These geologists who support Virginia uranium mining are familiar.

I was surprised to see that a group of professional geologists are backing uranium mining in Pittsylvania County. These are the people who I’d anticipated opposing this Canadian company’s proposal. The name of the organization rang a bell. The American Institute of Professional Geologists. I’ve heard that name.

Oh, right, here’s where:

In August 2009, the Ohio Section of AIPG submitted a position statement to Senators Brown and Voinovich opposing H.R. 2454, the Markey-Waxman climate bill. The statement professed that “there is no scientific evidence supporting…. the premise that human production of CO2 gas is responsible for ‘global warming’….” The statement went on to challenge the findings of the IPCC and made numerous references to articles published by the Heartland Institute.

They don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change, and they support uranium mining in Pittsylvania County.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

15 replies on “These geologists who support Virginia uranium mining are familiar.”

  1. Sorry, but I’m missing the point.

    It would stand to reason if they’re intelligent enough to not get swept up into the climate change hoax that they’re also intelligent enough to not join the post-Japan anti-nuclear hysteria; nukes are our best bet for sustainable, clean power.

    So what’s your point? Obviously a liberal worldview underlies liberal scientists who put the earth above humans and a conservative worldview underlies those scientists who put humans above the earth. Their consistency is not a smoking gun. I don’t crow because the same liberal scientist says global warming is real and also coal mining is bad, as if I somehow outed them as being liberal. Their consistency doesn’t boost or detract from their wrongness or rightness.

  2. My point is exactly what I wrote: They don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change, and they support uranium mining in Pittsylvania County. That’s it. There’s no hidden agenda here. :)

  3. I didn’t sense a hidden agenda, but I did assume the post had a point. In other words, what about this correlation did you find interesting or newsworthy?

  4. The AIPG is a strange beast. I haven’t dealt much with the National group, but the state chapters differ quite a bit from state to state.

    The AIPG is the prime certification group for geologists. They offer the professional geologist (PG) certificate kind of similar to engineers who can get a professional engineer (PE) certificate. It grants some liability powers (and adds some initials after a person work title). But not every state has an AIPG chapter or even recognizes the PG status.

    Some states that are rich in mining, oil, or natural gas, have strong chapters. That’s not to say these geologists are in the bag, but some clearly have agendas. There are other states that won’t allow the AIPG to form chapters because of the various industries good ol’ boys clubs feeling threatened. Again, depending on the state and politics, industry likens the AIPG almost to unions.

    It’s a bit rough to paint all AIPG members and PG’s with one brush. It’s very political group where the politics varies quite a bit from state to state. The National group’s statement in the wiki site sounds like a a very vague CYA statement. But look at Ohio politics and the Ohio AIPG statement you quoted above doesn’t surprise me one bit.

  5. The overwhleming majority of the Virginia’s AIPG had no comment. Only 29 members (out of 250) support Uranium mining- ask the President of the Virginia AIPG.

    I am a member and oppose support at this time and I tried to dissuade the Virginias Section of the AIPG to send a letter of support. I was 1 out of 30 comments that opposed it (according to those in the know). I did this on the grounds that we (AIPG) should be advocating for geologists not causes, not industry, etc.

    In my opinion AIPG is way out of bounds supporting this issue (at this juncture).

  6. This is the association of *professional* geologists or of *petroleum* geologists? Because you use each name in the post and I can’t tell if this is a type or if these are actually two different groups.

  7. It is the American Association of Professional Geologists in both case Jackson. GRS, PG’s are certified (licensed) by States (Va DOPR), the AIPG is a geologist trade association. Thanks for your voice Vincent.

    We have massive amounts of dangerous radioactive material laying around waiting for geologists to find a safe disposal site. Unfortunately, the money is in mining the low level ore.

  8. You’re right, Jack—I quoted too much of that Wikipedia entry, not realizing that it was a separate point being made about another organization. (But it was really just restating what had already been said.)

    I’ve corrected that now. So, for the record, the blockquote had included this:

    Since 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement, no scientific body of national or international standing rejects the findings of human-induced effects on climate change.

    But I removed it.

  9. This is going to be a big deal issue. It belongs in the political arena-However, I have no problem with geologists supporting their position with studies, research, data, etc.

    In the end, the extraction may be “safe”- who knows at this point-certainly not the Virginia AIPG.

    I can understand Scott Nolan’s sentiment (earlier post). But, I’m not sure that the 29 geologists who supported the AIPG’s letter would “gain” anything from the mining. It might be worth looking into, though. Did any of them get a free ticket to France?- I doubt it-

    Pretty much these are upstanding professionals who are held to a tight standard of ethical behaviour- I trust that is the case here- there’s no reason (from what I know) to suspect otherwise;

    I just feel it’s not the job of the AIPG to carry the banner one way or another- but my colleagues and I have agreed to disagree.

    Good discussion. Stay tuned

  10. Bubby,

    Yes and no. Some states do have licensing for PG’s. Some do not. AIPG is an industry organization that does certify PG’s. AIPG does not require a PG to take the ASBOG. Most state geology departments have lighter experience requirements than the AIPG PG. Even state to state reciprocity of the vary wildly PG. I think Alaska and Canada accept the AIPG PG with some credence and I think it has some credence in other countries where a state PG means nothing.

    A PG is not as clear cut defined like a PE nor grant similar powers and responsibilities of a PE, which is what geologists want the PG to represent and to kind of horn in on work that was historically (and still is) signed off by PE’s. That said, there are a few state’s that require geotech plans signed off by a licensed PG, while others still want PE’s to sign them.

    AIPG (and some state departments) only want certified geologists practicing geology. They don’t want engineers or various scientists doing their job. There’s a lot of gray area and it’s an interesting crossroads for that profession.

  11. Until AIPG actually tests technical knowledge, or requires a uniform test, they are nothing more than a club for people who want to be known as professional geologists. AIPG is meaningless to the Commonwealth of Virginia and any U.S. regulatory agency, many of which are moving beyond PG/PE to Licensed Professionals who must demonstrate specific skills like risk assessment, industrial health, toxicology, hazardous material management, and be capable of insuring and certifying their work. West Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts come to mind.

    Concerned parties would do well to examine the findings AND the credentials of anyone who represents the risks related to Virginia Uranium’s mining activities. Which is why Mr. Lawless will not be certifying the safety or environmental impact of uranium mining in Virginia. He is simply advocating from the clubhouse.

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