Sen. John Watkins is now actively promoting uranium mining in Virginia, which would take place less than 80 miles upwind of the southwestern edge of the 10th Senate District. (Op-ed in RTD August 7, 2011)
This is not a surprise to those who know his consistent opposition to regulations that effectively protect Virginia’s environment. In the 2011 General Assembly session alone, he sponsored one bill, SB 783, to prevent localities from keeping roads and waterworks out of conservation areas. He also supported SB 1025 which removes coal mining water pollution oversight from the State Water Control Board.
In 2010 Sen. Watkins voted against requiring electric utilities to meet urban clean air standards (HB 1300.) He also signaled his support for oil drilling off the Virginia coast by voting for HB 756 and HB 787.
In 2009 he voted to oppose ample funding so farmers could adopt clean water practices (SB1050.) He also voted for HB 1788 which forces localities to accept alternative on-site sewage systems.
SB 783 was written by a real estate lawyer. Both SB 783 and HB 1788 reveal how unethical developers turn to the General Assembly to avoid regulation by localities. John Watkins is a developer himself. His support for these bills shows that he puts private interest above the common good of his constituents. Protection of Virginia’s natural resources is last on Sen. Watkins list.
Sen. Watkins was among the first of Virginia’s legislators to accept the free trip to France from Virginia Uranium.
We should not be mining uranium and leaving behind piles of radioactive waste. The people of the 10th District can count on me to oppose any effort to legalize uranium mining in Virginia.
-David Bernard, Democratic Candidate for 10th District Senate