Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hey Pa.: Keep your waste in your own backyard

This first published March 9 2009 in the Henderson Home News website, a Community Newspapers of Nevada publication.

Today I was trolling the blogs and newspaper web pages when I happened to read this amusing editorial by Denny Bonavita, editor and publisher of McLean Publishing Co. in west-central Pennsylvania, which includes the Courier-Express in DuBois, Pa.

The “Our Opinion” penned by Mr. Bonavita is titled “If Not Yucca, Where?” and starts out by accusing the president of “pandering to Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate.” It then goes on to throw a little mud in Senator Reid’s face by continuing it “further muddies Obama’s credentials as an effective, bipartisan president. But that’s fine.”

OK Denny, so that’s fine. But the president usually doesn’t pander to the Senate leadership, no matter what side of the aisle they lead. It’s usually the other way.

This is where I begin to find his editorial amusing, if not hypocritical, when he makes a few interesting statements such as this beauty:

“We have just one nagging question.

“The federal government is obligated by law to accept the used reactor fuel from 104 commercial power reactors, but as yet it has no place to put it. The spent fuel, growing at the rate of 2,000 tons a year, is being held in pools and above-ground concrete containers at reactor sites.

“What happens to it?”

That’s easy for me to answer with a rhetorical question, such as, “What have you been doing with your garbage for the past 20 years?”

He follows up with, “What happens to us if terrorists steal it? If earthquakes or tornadoes spread it?”

This editorial reminds me of a neighbor I once had who would pick up his dog’s used dog fuel and toss it over his back wall instead of putting it in his own garbage can.

Anyway, I suggest they start shipping those super-duper, train crash-resistant canisters that were proposed for Yucca Mountain to the nuclear power plants around the country. Perhaps they might start with Pennsylvania.

The editorial goes on: “But no state wants to host the long-term storage site. The Nevada site had been vetted by previous administrations, both Republican and Democratic. Yes, Nevada loses.”

Well Denny I’m afraid that’s where you’re wrong. The political game called congressional seniority is how Nevada got screwed in the first place. We elected a dressmaker over Nevada’s second most powerful senator in history, Howard Cannon.

Today, Harry Reid is the most powerful senator ever to represent the people Nevada.

It has taken people such as Harry Reid, John Ensign, Shelley Berkley, Jon Porter and Dean Heller our congressional delegation of the past several years, to get the nuke screw out of our backside. The odds have always been stacked against Nevada, with only three members of the House of Representatives compared to Pennsylvania’s 22 members of the house.

By the way Denny, how many dogs — oops, I meant nuke plants — do you have in your back yard? Nevada has zero!

One last bit of irony. He wrote, “But we have no way to deal with the waste, which can kill us by the millions.”

OK, let me understand this. Nevada has to give a little bit. Therefore, it’s OK if terrorists try to steal 5-ton casks of your garbage from our backyard, and it’s OK if the garbage can kill millions of Nevadans.

For some reason, I fail to see your logic.

Or perhaps I’m just as big a NIMBY as you.

Tim O’Callaghan, co-publisher of the News, can be reached at 990-2656 or tim.oc@vegas.com. He writes a regular column for the Home News.

1 comment:

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