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The energy industry can take heart from the last item of the last meeting of a legislative interim committee.
Sen. Bernadette Sanchez, chair of the Economic and Rural Development Committee, proposes making the energy industry a central component of the state’s economic development strategy.
This would be quite a change in attitude. Instead of being the rich uncle who’s always on tap, energy would become an asset to be encouraged and protected, like high tech, manufacturing and tourism.
The proposal comes at a time when energy people (and entire regions of the state) are feeling picked on and under-appreciated.
In four meetings held since the last legislative session, the committee heard about prospects and challenges for job creation, and many of the presentations were energy related.
Uranium: We’ve got it, and demand currently exceeds supply. Proposed projects are traditional shaft-and-tunnel mines. If proposals for mining and milling operations come to pass, they could create 13,000 jobs initially and 9,000 long term.
Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary-designate John Bemis acknowledged the five biggest problems: capital costs, operational risks, proliferation of nuclear weapons, waste disposal, and public fear.
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