"Environmentalists trying to halt U.S. uranium projects are emphasizing the foreign ownership of mining companies.
A key issue: Companies that mine uranium and other hardrock minerals do not pay royalties to the U.S. government. Several companies that mine or are seeking permits to mine U.S. uranium are based in Canada.
Those companies are "able to take this uranium off of U.S. soil without paying taxpayer compensations," said Jane Danowitz, public lands director for the Pew Environment Group.
"It just goes to show," Danowitz said, "that this is an issue that should raise concerns beyond environmental impacts."
Among the concerns being raised about foreign ownership of uranium companies is that U.S. uranium could end up in hostile hands. Republican lawmakers last year raised alarms over the Russian-owned company ARMZ taking control from Canadian interests of Uranium One Inc., which has significant U.S. operations."