Here are some documents that show how a news release from Jim Gibbons ignired a firestorm that has brought the dreaded dump issue back to the front burner. (No, I have no more fire metaphors for you right now.) Here are the docs:
The Gibbons release:
The state engineer's letter:
The Reid release:
REID “INCREDIBLY DISAPPIONTED” AT STATE’S DECISION TO LIFT CEASE AND DESIST ORDER ON YUCCA
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada released the following statement on the news that the State of Nevada placed a stay on the cease and desist order on the Department of Energy (DOE). This decision allows the DOE to continue stealing water from Nevada’s limited supplies in order to develop the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.
“I’m incredibly disappointed. This is the biggest gift the DOE has received since I’ve been in Washington and I am shocked that it was delivered by the administration of a former Nevada Congressman. The letter from the State’s Division of Water Resources to the DOE lays out every reason the DOE should cease and desist. Yet, at the same time, the State gave the DOE the green light to move forward on this project, while the entire Nevada congressional delegation continues to fight to prevent Nevada from becoming the nation’s nuclear dumping ground. I assure the people of Nevada that I will continue to leverage my position as the Senate Majority Leader to prevent this dump from ever becoming a reality.”
The Democratic Party release:
ALERT: Are Nevada Republicans, led by Gibbons, softening on Yucca Mountain?
Gibbons appoints Yucca SUPPORTER to state commission
LAS VEGAS – Now that he is in the governor’s office, is Jim Gibbons warming up to the idea of dumping nuclear waste in Nevada?
On the heels of news that Gibbons is allowing the federal government to use state water on the Yucca Mountain site, news emerged that Gibbons has replaced a Yucca Mountain opponent on the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects with someone who supports the dump.
Meanwhile, recent FEC reports indicate that Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden gave $1,000 to Sen. John McCain, the most vocal supporter of Yucca Mountain among the candidates now running for president. [“Contributions to John S. McCain,” www.fec.gov]
Gibbons’ latest move is especially troubling.
The Nuclear Projects Commission has traditionally been once of the strongest voices against Yucca Mountain, but, according to today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gibbons “has replaced long-time Yucca Mountain opponent Michon Mackedon with Nye County Commissioner Joni Eastley.” [“Gibbons lets Yucca Mountain project use state's water for another month,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 18, 2007]
Eastley is arguably one of the state’s most vocal SUPPORTERS of Yucca Mountain:
Eastley told the Review-Journal in 2002 that she “sees a bright future for Tonopah, a future that includes Yucca Mountain. For Eastley, the benefits for Tonopah far outweigh its risks. ‘The people in this community are very patriotic and they're proud of the fact that they had something to do with developing the storage facility for this waste,’ she said as she sipped iced tea at a cafe on U.S. Highway 95, one of the possible routes for high-level waste through Nevada. ‘Nye County wants people to recognize that Yucca Mountain is not located in Las Vegas,’ she said. ‘This is not located in Clark County. This is located in our home.’ [“Yucca Mountain: Towns mixed on repository,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 14, 2002]
“When Nye County Commissioners passed a resolution on Yucca Mountain in 2002, Eastley suggested the radioactive waste not be called waste but ‘a potential resource.’” [“County wants special consideration in Yucca Mountain issue,” Las Vegas View Neighborhood Newspapers, May 3, 2002]
Former Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn publicly contradicted Eastley in 2004 after she traveled to Reno and appeared on the “Nevada Newsmakers” TV program “to argue that Nevada can't stop storage of high-level nuclear waste at the proposed Yucca Mountain dump. They (Eastley and Nye/Esmeralda Economic Development Authority member Trish Rippie) said Nye County has received large sums of money from the U.S. Department of Energy, which administers the dump project, convincing the county to drop its ‘aggressive neutrality’ toward the dump. [“Nye officials discuss YMP on Reno station,” Pahrump Valley Times, Jan. 9, 2004]
In the same article, Gibbons told the RJ, “We plan to fill those positions (on the nuclear commission) with people who feel the way the state of Nevada feels, that Yucca Mountain is bad for the state and bad for the country.”
“Jim Gibbons needs to fess up – is he telling the truth when he says he is against Yucca Mountain? If so, why did he replace someone who opposes Yucca Mountain on a nuclear board with Eastley, who wants to give the federal government a green light to dump nuclear waste in Nevada?” said Kirsten Searer, deputy executive director of the Nevada Democratic Party.
