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Let’s Stop The Fraudulent Green River Reactors Now: An Appeal

It’s been a roller coaster emotional ride for those of us fighting to stop the proposed nuclear reactors on the Green River. Last Friday, we got bad news, when the State Engineer ruled that Blue Castle Holdings could take a massive amount of water from the Green to cool their proposed reactors.

For more than two years, with your help, we fought to convince State Engineer Kent Jones that awarding more than 50,000 acre-feet of water to nuclear power at the gateway to Canyon Country was wrong. HEAL led more than 200 groups, businesses and individuals in filing formal protests, urging Jones to reject this bad idea.

And then, last Friday, any hopes we had that Jones would go against Utah’s “use it or lose it” attitude towards water were dashed. HEAL responded fiercely, with our sharp critique driving coverage on TV, in the newspaper, on radio and in editorials. And we began preparing for the next step – studying Jones’ decision and considering what grounds we had for a legal appeal.

Almost immediately, the weakest part of Jones’ decision became clear: The section where he determined that the nuclear reactor plan was “economically feasible” and that Blue Castle “has the financial ability to complete the proposed works” as Utah law requires. Jones’ decision relied on Blue Castle’s shaky claims and offered no independent verification that the company led by a former state Representative with a checkered financial past had the resources to build a multi-billion dollar nuclear power plant.

And, now, thanks to the dogged investigation of our fellow activists, and a terrific news story in Friday’s Salt Lake Tribune, “shaky” and “checkered” now feel like a kind assessment of Blue Castle’s financial picture.

It’s a complex story, but here’s the short version: Federal officials have charged a New York hedge fund which is the single biggest investor in Blue Castle Holdings with scamming investors. LeadDog Capital Markets LLC had pledged $30 million to the reactors. They’re the only investor Jones named in his decision concluding that Blue Castle “has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the State Engineer an ability to secure funding as needed.”

LeadDog are not nice guys. In fact, according to the feds, they’re scam artists who preyed on old people. They lied to investors, telling them they were putting their money into relatively safe investments, when in fact they buying risky “penny-stocks,” which the LeadDog principals in fact secretly owned.

And these dirtbags are the money behind Utah’s nuclear reactors. The Salt Lake Tribune’s Judy Fahys asked Kent Jones if he would rule differently now, given that Blue Castle’s finances appear to be built on a sleazy deck of cards. Here’s what Jones said:

“It was just a plan presented by them, and we didn’t do a lot of investigation into the plan, about the validity of the plan.”

Apparently not.

The LeadDog scandal presents HEAL and our allies with a critical opportunity: In about two weeks, we face a deadline to formally appeal Jones’ decision, to present him with new information and to ask him to reconsider. To do that right, we hope to hire an attorney intimately familiar with Utah’s water rights laws. Unfortunately, however, HEAL’s budget doesn’t include much money for legal expenses. So w need your help.

Blue Castle is a wounded beast. It just took a huge blow. It’s staggering. It’s a firm tied to scandal, linked to scam artists, which was in bed with dirtbag investors.

Let’s finish them off. Let’s mount a campaign, in the courts, in the press and in the streets, to drive home the message that Utahns like you will not stand by while our precious water is used to line the pockets of these kind of people.

Please donate to HEAL today. And thank you to those who already have. We are at a critical moment. And, with your help, we can put this nightmare behind us and work together to build a future that embraces clean, safe energy.

Act now.

Sincerely,

Matt Pacenza
Policy Director
HEAL Utah