Speaking of selfishness, Powertech's point man in South Dakota exposes his company's hyperinflated sense of self-worth by griping about the very sensible weather delay in its hearing before the state's Water Management Board:
Powertech USA Inc., board members agreed to postpone the week of hearings to the end of the month. This move, however, frustrated Powertech’s project manager Mark Hollenbeck.
“It’s taken us over a year to get a hearing,” he said, adding that the company applied for a water permit in June, 2012. The permit was recommended for approval by the Department of Natural Resources in November 2012.
“This will kill economic development in South Dakota,” he said. “It’s horrendously expensive to bring in experts … I understand the hardships, but we could have had these hearings last summer. We’re extremely frustrated” [Kayla Gahagan, "Hearing Postponement Frustrates Powertech Rep," Black Hills Pioneer, 2013.10.11].
Making a uranium mine wait another three weeks for a hearing isn't going to "kill economic development in South Dakota." Other businesses around the state seem to be toodling along just fine, entirely independent of Powertech's flounderings. The prospect of Powertech polluting the Black Hills' water supplies has more potential to kill economic development than any reasonable regulatory conversation about Powertech's water permits.
In Gahagan's report, Hollenbeck also complains that the state could have held this hearing last summer but waited until fall to avoid higher hotel rates in Rapid City. Darn South Dakota, trying to save money instead of hurrying up and doing what Canadian business wants! (By the way, leaving hotel rooms available for big-spending tourists at the height of tourism season probably boosted economic development.)
Clean Water Alliance lawyer Bruce Ellison catches the dangerous selfishness in Powertech's frustration:
It’s a process that could dramatically affect the water resources in South Dakota and they’re worried their profits are down because we’re starting six months late? [Bruce Ellison, quoted in Gahagan, 2013.10.11]
Public health, safety, the environment, state taxpayer dollars, rule of law... pish posh! Powertech's profits are at stake!
Such are the priorities of the Canadian company that wants to mine uranium from the Black Hills.