sherman_lea.jpgROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ Up to 20 African-American clergy from Roanoke to Danville are urging the General Assembly to keep the state's moratorium on uranium mining in place.

They are scheduled to discuss their stand Friday at a news conference in Roanoke. Elder Sherman Lea says the clergy includes pastors in the city and county of Roanoke, Martinsville, Danville and elsewhere.

The black clergy say they want the ban made permanent because they say studies have failed to show that uranium can be mined and milled without negatively affecting the environment or public health of residents in Southside Virginia.

Virginia Uranium Inc. argues otherwise. It says it can mine a deposit in Pittsylvania County safely, and create jobs.