02 February 2010

Radioactive Waste Commission

I may spend a little time looking at this today--there's a brief piece in The ACS house organ, Chemical & Engineering News.

What stands out immediately, 1) Nuclear Power seems to be more viable than ever for industry and government (I really know zero about this so it's time to do some research); 2) The commission is entirely peopled with "Nuclear advocates".

More striking and more than a little disconcerting is this--Pete Domenici is on it. Granted the only thing I knew about the former Senator from New Mexico is that he was embroiled (and apparently actively involved) in the US Attorney firings. But a quick glance at his Wikipedia page reveals plenty.

Re: Nukes--"Domenici has been an avid proponent of nuclear power and has published two books on the subject: "A Brighter Tomorrow: Fulfilling the Promise of Nuclear Energy" (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004), which he wrote; and "Advanced Nuclear Technologies — Hearing Before the Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate" (Collingdale, Pennsylvania: D I A N E Publishing Company, 1999), which he edited."

Re: Environmental voting record--WORST in the Senate in 2006 (I was going to qualify that as worst Republican, but I don't think I need to).

Then there is the fact that he apparently retired (in the midst of the aforementioned scandal) with a serious health concern-- that looks to me as if it would hamper his abilities on this commission.

One might give him props for his record on mental health issues--but it is simply another mark of self-interest as one of his children has schizophrenia. This is how our representatives govern--if you or your family are exactly like them then you'll be represented very well.

Finally, Chu claims this as quoted in the CENO piece: that the new commission "was not a siting commission. It is not about picking another spot for a nuclear waste repository. Instead it is to develop a strategy to address waste."

It's hard for me to imagine Pete Domenici doing much but advocating and encouraging--MORE Nuclear industry--ie Lobying from the inside--without the least concern for the environmental impact of the waste product.

Oh, yeah, did you see that his son, a Jr., is running for Governor in New Mexico?

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