New poll confirms majority of Utah does not want Italian nuclear waste
Senate candidate Cherilyn Eagar opposes foreign imported n-waste
Since the debate on foreign importation of nuclear waste began, Cherilyn Eagar has stood absolutely against it. In a poll published yesterday by The Salt Lake Tribune, an “[o]verwhelming majority says Utah is not the right place for depleted uranium and foreign radioactive waste.” The Tribune article did not state the specific poll results, but they were as clear as the opinions of the candidates in this year’s U.S. Senate race:
Senator Bennett, on the other hand, supports EnergySolutions (ES). On December 1, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “RID Act,” which would ban the importation of nuclear waste from foreign countries. Two days later, Bennett stalled the legislation in the Senate, effectively killing it by preventing it from coming to the floor for debate or vote. In a written statement, Bennett said, “I believe the legislation is premature.” The RID Act remains stalled in limbo.
Announcing his entry into the race last month, Mike Lee spoke about EnergySolutions, who wants to import more than 1,600 tons of foreign radioactive waste into Utah: “The Constitution stands firmly on their side in that case,” he said, adding he might support legislation to limit importation, but not prohibit it. Lee also said, “I don’t want Utah to be the world’s radioactive waste dumping ground any more than anybody else does.” However, within days, he was standing before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, urging three judges to uphold a federal district court ruling that allows ES to accept foreign waste.
Lee’s law firm, where he is a partner, is representing EnergySolutions, and Bennett has received nearly $50,000 in campaign donations from EnergySolutions and its employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which says Utah’s junior senator has accepted more donations from the nuclear waste industry than any candidate in the nation.
EnergySolutions contacted Eagar, inviting her to tour their facility. While there, she clarified she would not be able to accept their special interest money. She says, “I’m asking Bob Bennett and Mike Lee to remove their conflicts of interest. I invite them to join the fight to outlaw foreign waste coming into the United States.”
Eagar adds, “The Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate interstate and international trade. Almost 20 years ago, Congress delegated some of that authority to eight western states through the North West Interstate Compact. Congress and NWIC made nuclear waste storage a states’ rights issue, and the State of Utah says no! It’s time EnergySolutions, Mike Lee and Bob Bennett got the message.”
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