Congressman, advocates concerned Energy Solutions may go back on word

Congressman, advocates concerned Energy Solutions may go back on word

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SALT LAKE CITY -- There is growing concern Energy Solutions will go back on a no-expansion agreement between the company and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, now that the governor is slated to become U.S. Ambassador to China.

Utah 2nd District Rep. Jim Matheson, who was at the State Capitol for an open meeting discussing foreign waste and efforts to halt it, told KSL Newsradio the prospect is concerning.


"That's always been the issue when you have an agreement with one person," Matheson says. "When that person leaves, where are you? It's an open question and at some point, people are going to have to ask for resolution to that. And if we don't have it, then maybe it's time for our legislature to get engaged."

Advocates share similar worries.

"As far as we're concerned, a deal's a deal," says Vanessa Pierce, executive director of HEAL Utah. "If the company becomes mealy-mouthed about their commitment, I think that really shows their true colors."

A spokesman for Energy Solutions tells KSL Newsradio the company has no comment as to whether the deal applies to future governors.

In 2007, Energy Solutions agreed to halt its expansion bid in exchange for concessions from Gov. Huntsman, including permission to convert 3.6 million cubic yards of space to accommodate debris from decommissioned nuclear power plants.

Matheson, meanwhile, is co-sponsoring a bill in Washington to prevent foreign nuclear waste from showing up in the U.S. He briefed dozens of advocates and concerned citizens at the State Capitol Monday about those efforts and other related topics.


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