Nuclear Issues: The Legislative Rundown for 2009

HEAL Utah has offered this “recap” of the Legislative session for 2009 nuclear issues:

Passed: Economic Development Incentives for Alternative Energy Projects (HB430) passes but is amended to include nuclear power as renewable energy.
On the last day of the session, Sen. Sheldon Killpack (R-Syracuse) tainted a bill intended to provide tax incentives for renewable energy generation and manufacturing by amending it to include nuclear power as renewable energy. Renewable energy projects should benefit from these incentives well before a nuclear power plant ever comes online, but the amendment’s passage is a troubling gauge of our legislature’s understanding of basic science.

Please thank these legislators for speaking out against this amendment and for understanding that nuclear power is not renewable:

Rep. Sheryl Allen (R-Bountiful): sherylallen@utah.gov, Home (801) 295−8576
Rep. Janice Fisher (D-Salt Lake): janicefisher@utah.gov, Home (801) 250−2698
Rep. Christine Johnson (D-Salt Lake): christinejohnson@utah.gov, Cell (801) 661−3489

Failed: Environmental Litigation Bond (HB 379)
This bill sponsored by anti-environment crusader Mike Noel (R-Kanab) would have required any Utahn who wants to stop a company from threatening their health or environment to first post a bond to cover the company’s costs for stopping the threatening activity in question. Though it passed the House overwhelmingly, a more reluctant Senate never brought the bill to a vote under the strong possibility of a veto from Governor Huntsman.

Please thank Rep. Kay McIff (R-Richfield), a retired judge, for speaking out on the House floor against this blatant effort to restrict your access to the courts: kaymciff@utah.gov, Cell (801) 608−4331

See how your representative voted here:http://healutah.org/legislativerecap09/hb379

Passed: Joint Resolution Supporting Nuclear Power (SJR 16)
Despite a vast outpouring of public opposition at a senate committee hearing, this resolution disappointingly passed both House and Senate with large majorities. The resolution does not carry much weight, but is again a troubling gauge of our legislature’s understanding of the realities of nuclear power.

Click here to see how your legislators voted on this measure: http://healutah.org/legislativerecap09/SJR16

Failed: The EnergySolutions Legislative Buy Off Attempt
Despite the millions it spent on TV ads, campaign contributions, and lobbying, EnergySolutions’ attempt to offer the state cash for the right to import foreign nuclear waste failed. The public outcry was too much for the legislature to stomach and, an actual bill never materialized. Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, and attended the “Utah is NOT for sale!” rally.

No Action: Nuclear Power Distribution and Generation (SB 42 & HB 440)
With a nuclear power plan materializing on the Green River, we had hoped this would be the year for an honest debate about the cost to Utahns of such a plan and what to do with the waste. Sen. Scott McCoy’s and Rep. Jay Seegmiller’s bills would have required nuclear power in Utah to be affordable to Utah ratepayers and have a disposal plan for the high-level waste. Regrettably, legislative power brokers were determined to give a free pass to former legislator/nuclear power developer Aaron Tilton and both bills were bottled up in House and Senate rules committees, never to see the light of day.  We wil continue to work hard througout the year to see that these issues are raised next session.

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