Twenty percent of the nation's energy comes from nuclear power, and the Black Hills play a big part in the process.
Many local communities are no stranger to the prospect of mining their uranium rich land to help produce that energy.
Twenty miles from The Flower Depot on 2nd Avenue, a proposed uranium mining site is shaping the future of business in downtown Edgemont.
"Right now its a flower shop, but soon it will be supporting the mine with hardware," said Nate Courtney, owner.
Courtney says his business profits could increase 100 percent when the mine opens, and the benefits don't stop there.
"Right now in Edgemont we've got 30 houses for sale, we've got open lots, I think it will improve by people moving here, fixing it up, and updating our town," said Courtney.
Updating one town, at the expense of another long gone. The mining, which could start as soon as next year, would begin at Burdock, an abandoned town twenty miles from Edgemont.
"There's 12 million pounds of known uranium reserves here and we hope to find more," said Mark Hollenbeck, Project Manager of the Dewey- Burdock Powertech Mine.
The mine is estimated to net close to half a billion dollars, and generate 100 local jobs.
"The grandma's want their grand kids to come back here. This will allows us to use our talent pool here and create economic development that will benefit everyone," said Hollenbeck.
But environment activists say, the harm to the environment and aquifer levels would be irreversible.
"It's insane for anyone mining company to pull that much water out of the aquifer, it's going to hurt everyone. We're in a drought. The water levels dropped by 30 feet and its very significant," said Charmaine White Face, Coordinator for the Defenders of the Black Hills organization.
But Hollenbeck says using uranium for nuclear energy is one way to reduce the nation's carbon foot print.
"Nuclear power is the only large scale method of producing electricity we have that is carbon free," said Hollenbeck.
For small business owners like Courtney, the immediate benefits outweigh the unseen consequences.
"It means our school will get bigger, bring in more people, lower taxes, I hope," said Courtney.
"One person getting sick is not worth 100 jobs," said White Face.
The mining operation is expected to last 10 to 20 years.
Environmental groups say there are already more than 160 abandoned uranium mines and prospects in the Edgemont area, and they hope to introduce legislation to have them cleaned up.