mineral owner has the right to extract the mineral wealth beneath the surface for his benefit. The state might have laws and regulations to provide for specific circumstances of how those minerals are extracted, but not allowing the extraction at all is an extreme position. The objective of these state laws and regulations should be mineral extraction that provides the maximum monetary benefit for the mineral owner and the state, tempered with the safety of the general population. Unfortunately, many states have had their mineral statutes hijacked by Luddites with a sophomoric agenda.

Dorothy - October 20, 2012

No, VIrginia should NOT limit the Coles’ use of their land. IF someone is planning to use their property in a way that jeopardizes ‘National security”……..then there should be a limit! But nothing else should count……..

RobertE - October 20, 2012

I would like to see arguments on the other side. Did the safety proponents suggest any reason why mining here would be any less safe?

Margaret Jenkins - October 20, 2012

The very real issue of the right to private property and gain from it was guaranteed from the founding of America. Of course Virginia should allow the Coles the right to mine the uranium in their land. We assume that regulations for proper, safe mining would be followed by any company investing in this venture.

Jerry - October 20, 2012

If there is a safe way to mine this stuff…..get the hell out of their way….if you know what is not safe…you should be able to figure out what is safe.
Don’t srew up things around your property…but other than that DIG…DIG…Dig baby dig

Nick Gray - October 20, 2012

It has long been recognized that the rights of the country or community as a whole can sometimes outweigh the rights of the individual. In this regard it is common in some states that land ownership does not include the right of surface entry to extract water, oil, minerals or whatever from private property. However, it is usually possible to obtain a permit for such entry, consistent with the rights of the community as a whole. Imagine the problems of oil drilling on private property within a city and the attendant reduction of property values in the area because of this. But it would seem that the state has the obligation of doing some research to determine whether there is, in fact, any danger to the area and its people and issue a permit if not. And the state would get tax money from the extraction anyway. Furthermore, in this case of a farm, affects upon others would seem to be more benign than within the limits of a city. I believe that the state should do the necessary research to determine whether there is in fact any danger to the community before blocking it as a final decision.

roberta Skelton - October 20, 2012

The Coles have every right to mine under the 1872 mining law. Look at Moab, Ut. They mined uranium and people still live their,farm their land and grow crops. These are simply scare tactics by radical environmentalists. I so go for it.

Ron Ceres - October 20, 2012

When did the state of Virginia take title to the Coles farm?

This is just another example of how big government can really interfere and screw things up. (See “Atlas Shrugged.”)

Within in the bounds of reasonable safety, the Coles should be able to use their land as they see fit and government should but out.

paddy o - October 20, 2012

The Supreme court has ruled local governments can proclaim eminent domain and sell private propery to gain higher taxes. NOT GOOD thing to do just before election. Afterwards lookout! Chief justices roberts thin
reasoning to come up with a ruling on Obamacare, tells me the supreme court is corrupt. Whatever happened to not being able to hear the case on a tax basis because no one had to pay it yet?

Sally Vose - October 20, 2012

There is no question this family should be allowed to mine on their own property. As long as safety is considered, this would be a boon to nuclear power plants that are essential sources of power in America. I vote yes!

Darla - October 20, 2012

As long as the safety issue is covered, why shouldn’t the Cole family be allowed to mine the uranium?

don johnson - October 20, 2012

They should be able to extract the ore on their land. There is enough science these days to assure an environmentally safe operation.

K.Richter - October 20, 2012

Big government and big unions are the problem for all of us in the private sector. They do not believe in our FEEDOM.

Carol Bartz - October 20, 2012

Absolutely they should be allowed to develope this valuable product. Government, neighbors, activist groups are stopping any and all new projects for one reason or another. That should not be.

Ann Noe - October 20, 2012

Hello,No to state of Virginia in restricting propert owners the use of their own land. Why have property if you cannot use it?Government is to provide safety of these
rights. Property owners have responsibility to properly execute their mining operation according to state laws.

Benson II - October 20, 2012

We wouldn’t be worried and fearful about government interference and laws if they were based on common sense. Instead we have little Obama’s all over the country with an agenda and a lust for power over our every day life. It’s time to weed them out if we want responsible solutions to these kind of situations.

This is why we need to pay very close attention to who we elect from dog catcher on up. It’s time to start practicing Citizenship again. We’re the ones responsible for the idiots on our school boards and in our legislatures.

Holly Chapo - October 20, 2012

Safety considerations should result in REASONABLE

Holly Chapo - October 20, 2012

Safety first. The state can set up REASONABLE regulation and then, get out of the way. Governments on all levels are too intrusive, too beholden to the left-wing extremist groups and too ignorant of the facts. The Coles family will contribute to our economy with good jobs, revenue and fuel for our nuclear reactors. I support their entrepreneurship. We need more people like them.

sue - October 20, 2012

No question if it is their property they should be allowed to do anything with it as long as it doesn’t break the law.

