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We’ll be checking List’s list

Nevada Appeal editorial board

We’re eagerly waiting to hear the good side of Yucca Mountain.

Now that ex-Gov. Robert List is on the payroll at the Nuclear Energy Institute, his job is to convince Nevada residents the nation’s radioactive garbage is inevitably headed our way, and it’s time to begin negotiating for benefits.

What those benefits might be, we don’t know. But we’re open-minded. It’s been suggested in these pages that a good place to start would be ceding all federal land to the state and guaranteeing Nevada residents won’t have to pay federal income tax for the next 10,000 years.

The idea of Nevada negotiating for benefits in exchange for Yucca Mountain nuclear waste isn’t a new one, but List becomes the highest-profile politician yet to promote it.

Presumably, he will be paid well for the effort. It remains to be seen, though, whether List’s presence boosts the nuclear industry’s profile in Nevada or simply erodes his credibility.

Already, Las Vegas Review-Journal columnists have compared him to Benedict Arnold, Judas Iscariot and Bobby Knight (the basketball coach who once said if rape is inevitable, women should lie back and enjoy it.)

That’s pretty rough company.

Actually, List says he has his supporters. Among them, he told the Review-Journal, are former UNLV president Don Baepler, union leader Jack Jeffrey, state Sens. Joe Neal and Ray Shaffer, car dealer Jim Marsh, former Department of Energy official Troy Wade and Jack Libby, chairman of the California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission.

They apparently see advantages for Nevada – or themselves, at least – in turning a portion of the state into a nuclear dump.

List says he’ll be coming up with a list of those advantages. We’ll be checking it twice.