Guy W. Farmer: Bring on the Yucca Mountain debate
For the Nevada Appeal
Some Nevada Republicans are going weak in the knees on Yucca Mountain, but not Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval.
“I will not consider accepting high-level nuclear waste in our state – period!” Sandoval said last Wednesday, and I applaud him for holding the line against fellow Republicans who want to turn our state into the nation’s nuclear waste dump.
In a recent Nevada Appeal column Chuck Muth argued for a referendum. The Legislature should “put an objective advisory question on the ballot … and let the people of Nevada actually vote on it,” he wrote. Fair enough because I think that a solid majority of Nevada voters remains adamantly opposed to the Yucca Mountain project. A ballot measure would answer that question once and for all. I don’t fear such a measure. Bring it on!
My good friend, Reno blogger Ty Cobb Sr., has been lobbying hard for Yucca Mountain, and I respect his opinion although I disagree with it. During a recent interview with the Las Vegas Sun, Cobb argued that “a groundswell of public opinion has gone over to the side of a serious discussion” about Yucca Mountain. Well maybe, but I haven’t noticed any such “groundswell.” In fact, I believe that most Nevadans still oppose this toxic project.
The Sun rebutted Cobb’s argument in an editorial titled “Selling Out Nevada?” “Some Nevada Republicans are starting to follow the lead of their national party, which has long done the bidding of the nuclear industry,” the paper noted. “These types of Republicans have followed a canard that Yucca Mountain would be good for the state’s economy, bringing jobs and benefits from the federal government. … (But) how could anyone support a plan that would endanger citizens just for a perceived payday?”
That’s my question too. And besides, why should we trust the Feds and politicians who mislead, and even lie to, the good people of Nevada? We well remember how former President George W. Bush promised to base his decision on whether to go forward with Yucca Mountain on “sound science.” Shortly after his 2004 re-election, however, he broke his promise by approving the Yucca project in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary. And now these same folks promise to shower us with federal dollars if we say “yes.” No thanks!
Newly elected Congressman Joe Heck, a Las Vegas Republican, and Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle seem to want to reopen the Yucca Mountain debate. I’m OK with that as long as they submit the nuclear waste dump project to a vote of the people.
As for the debate, Bring it on!
• Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, is a longtime opponent of the Yucca Mountain Project.