Amber Raimondo’s March 10 op-ed arguing for the closure of the White Mesa Mill in Blanding demonstrates the height of elitism and hypocrisy. The White Mesa Mill is one of America’s most important pieces of critical infrastructure, and it is a key to achieving many of President Biden’s goals, including on climate and creating American clean-tech jobs. The mill responsibly produces uranium for the generation of clean, carbon free nuclear energy, and vanadium for steel, aerospace alloys, and emerging grid-scale battery technologies. It is about to produce the rare earths needed for many of today’s clean energy and advanced technologies – including the computer Ms. Raimondo surely used to type her screed.
The truth is that the computers, cell phones and other everyday technologies she and other activists use on a daily basis, and the renewable energy and electric vehicles they claim to support, need mining to become a reality. In the U.S., we produce uranium, rare earths and other critical minerals to the highest global standards. If we don’t produce these critical minerals here, they will be mined elsewhere, often in nations with horrifying environmental and human rights records and which are not the friends of the U.S.
The White Mesa Mill has an exceptional record of environmental protection, and it is one of the largest employers in our region. It is truly a community asset. We don’t need outsiders with “savior complexes”, like Ms. Raimondo and the Grand Canyon Trust, telling us what is best for us here in southeast Utah.
Asa Lyman, Blanding