Foreign Nuclear Waste: House members now being touted as “anti-American jobs”

Never mind the fact that nuclear waste poses a serious health threat to everyone and everything on our planet. If the U.S. does not accept the 20,000 tons of N-waste to Tennessee wtih 1600 of it coming to Utah, the entire economy will be undermined.

So says Energy Solutions and its advocates in the U.S. House, according to an article in today’s Salt Lake Tribune, reporting the overwhelming vote by the House to keep the waste out of the U.S.

"We are not surprised by today’s vote," EnergySolutions President Val Christensen said in a statement. "We are disappointed that the House of Representatives voted to place American jobs at risk."

I think what they meant to say was that it will hurt their corporate profits.

The next move will be from the Senate…..if they ever move to get a co-sponsor and take action. Neither Utah Senators have made any such moves.

Makes sense since, according to the article, Senator Bennett has ties to Energy Solutions Pollutions.

Vanessa Pierce, executive director of the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, says the Senate was likely just waiting for the House to give its nod before moving on its waste importation bill. Pierce and others now want Utah Sens. Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch, both Repubicans, to lend their support to the measure.
Neither Utahn is a cosponsor of the bill. And Bennett, up for reelection in 2010, already has accepted about $50,000 in campaign donations from EnergySolutions.

Opponents of the bill say that it is anti-American jobs and trade.

Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida argued against the bill during a brief House debate Wednesday. He called it an "anti-jobs, anti-trade" bill that would undermine economic recovery.

"In effect, this bill is going to hurt businesses in their area of trying to create jobs and promote economic growth," Stearns said.

But Congressman Matheson, D-Utah, says otherwise:

Matheson disputed that premise, noting that it would actually preserve disposal space for domestic businesses.

"I don’t know of any other country that takes imported waste," Matheson said. "For trade to exist, you have goods and services going in both directions. Not just in one. I don’t understand how this in any way can be described as a restraint of trade."

The fight isn’t over. It will be interesting to see how the Senate addresses this bill, if it does. If the corporations profiting from the potential influx of foreign waste get their way, what’s to stop them from pushing for higher levels of waste being imported? Where will the line be drawn? What has to happen for all of our politicians to wake up? In the meantime, engage in the comments on the Tribune site, lobby your legislators, write letters, take a stand and have your voice heard. Don’t let the corporate monsters scare you into thinking, with their greedy spin, that accepting the foreign waste will further hurt America’s economy. What it will do is further hurt Americans with more health risks. Who will pay for the care, then of those that get ill from more potential exposure?

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