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Many football fans in Utah will remember the 1980 Holiday Bowl.
There’s BYU, down 21 points with two-and-a-half minutes to play. Cougar fans leave the stadium in droves. Those at home turn off their televisions and radios. A loss to SMU seems inevitable. But, the BYU team doesn’t give up. They stage one of the greatest comebacks in college football history and win 46-45.
So, what’s the point?
Utah, led by Governor Leavitt, is waging a battle to keep high-level nuclear waste from being stored in the state. It’s the fourth quarter and some disillusioned legislators believe victory is out of reach. They say federal approval to store the nation’s waste on the Goshute Reservation is virtually guaranteed. And since the game is lost why not offer an alternative Utah site and reap a financial windfall.
Those lawmakers are forgetting the real bottom line: Utah must not become the nation’s dumping ground for high-level nuclear waste. It doesn’t matter if it is a site in Skull Valley or a more isolated location in Southeastern Utah, as they’re proposing.
At this stage in the fight to keep nuclear waste out of Utah, a united front of opposition is more important than having key lawmakers spouting off about ill-conceived alternatives.
It may be the fourth quarter with the state facing an uphill battle, but as Yogi once said, and the Cougars proved in 1980, "it ain’t over ‘til it’s over."