Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Do They Still Want Nevada Nuked?

Last August, Joe Heck introduced an amendment that would allow nuclear reprocessing at Yucca Mountain. It sent a signal to national Republicans and DC pundits that Nevada Republicans were becoming much more malleable on Yucca (and Nevada's safety and economic well-being) than ever before. Now, Mark Amodei is ready to capitulate "strike a deal" on Yucca.

Last spring, Nevada didn’t have anyone in Congress who was open to the idea of bringing nuclear waste to the state. Now, it has Republican Rep. Mark Amodei — and he says he’s ready to take on the pro-Yucca enthusiasts and try to work out a compromise.

It’s the first specific test of how far he’s willing to push his party on Yucca, and when they push back, whether he’ll fall into party line or object with his vote, as several Nevada representatives have before him. [...]

In the House, there’s probably no Yucca agitator more vocal than Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, who led a delegation of lawmakers to Yucca Mountain last year and has told colleagues he’s tired of Reid’s pushback.

But Amodei believes he can talk to Shimkus and that the time is ripe to start a conversation.

Despite his readiness to pursue a third way, Amodei may nonetheless find himself running up procedural quirks of the legislative process that have stymied lawmakers before him, including Nevada Rep. Joe Heck’s best-intentioned efforts to strike a compromise solution last year.

When presented last year’s almost identical appropriations legislation on Yucca, Heck, who is opposed to bringing nuclear waste to the state, attempted to repurpose $25 million to go toward a nuclear reprocessing research facility at the site instead. Amodei believes that for Yucca Mountain to be feasible as a reprocessing research facility, Nevada would have to accept the waste.

Well, at least Amodei is being a little more honest in his capitulation "move to compromise" than Heck. Joe Heck tried to argue last year that he really didn't want to allow nuclear waste to be trucked into the state, but his attempt at compromise was dead from the start mostly because Nye County doesn't have nearly enough water needed for the kind of reprocessing Heck championed. It was really just another attempt to keep Yucca open so that G-O-TEA dreams of a nuclear waste dump in Nevada wouldn't die.

And now, we have yet another attempt at reviving Yucca. Yet despite the overwhelming and bipartisan opposition to Yucca (with even Dean Heller and Brian Sandoval flatly opposed!), Mark Amodei and Joe Heck keep playing footsie with out-of-state G-O-TEA radicals looking to shove toxic waste down our throats. Never mind that Yucca lies on an active fault and would be an extremely dangerous place to store radioactive waste, Heck and Amodei want to be "good team players" and stay in John Boehner's good graces.

So do they really represent Nevada?

No comments:

Post a Comment