Canadian/Chinese uranium predator Powertech/Azarga can't stand a little criticism. Earlier this month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license to Powertech for its proposed in-situ uranium mining project in the southern Black Hills. The Rapid City Journal called the NRC's issuance a "rush to judgment," given that Powertech still faces two regulatory hearings in South Dakota before it can start despoiling the sacred Paha Sapa.

Powertech VP Richard Blubaugh took offense to the Journal's criticism and complained to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

From: Richard Blubaugh [mailto:rblubaugh@powertechuranium.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:53 AM
To: Burrows, Ronald; Lancaster, Thomas; Yilma, Haimanot
Subject: Informing Public of Process

Ron, Tom and Haimanot,

Please see editorial from Rapid City Journal below. Will NRC respond in order to correct the misunderstanding presented to the public regarding the licensing process? I will follow up with telephone call later today.

Richard Blubaugh

NRC's Thomas Lancaster forwarded Blubaugh this message from the NRC's Office of Public Affairs telling Blubaugh to chill out:

From: McIntyre, David
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2014 8:54 AM
To: Lancaster, Thomas
Subject: RE: Informing Public of Process

Tom -

The Office of Public Affairs does not recommend responding to the Rapid City Journal’s editorial, “NRC’s Rush to Judgment.” The editorial did not mischaracterize our process or regulations, which direct the staff to issue a license once the necessary safety and environmental reviews are complete, even if an adjudicatory hearing is still underway. The editorial disagrees with that process, which is their opinion.

Dave

You can read the complete e-mail exchange in this PDF copy.

It's bad enough Powertech and its foreign investors are using big money to spread their pro-industry propaganda in South Dakota. It's worse that they try to get the government to intervene in the media on their behalf. Thankfully, in this case, the government declined, and Powertech must do its own dirty work.