Gov. lets EnergySolutions bill become law

Announcement from HEAL Utah:

Tonight, Governor Huntsman let Senate Bill 155 become law.

While pledging to prevent “backdoors” for more and hotter nuclear waste to be dumped in Utah, Gov. Huntsman instead let EnergySolutions and the Legislature push the door wide open while locking Utahns out.

Using EnergySolutions’ language to describe the bill as a needed “technical clarification,” Gov. Huntsman vindicated the Legislature’s desire to remove itself and all elected officials in Utah from future expansions and licensing decisions at EnergySolutions’ current site–including decisions to take hotter waste.

In his statement, Gov. Huntsman did pledge to limit the volume of waste at EnergySolutions through his powers as governor. We hope this means he can still carry through with his promise to keep Utah from being the nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste. But we’ll need to make sure.

Please take a minute to call Gov. Huntsman at (801) 538-1000 and ask him to follow through with this pledge and limit the volume of waste at EnergySolutions.

Now that the public is cut off from the legislative process, and state regulators still only have a stamp that says “approved,” Gov. Huntsman’s pledge on this issue is critical.

Whether this pledge can be carried out or not, though, the governor has still weakened the little oversight he had over nuclear waste disposal at EnergySolutions. Through executive powers, he may work to keep Utah from being the nation’s dumping ground, but will future governors do the same? With no involvement from our state’s elected officials, how will the citizens of this state know their interests are being protected as EnergySolutions seeks expansions that could leave Utah as the nation’s dumping ground for the next 100 years?

Sadly, it’s future generations who will suffer the consequences of the oversight given away today.

Please also take a minute to look at how your legislators voted on this issue. This may be important to you during the next election. You can find your state legislators here: http://www.le.state.ut.us/maps/amap.html. To see how they voted, follow these links:
Senate vote: http://le.utah.gov/~2007/status/sbillsta/sb0155.003s.txt;
House vote: http://le.utah.gov/~2007/status/sbillsta/sb0155.001h.txt

We want to thank everyone who got involved during the legislative session. SB 155 is a major loss for Utah, and it probably serves only to embolden EnergySolutions. That means we’ll need your help to be ever more vigilant in the months to come.

John Urgo
HEAL Utah, Outreach Director
68 S. Main St, Suite 400
SLC, UT 84101
(801) 355-5055

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