Walt Weber - October 20, 2012

When the State can deprive you of your property without due process using bureaucratic methods you are living under a King as a serf not as a free people. The uranium belongs to the property and the owners. The State issued the title and collect taxes on the property but wants to prevent the owners from full use of thier property. When will our government allow property rights without interference? It sounds like this nation is going to die of an energy shortage while we have the natural resources to supply our own energy. Oil, gas coal and uranium should be extracted and used for our citizens on a free market.

Sue Gartz - October 20, 2012

The Coles have every right to mine their own land without govt. interference.

James J. Rieker - October 21, 2012

If the dangers are bogus as you suggest, and it is good for the country and Virigina’s well being: Then The critics in the Virigina goverment should be retired for hindering our country in such an Energy Price Crunch!!

No one will be retired for wrong doing in this day and age; we do have a most pressing problem with allowing the goverment and our neighbors to tell us what we can do with our land.

If you want a pool in your yard, or to remove a few trees in your yard. you must get permission from the goverment and from your neighbors.
When goverment and neighbors like the trees in your yard or dislike a new pool on
your land, they should pay the school tax and property tax for the privilege of keeping the trees on your land or for keeping you from having a pool; Then they should at least rake your leaves and clean the leaves from your pool, fat chance for that Ha- Ha

Privileges that are taken away from a landowner should be compensated by the taker!! Vacant land should not be charged School Tax

Connie CooperSmith - October 21, 2012

Of course, the Coles should be able to use their land. When you curtail property rights, religious rights are next. This country was founded on property rights. Shame on the EPA, Virginia and anyone else who says they don’t have the right to use their land.

Antone - October 21, 2012

I can see how maybe they should be expected to present a business plan, or make arrangements with a company that already mines uranium–to make sure it is done safely–but most definitely YES, they should be allowed to access what they own.

Ron Baklarz - October 21, 2012

Develop in a safe and environmentally clean manner. Clean air in- clean water out…….!

James Buddell - October 21, 2012

The problem is that this is nuclear power. If these folks wanted to clutter up their land with mirrors and whirlybirds, the progressives would slobber all over themselves sending permission to continue. Nuclear power is green power. Hooray for nuclear power, and I hope this family will be able to mine the uranium which is below their farm without further interference from guvmint knuckleheads.

Sandra Driscoll - October 21, 2012

If the Coles are able to follow the rules” and safely mine the uranium, they should be able to do so.

Christine Dwyer - October 21, 2012

The government spent a fortune developing Yucca Mountain as safe repository for “spent uranium” and then closed it before it was ever used. Let the people mine their own property and open Yucca Mountain for the waste.

William M Snedden - October 21, 2012

As an engineer I know the safety issues are scary to maany people but modern technology can handle the issues adequately for commercial use in Virginia or most anywhere.
I do not believe that the State of Virginia has the right to inhibit the use of private property. It is vital that the safty issues are known and handled, but the government must not interfere with the rights to private property! This is one of the foundation blocks in our country and must not be eliminated!!

beverly jackson - October 21, 2012

it is their property for generations, they own the land not the government, they have the right to develope it’s resources , it should be mined and used to help america, the epa, der, and all the others are totally out of control, and our new president mitt romney and team should cut that control. get big government out of our lives.

Marshall Lundberg - October 21, 2012

The Coles family has extensive rights with regard to the use of their property. It seems to be a distortion of authority by the state government to deny the Coles family use of their property by offering a rationale for denial that is so lacking in substance that the average person cannot put a fork into it.

Robert Caccavalla - October 21, 2012

Am I the only one who is just fed-up with the metality that any Government. On any level should should by default interfere? Unless Im mistaken, they are to spcifically stay the hell out of peoples business, until there is a problem that locals who may be effected have exhausted the civil remedies? The Verginia Govenor is supposed to be conservative? Now I guess he no longer feels government is there to protect the rights of the individual. Instead it is there to interpret and defne what is whatever for the collective…..

Lawrence Phillips - October 22, 2012

I think the Coles should be able to mine their own land. The government should put rules in place for safety and security of the mining but it does not have a right to tell them what they can do.

Jim Pyatt - October 22, 2012

By all means let them mine and develop this valuable resource.

Robert Preston - October 22, 2012

The Coles should have assistance from government (local, state and federal) to develop a diversified board that can openly produce progress reports on the various stages of mining. Not so similar with fracking, the industrial opportunity is moving faster than what the public understands. A democractic approach takes a long time, but in the end, this process will prevail. The Coles will prevail.

