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A Victory for Utah

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Score a significant victory for the state of Utah.

Two decisions announced recently by two Interior Department agencies is a veritable nail-in-the-coffin of an ill-fated plan to store the nation's nuclear waste in Utah's west desert. Utah won't become the nation's nuclear dumping ground!

Credit for the victory goes to an array of interests that used a variety of tactics over a ten-year period to oppose the project: politicians, bureaucrats, special interest groups, religious leaders, and most recently, the thousands of common citizens who emailed their concerns to the Bureau of Land Management.

Utah's victory, though, underscores two ongoing concerns that must be addressed.

First, is the nation's lack of a workable policy for dealing with spent nuclear fuel generated at nuclear power plants around the nation! Uncle Sam needs to get his act together to make long-term decisions, including the possibility of recycling the waste.

Second, is the impoverished plight of the small Skull Valley Band of Goshutes! They can't be faulted for seeking an opportunity to improve their economic predicament. Indeed, a renewed effort should be undertaken by the state to help them with economic development.

Let Utah's victory in the nuclear waste battle become a catalyst for resolving these other challenges.

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