Because of threats to water supplies, a proposed mining project in Texas faced tough odds for getting the necessary permits. But then cronyism and political money stepped in. Is this the story of how fracking will play out in NC, except with the help of a different party at a different level of government? Or will NC’s water supply and rural residents get even this much of fighting chance?
Write ProPublica: “The [mining] plan appeared to be dead on arrival until late 2011, when Uranium Energy hired Heather Podesta, a lobbyist and prolific Democratic fundraiser whose pull with the Obama administration prompted The Washington Post to name her the Capitol’s latest ‘It girl.’ Podesta – the sister-in-law of John Podesta, who co-chaired President Obama’s transition team – appealed directly to the EPA’s second in command, Bob Perciasepe, pressing the agency’s highest-level administrators to get directly involved and bring the agency’s local staff in Texas back to the table to reconsider their position, according to emails obtained by ProPublica through the Freedom of Information Act. By the end of 2012, the EPA reversed its position in Goliad, approving an exemption allowing Uranium Energy to pollute the aquifer, though in a somewhat smaller area than was originally proposed.” Read the whole story.