Kathleen Heine - October 22, 2012

I don’t think that Virginia should be able to control development of private property including what is under the ground. I am sure there are regulations concerning safe production of the uranium which would apply, however if a private property owner wants to contract for production, etc. this should be allowed.

John Rich - October 22, 2012

once again the do-gooders, environignmentalist, and the stupid, have butted in where their ignorants abounds costing the state of Virigina, the Coles, and the job market substantial value and benefits!!!!!

Paul Cook - October 22, 2012

it is time we the American people put into place constitutional amendments that clearly limit the power of government and institute penalties and punishment for elected and appointed officials who violate the inalienable rights of the American citizen. i would also suspect that if you look hard there are some billionaires behind this whating to get their hands on this land and mining rights.

Don Kincaid - October 22, 2012

If their deed includes mining rights, they should be free to do, as they desire.

Steven Rankens - October 22, 2012

Once again the EPA and Obama administration are standing on the neck of INDIVIDUAL, PRIVATE rights. You will never here private rights and individual liberties come out of Obama’s mouth, it’s always Us, We, and Government, can make better decisions than you. That is a lot of Bull-!#$*. The 6 billion should not go to this family, but to fund the bloated, obese federal government. Get your hands out of our pockets and leave the private land owners rights to them. Once again the O-butthead administration is killing jobs, because they can’t get there hands on the money potential, Just look at the oil drilling in North Dakota on private lands, there economy is booming without government interference. Let’s get rid of the job killers in November and reinstate job creators!

James M Grimes - October 22, 2012

The State of Virginia should do like Pennsylvania has done. Use the resources and assist in setting safety regulations with the good of the state in mind.

Julius Hite - October 23, 2012

I believe this could be done safely. Virginia should not stand in the way of these jobs. Experts on both side will argue forever. The state would set regulations to protect the enviroment and is capable of monitoring this process.

John R. Ashburn, Jr. - October 23, 2012

There is a referendum on the November ballot in Virginia that would require for a State Constitutional Amendment to provide explicit restrictions to the taking of private property by Eminent Domain. If Virginians pass this refeendum (and I believe they will) it would provide a strong case for the Coles to claim their right to use their property as they see fit. As a mininum, if the law is not changed, the Coles should sue the State based on the precident that denying the right to mine thier property would constitute a “taking”, therefore requireing the State to compensate the Coles for the fare market value of the property taken. Even though the Government will not actually consfiscated the property, they will have denied the Coles the use of said property which can be argued is the same thing.

Sharon M Haehl - October 23, 2012

It’s been their land for more than 200 years. Unlike most of us who are denied our lands “mineral rights”, the Coles should be “allowed” to use their land to help our country and their family to benefit from their good fortune. The government needs to get out of our rights! I vote yes for the Coles.

John K Daugherty - October 24, 2012

mine it safely & efficiently and without a bunch of unnecessary regulations, and mine away.

Sally Gee - October 26, 2012

The Coles family should lease the land to a corporation capable of removing the uranium, plus get a percentage of the profits. They can live elsewhere in the area. Do not sell the land; lease it! I know a woman in her 70’s who leases the land a Las Vegas casino sits on and has an extremely comfortable lifestyle.

Jerry Barth - October 28, 2012

Just a point of information, Most land East of the Mississippi was issued a Patent to the person who purchased it or received it from the Government for Military Service. From that point on a History of the activities on that property were a series of Records at the County Court-House, this is called an Abstract and is necessary to help prove ownership.A Land Patent is the only absolute verification because as the property changes hands over the years, if all transactions are legal because of the recorded history of the Abstract,the government according to our Constitution can only take your land to use it for Government purposes and that does not have anything to do with increasing the value of land so higher taxes can be imposed. The Supreme Court exceeded their authority with their interpretation of “Eminent Domain”.
If you nave access to a Land Patent, the last item states,”That there is therefore granted by the UNITED STATES unto the said(name of person) the tract of Land described; TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Tract of Land, with the appurtenances thereof, unto the said (person named) and to his heirs and assigns forever.. Then the signature of the President makes it legal.So it would take an act of Congress to change and take from the owner what is rightfully theirs.Most Realtors are not aware of this either, I have a Land Patent for my property and our State also has ALLODIAL Rights,meaning I own from Hell to Heaven even the air-rights but that is hard to secure. Hope this isn’t too confusing?? That is the way it should work if WE THE PEOPLE take back our Country and make our elected employees answer to us as the Constitution defines,thanks for reading. Have fun

Connor Morphy - January 5, 2016

They should be able to if they want to!

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