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Posts published in “Day: March 11, 2015”

Governor Otter just doesn’t get it

carlson CHRIS


Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s failure to understand not just the nuances but the primary purpose of the nuclear waste agreement negotiated for the state in 1995 with the Department of Energy and the Navy by Governor Phil Batt is simply appalling. It’s the people of Idaho and their descendents who are going to suffer if Governor Otter’s obsession with money trumping environmental risks warrants his unilaterally abrogating the Governor Batt 1995 agreement.

The waiver he and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are ready to allow for the importation of commercial spent fuel rods should be withdrawn or halted by a Federal district judge. It violates both the letter of the law and the spirit of the agreement.

Every citizen of Idaho, and every future Idahoan, should stand and applaud two of Idaho’s best former governors, Batt, the Republican, and Andrus, the Democrat, for coming out of retirement and dedicating themselves to reversing the folly of this successor. May the good people of Idaho recognize how extraordinary this is and rally to the cause.

As Governor Batt has pointed out recently, by a two to one margin the voters of the state ratified his agreement that states no more commercial nuclear waste is to be brought into Idaho. Furthermore, that which is here is to be gone by 2035. We know that won’t happen because work at the proposed national repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was stopped and the Obama Administration has shut it down.

Now, there are reliable reports the federal government is going to ask Idaho for a 15-year extension of that deadline to 2050. Why shouldn’t they, since in Otter they have a compliant, asleep at the switch governor who rolls over every time he’s asked to do so.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the handwriting on the wall - any additional commercial waste, including spent fuel rods, brought to Idaho for any reason is going to be here for a long, long time stored above the Snake River Plain aquifer.

Governor Otter’s response to the announcement that his two predecessors are getting ready to go to federal court to enforce the Batt agreement was pure blarney. It was nothing but a partisan, red herring designed to divert attention to the real issue.

Yes, Governors Batt and Andrus do see storing commercial nuclear waste above the aquifer as a liability. They also understand that legitimate research will continue with plenty of what’s already there available for research. Furthermore, they can see the best insurance for continuing research activities at the site is to clean up what’s there and not let the site become the nation’s de facto nuclear garbge dump.

What doesn’t Governor Otter understand about the Batt agreement’s emphatic, unequivocal “no more commercial waste” in Idaho?”

What doesn’t Governor Otter understand about the National Environmental Policy Act’s requirement that major federal actions impacting the environment have to be subject to public review and comment?

The NEPA process is to be an open, transparent process with plenty of time for citizen comments. On that point alone the former governors should prevail easily in a court of law. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

West Ada school bond passed (Boise Statesman)
Denate over landowners selling hunting tags (Boise Statesman)
Debate continues over transport funding bills (Nampa Preess Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune)
WA Senate would ban most cellphone/driving uses (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Reviewing wolves roaming Blue Mountain region (Lewiston Tribune)
Police look into hazing at UI (Moscow News)
All 5 Canyon school bond levies pass (Nampa Press Tribune)
'Add no words' concert protested by LGBT (Nampa Press Tribune)
Reviewing oil rail safety record (Pocatello Journal)
Rally held at Boise for anti-bully legislation (Pocatello Journal)
In SE Idaho, levies pass and bonds fail (Pocatello Journal)
Magic Valley school ballot issues win (TF Times News)

Dave Frohnmayer, former UO president, dies (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News)
Reviewing city policy on filming police (Eugene Register Guard)
What to do about second floors downtown (KF Herald & News)
New program could limit irrigator expenses (KF Herald & News)
Jackson Co voters okay local pot tax (Medford Tribune)
Property tax challenge by Round Up ends (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Morrow port may buy some chemical depot land (Pendleton E Oregonian)
State timber advisor had outside business (Portland Oregonian)
Governor Brown offering legislative package (Salem Statesman Journal)
Salem parks offer 'angry owl' signs (Salem Statesman Journal)

Plan to ban Whatcom nonprofit funnding fails (Bellingham Herald)
Senate would restricting smartphone/drivinng use (Vancouver Columbian, Bremerton Sun, Olympian, Longview News)
Are Oso people getting aid? (Everett Herald)
Arlington-Darrington optic line finished (Everett Herald)
Letter blasts cut in Hanford cleanups (Kennewick Herald)
Longview Port turns down propane terminal plan (Longview News)
Cigarette smuggling rises along with taxes (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Olympic Mountains said to be in drought (Port Angeles News)
Jet orders rising, but it may not last (Seattle Times)
New Seattle police brass coming from outside (Seattle Times)
Legislature moves WSU closer to med school (Spokane Spokesman, Yakima Herald Republic)
Vancouver port in big oil terminal fight (Vancouver Columbian)