[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sat Jun 12 01:10:06 PDT 2010

On Jun 11, 2010, at 11:05 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:
> You mean like the not-in-my-backyard'ers in Nevada who don't want nuclear "waste" buried deep in a mountain?
> Where we can get to deep bedrock with no real water table invasion and mixing problem, we have all of the safe storage we could want.  It's dumb not to use it unless there are clear, scientific dangers.

The problem with the Nevada site was always political, not scientific.  Other states with nuclear waste essentially forced the site to be in Nevada without Nevada's consent and were unwilling to make any concessions to Nevada in return. 

For example, the government controls ~90% of the land in Nevada. About half of this government land has no purpose, it is unmanaged land sitting on the Federal register for a century with no designation or use. This has created terrible land pressure around the metro areas because the government never gives up land, they will only trade for a bigger piece somewhere else.  In exchange for allowing the Federal government to turn 40% of the state into a nuclear waste dump, they wanted a portion of the unused Federal land returned to the state so that the metros and agricultural counties would have more land available. They were laughed out of town.

It is easy to see why land use issues become political. There is a terrible shortage of non-Federal land in most parts of  Nevada and the Feds will not release any of it and have no real reason for this policy.  At the same time, other states essentially use the Federal land in Nevada for their own purposes. It isn't about nuclear waste, that is just a convenient political football that both parties in the state use as cover for a more complicated bipartisan matter.

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