What's that I hear? Italian waste is coming here?: ABC-4 Reports a Rumor
Sep 04, 2009
This is about state’s rights and our new Governor proving he's a man who keeps his word (I see some second term implications here).
I think the founders envisioned states led and populated by Americans full of courage and dignity; Americans able to turn down a lucrative offer that didn’t protect the people of their state. The founders formed this country as the United States of America, because they believed that decisions made locally serve the needs of the governed far better than those hatched in Washington.
In the past Utah has often lived up to this ideal. For example, EnergySolutons tried to quiet opposition to their foreign waste disposal plans by offering to pay the state a lot of money. Gov. Huntsman, the people of Utah, and local regulatory bodies all turned down the offer. EnergySolutions responded with a lawsuit to undermine Huntsman's authority (I remember using this one on my parents: Mom says no, so I ask Dad. When Dad says no I say you’re not the boss of me and cry).
EnergySolutions won, but likely because it had an extremely sympathetic judge who made a ruling based in ideology, not law. Thomas Jefferson rolled over in his grave because in Utah--the bastion of conservatism and states’ rights--the free market had led a company to undermine a state’s ability to govern itself.
But Jon Huntsman, being a man of his word, told the state’s lawyers to file an appeal (never turning an eye toward Italy’s radioactive assets as a solution to the financial crisis). The problem is that if they are allowed to bring in a moderate amount of waste from Italy now they will have set precedent allowing them to continue to fill the west desert with waste from around the world and only the presidentially appointed Nuclear Regulatory Commission or an act of Congress could protect us. Huntsman understood this and stood up for our state.
Now about that money:
Sure we are turning down good money to fight this, but if we lose the case in appeal we can still tax the stuff as much as we want – I think the amount that EnergySolutions offered us would be a good starting place, because they seem ready to part with that sum anyway. So we can have our cake and eat it too, if we have the political will, and with Huntsman it appeared that we did.
But times they are a-changing. Huntsman is in China, and just last night ABC-4 broke a story about a “source” saying that Utah was close to a deal with EnergySolutions.
Now I have questions!
What changed? Hmmm… same Attorney General, same everything except -wait!- Gary Herbert recently had his office upgraded to Governor. Wasn’t this the same guy who said back in May that "I have no plans to change anything Governor Huntsman has done with regards to EnergySolutions." Yup, that was him!
I hope Gov. Herbert is a man of his word and is ready to stand up for the state of Utah.
Hopefully the ABC-4 story is just a nasty rumor, but this is the Friday before a long weekend--suspicious timing for sure. Is Herbert trying to run the option by leaking a story when no one is listening to see what kind of response he gets? Now I'm starting to get really worried!
Does Herbert seem like a man of his word only because he hasn’t had a better offer yet? Is he afraid of EnergySolutions? Will he dispel these rumors by coming out and committing to the people of Utah that he'll continue to fight to preserve our state's rights?
We need Gov. Herbert to answer these questions, so I’m asking you to call and ask him.
Call Governor Herbert at 801-538-1000 or
Don't try leaving a message outside of those times, because the voice mail is turned of after hours. If you need to get it off your chest now, go ahead and email the Governor's office at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment here, email me (email@example.com), or tweet @healutah, or chime in on our facebook fanpage, or run screaming up and down the capitol lawn.
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