On 10/17/2008 The Morrison County Record published an article titled: District 12B Candidates Debate Energy. I appreciated the information the paper provided to voters on this subject and have to say that I was startled and alarmed by the comments made by 12B candidate Mike LeMieur.  

According to the article LeMieur stated: “The whole state of Minnesota should invest in nuclear power, too,” LeMieur said. “There are no carbon emissions at all, it’s very efficient, and I just disagree with Al’s vote against the proposed amendment. We are one of the only states in the country that has a ban on new nuclear energy, and the House failed to change that.”

It is perhaps a very good thing Rep. Al Doty was at the capitol holding the line on new nuclear energy production as opposed to Mike LeMieur. While the Republican candidate is correct regarding the lack of carbon emissions, I hardly see an increase in the volume of spent nuclear waste accumulating on temporary storage pads across the country as a wiser, planet friendlier, cost effective option.

Twenty-five years after Congress passed the National Nuclear Waste Storage Act and mandated the establishment of an underground repository, long term storage of the nation’s nuclear waste still remains in question. To date, American ratepayers have contributed approximately $28 billion to the national Nuclear Waste Fund without result. At present, there are approximately 169 million Americans living within 75 miles of temporary nuclear waste storage sites in 39 states.

I am tired of politicians enacting short-sighted solutions that leave our children and grandchildren to mop up after our generations failed policies.  Adding more nuclear waste to the American landscape without a long term storage solution is not only bad policy; its poor leadership.