Fiscal conservatives should renounce dump

To the editor:

As a dyed-in-the-bark tree hugger, I want to give a loud, huge thank you to Nevada Sen. John Ensign, Gov. Jim Gibbons and former Gov. Kenny Guinn. I am thoroughly gratified to see that they have the courage and scientific background to take such a strong stance in favor of health, public safety and the environment. It’s a joy to work on environmental issues with bipartisan support.

Sen. Ensign is entirely correct: the planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump is not a good thing for our country; it’s a $100 billion boondoggle.

It’s amazing to me that more of the senator’s Republican colleagues aren’t ranting about how expensive a nuclear waste dump is ("GOP tour gets pitch for Yucca," Sunday Review-Journal). Where are they? Republicans should be first in line opposing astronomically expensive nuclear power and nuclear waste dumps. We need you now, fiscally conservative Republicans.

Conservative activist Chuck Muth and former Nevada Gov. Bob List both wax wonderful on the waste dump because of the money they say it will bring to our fair state. It always gets down to the money. They dangle promises of possible, potential pecuniary plenty, if we just take it for the high-profit nuclear energy industry.

Mr. Muth and Mr. List don’t talk about why this disposal method is good or bad. They don’t talk about why the transportation risks might be worth living with. They don’t talk about any of the risks or dangers. Their eyes are full of dollar signs.

There is no magical pot of gold at the end of this radioactive rainbow. The waste dump is a bad idea for the nation.

— It’s completely possible to store the waste close to the place where it was generated.

— It’s safer to store the waste and not transport it hundreds of miles through every major city in the continental United States and into the heart of Nevada.

— There is no final design, either proposed or approved, for the waste dump.

— There are no transport containers yet prototyped or tested for major accidents or terrorist attacks.

— The Yucca Mountain site is not a geologic barrier, as required by legislation. The waste dump at Yucca Mountain is burdened with multiple engineered barriers. The most recent engineered barrier is a drip shield to keep water off the 70,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Jane Feldman

LAS VEGAS

 

THE WRITER IS ENERGY CHAIR OF THE TOIYABE CHAPTER OF THE SIERRA CLUB.

 

Hurting, not helping

To the editor:

When is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid going to be honest with the Nevada public about the Yucca Mountain Project?

He never wants to talk about it because he can’t dispute the real facts of the project. It would bring $750 million every year to this state, not to mention 5,000 new jobs.

Sen. Reid, you are not protecting Nevadans — you are hurting us for your own agenda.

Greg Wyatt

LAS VEGAS

 

Foolish solution

To the editor:

In response to your Sunday editorial, "Reasonable recommendations": The entire time that I was a teacher for the Clark County School District, I knew that I was making less of a salary than I could get if I worked in the private sector.

For the first 10 years, I was tempted again and again to join my sister in Los Angeles to work as a publicist, or to get a job in a Strip hotel in public relations. With a master’s degree, I knew that my options were wide and varied.

Yet I loved everything about being a teacher: the students, my subject, the hours, the health benefits. Plus, everyone kept telling me about how wonderful of a retirement I would have.

I really didn’t give this much thought until my last 10 years. Then I felt glad that I’d stuck it out in spite of occasionally having to get part-time work over the years so that I could pay my bills.

When I read in Sunday’s editorial the "reasonable recommendation" that it is only fair to bring state employees’ retirement and health benefits in line with the private sector’s in order to save money, I could only shake my head at the foolishness of this proposed solution to our current financial shortfall. Perhaps those highly qualified math, science and English graduates currently teaching Nevada students will answer the private sector’s siren call, leaving Nevada’s already troubled education system in even more dire straits.

Nancy Feldman Maheras

LAS VEGAS

 

Smart kids

To the editor:

Thomas Mitchell’s Sunday column regarding local students competing in the "We the People" civics competition ("A clear grasp of constitutional principles") proves that our kids can get a very good education in a public school if they chose to — something the Review-Journal’s editorial board never seems to acknowledge.

Mark Azevedo

LAS VEGAS

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