Reid says Yucca is dead |

Reid says Yucca is dead

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid addresses Nevada lawmakers Tuesday night at the Legislature.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., told a joint session of Nevada’s Senate and Assembly on Tuesday the Yucca Mountain project is dead.

“After 25 years, folks, it’s history,” he said. “They can keep spending money there. Nothing’s going to happen.”

The comment drew loud applause from lawmakers and the gallery of the Nevada Assembly.

Reid told lawmakers now that the waste dump project is dead, “people realize that if they store the waste on-site, we can move to some reasonable nuclear power.”

He said much has changed since he first arrived as an assemblyman in 1969. But Reid said there is much more to do, and he urged them to set aside partisan differences and work together.

He quoted former Nevada Assemblyman and Secretary of State Bill Swackhamer as advising him as a freshman: “Never forget who you are. Never forget from where you come. Never forget who sent you here, and never forget why they sent you here.”

“Nevada voters sent us to places like Carson City and Washington, D.C., to work for them,” Reid said, adding that he wants to work with the Legislature to make the state better.

And one of those areas, he said, is renewable energy. He said the state has vast resources in solar, wind and geothermal energy to tap.

“We have to work together to make sure people understand Nevada can be the center for renewable energy.”

In a press conference before the speech, Reid said he understands British Prime Minister Tony Blair is setting a timetable for the withdrawal of his country’s troops from Iraq.

He repeated his charge that Iraq, “is the worst foreign policy blunder in the country’s history.”

Reid said a majority of both the House and Senate sent a clear message to President Bush that he needs to change course. But he expressed doubt even British plans to pull out would change the Bush Administration’s Iraq strategy.

“In the past, they’ve ignored everybody, so I guess they’ll ignore Blair,” he said.

Reid said he isn’t pushing for immediate withdrawal of the troops.

“Pull the troops out tomorrow? Of course not,” he said.

Reid said there must be a regional solution to Iraq which includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, “and, yes, Iran.” And, he said, that will take time and help from the U.S. and other countries.

Reid was in Carson City for the speech to lawmakers and to attend today’s Democratic presidential candidates’ forum at the community center.

He said the party decision to hold caucuses in Nevada in January, one of the first official political events of the presidential campaign season, puts Nevada in as “part of the race.”

Eight of the nine announced Democratic candidates are planning to attend today’s forum.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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