“Gibbons is either paying flimsy lip service to the people of Nevada, or he didn’t bother to check Eastley’s vocal support of the dump. Either way, it’s very disturbing,” Searer said.
And a late entry today: A release from Shelley Berkley--
BERKLEY SAYS NEVADA GOVERNOR SHOULD NOT GIVE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY “ONE SINGLE DROP OF WATER” FOR YUCCA MOUNTAIN
(July 18, 2007 -- Washington, D.C.) Calling plans to turn Nevada into the nation’s nuclear waste dump one of the gravest threats facing the Silver State, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) today urged Governor Jim Gibbons to reverse his administration’s recent decision to allow the Department of Energy (DOE) continued access to water for work at Yucca Mountain. Without the OK by the Gibbons administration, DOE would have been unable to tap Nevada water supplies for on-going research at the proposed dump site as a result of a ruling by Nevada’s water engineer.
“Denying the Department of Energy access to water for work at Yucca Mountain is one of the strongest weapons Nevada has in its fight to prevent our state from becoming a nuclear garbage dump,” said Berkley. “I urge Governor Gibbons to reconsider allowing DOE to tap Nevada water resources so work at Yucca Mountain can continue, even if only for a limited time. The Energy Department should not be able to use one single drop of Nevada water to further President Bush’s goal of dumping toxic nuclear waste 90 minutes outside Las Vegas.”
Berkley pointed to Congressional legislation authored by the Bush administration that would block Nevada’s right to deny water for work at Yucca Mountain as proof that proponents of the dump realize that the issue could be the nuke dump’s Achilles Heel.
“President Bush is pushing Congress to pass legislation that would override Nevada’s control of its own water resources. That is because President Bush realizes that without water, there will be no nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain. Governor Gibbons should continue to deny the Energy Department’s attempt to steal one of the most important natural resources we have as a state – our water supplies. We must work in Congress, in Carson City and in our local communities to stop Yucca Mountain and I hope that Governor Gibbons recognizes the wrong signal this decision sends to those who want to see nuclear waste dumped in Nevada.”
Under the Bush legislation, dubbed the “Fix Yucca” bill, the State of Nevada would be barred from enacting laws to block DOE’s use of water at the proposed dump site. The legislation specifies that once passed, it would give the Department of Energy access to the water it says is needed to run Yucca Mountain. Berkley continues to rally opposition in Congress against the “Fix Yucca” bill.
Henry Waxman thinks so:
Gamers, big business try to bend regulators to their will -- again. Here's the new reg on the green building tax breaks and here's the legislative lawyer's response:
1. The overall style will need to be changed to fit into the style of NAC which means that at least:
(a) A definition that is used only once will be incorporated substantively into the section in which it is used; and
(b) The substantive provisions will be removed from any remaining definitions.
2. In Section 3, the definition of "Construction Contractor" is very broad and we need to consider whether it works as used in section 16 to determine what purchases qualify for the sales tax exemption (e.g. can purchases made by the developer be exempt?)
3. In Section 6, when combined with section 15 seems to exempt more than is allowed by statute - only the building is allowed the exemption and abatement. This section seems to contemplate the exemption and abatement of the whole project (e.g. parking lots, grounds, etc.).
4. We are not sure that section 13 works in terms of when the exemption can be applied and the extent of the exemption.
5. In section 14, paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) appear to conflict with the statute.
6. In section 16, paragraph (d) appears to exceed the authority in the statute to the extent that it includes more than products or materials "used in the construction of a building."
7. In section 18, the definition appears to be circular and no method is actually ever described - when read in combination with section 25, we don't think it works (inclusion of last clause "a parent, subsidiary . . ." is also a problem.
8. In section 19, we can't find any authority for a "modified resale license."
9. We don't understand what paragraph (d) of section 20 is intended to do or how it would work.
10. In section 21, we would need to delete paragraphs (a) and (b) because they only duplicate statute and (c) seems to need to include a provision saying that the property tax will be repaid unless it is somewhere else that we missed.
11. In section 22, the penalty and interest provisions already in statute and reg will have to be applied but we are not sure what the combination of the paragraphs are intended to do.
12. Section 23 goes beyond the statute to require fiscal notes for terminations and requires the fiscal note to be produced "in cooperation with the EA" which seems to conflict with statute.
13. In section 24, we would suggest that the term "assignees" in the third line is too broad - something like "agent" would be closer to the statute and we are not sure that the statute will allow transfer of the credit for the taxes paid.