So, in this third and final installment, I’m going to summarize the nuclear waste situation and also insert a bit more history and relevant information, and then jump right to the part pertaining to Native American tribal leaders.
1) As a result of American foreign policy vis-a-vis the former Soviet Union which led to The Cold War, and which mandated a very rapid build-up of nuclear weapons, we began to create a lot of weapons-related radioactive waste beginning in the 1950’s. There was no safe and permanent plan for what to do with all this nuclear waste.
We also began to create (civilian) nuclear waste through the construction and use of commercial nuclear reactors which provided electricity to a large segment of the United States. Again, there was no “back end” solution to deal with what is referred to as, “closing the fuel cycle,” and which would require permanent geologic (deep, borehole) nuclear waste sites in the US. Since no American state wanted the risk, responsibility or liability of dealing with such dangerous materials, for which there is no historical or scientific precedent on such long time scales (millions of years), a site in Nevada called Yucca Mountain was chosen in 1978 to become THE repository of all commercial waste.
In 2014, 36 years after the initial planning and construction began, and after roughly BILLIONS of dollars was spent, with years of delay and legal challenges to Yucca Mountain’s imposed grim “destiny,” and under intense political pressure from Harry Reid (D-Nevada), the plan to ship nuclear waste to Nevada was considered “dead.” This leaves a yawning gap of many decades between when the US government became legally obligated to accept nuclear waste from American utility companies and the possibility of such waste having anywhere at all to go. Ever.
2) In 2010, then-Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu (under President Obama’s orders) assembled the Blue Ribbon Commission to study this nuclear waste problem and try to come up with a viable solution, including finding incredibly SNEAKY ways to pick sites which did not seemingly FORCE states or tribes to comply. Meanwhile, three decades of obligatory payments made by American utility companies to the US government which were supposed to be accruing in the Nuclear Waste Fund and which were earmarked specifically to handle the construction, transport and storage of commercial waste have been essentially stolen through Congressional actions to make the US deficit appear smaller than it really is.
3) This has resulted in the Fund being completely depleted to the tune of $28 billion dollars and has left the US taxpayer exposed to what is, initially, roughly $60 billion dollars (and growing) of liabilities and lawsuits. In other words:
1st time taxpayers paid for this mess: When utility companies passed on their waste fees to consumers;
2nd time taxpayers paid: We are currently paying the second time around (right now) to defend and pay out on lots of lawsuits by utility companies brought before the Department of Justice, and paid out of an entirely different pot of money called the Judgement Fund (since Congress eventually legislated that the Nuclear Waste Fund couldn’t be used for this purpose, either). The current stampede of lawsuits is caused by utility companies suing because the US government continues to fail to fulfill their obligations to transport and store all this nuclear waste to a safer place, plus there are significant damages and costs associated in having to store and maintain the “integrity” of all of this nuclear waste. This will go on for DECADES and the expense may bankrupt the United States, dwarfing the 2008 financial meltdown;
3rd time taxpayers will pay: When the warehouse of “IOU’s” Congress has written and stuffed into the jar of the Nuclear Waste Fund eventually comes due and the US Treasury must reimburse the Fund for borrowing money (basically, from itself) with the help of bizarre accounting schemes and for which there has been no proper accounting or budgeting for the impending doom of PAYBACK, which will of course include interest paid to itself for borrowing money from itself, or some crazy shit like that. Talk about a negative feedback loop! The accounting firm, KPMG’s 2011/2012 link to their attempt to make sense of this will be in my Reference section. Here’s a snippet:
4th time taxpayers will pay for this nightmare: To foot the bill for a (hopefully more) successful siting process (Yucca Mountain already cost taxpayers about $10 billion dollars – and for THAT money, we have absolutely nothing) and permanent construction site while continuing to pay for serious shortfalls in the calculation and construction costs associated with even attempting to contain and safeguard all this waste, for which there is no historical precedent. For example, the government has to GUESS what languages will be spoken and what (any evolutionary version of) humans will understand hundreds and hundreds of thousands of years into the future. And I am NOT kidding…this is one sign that has been created to warn whoever or whatever gets close to this radioactive glop:
The nuclear waste, which is currently scattered all over the United States at reactor sites owned by utility companies, continues to be created through a nuclear “open cycle” mandated by the Department of Energy which means that they choose not to reprocess waste (sort of like recycling it) materials because it might not end up making the “really good shit.” Again, so many onion layers of stupid.
There is probably a 5th and 6th time that taxpayers will take it on the chin, but I haven’t thought of it yet.
And, the cherry on top of this lethal radioactive ice cream sundae is that the Department of Energy needs America to keep using nuclear power INDEFINITELY (and thus we keep creating the waste that has nowhere to go) because if they tell the truth that it isn’t actually “clean energy” (in fact, it is the deadliest and dirtiest energy on earth), then how are we going to ever get more MONEY into the bank account meant to deal with it in the first place and which has already been spent on the deficit? If your head is spinning at the utter fucking stupidity of the mess our ELECTED leaders have gotten us into, and if you want to fire them all and hire a bunch of damn monkeys to just throw darts at a board with possible options about how best to proceed, well, count me in. The moronic result of this waste situation mandates that the IDIOTS running this country, from Congress, to the Executive Branch, and particularly the Department of Energy need to keep pushing nuclear energy as part of the “all of the above” American energy master scheme, essentially doubling down on a really bad idea with no exit strategy in sight.
But let’s get back to the Blue Ribbon Commission Reports…I have to admit: they did a pretty good job and they made very concise summations. I will put links to their reports in my Reference section on this page. Now, guess who was part of that Blue Ribbon Commission? If you are guessing Bobblehead Moniz, the CURRENT Department of Energy Secretary, then you’re right.
And the (new) head of Energy’s finances? One of the architects of the financial reporting on the Blue Ribbon Commission, Joseph Hezir. In short, there are a lot of reasons that the Energy Department has suddenly, in the past month or so, dusted off the whole “can’t we all just get along song and dance,” wanting to really engage Native Americans and give them funding for this or that, and set up scholarships for nuclear studies and drag these poor folks into the Energy Department’s den of despair.
Yucca has failed miserably and this Blue Ribbon report has given them marching orders. Thanks to this newfangled thing called the internet and lots of Googling, virtually anyone can (and hopefully will) access at least part of the strategy they have cooked up. The Blue Ribboners traveled the world looking for possible solutions to their quandary, and were apparently inspired by the example of how the Swedes fooled their people into thinking that they “won” the right to have a waste site, the Blue Ribboners became true believers in the power of the mind fuck. And it’s not called the “Stockholm Syndrome” for nothing!
The Swedes (after striking out repeatedly trying to shove waste repositories down their own countrymen’s throats) put a truly unique “spin” on the whole siting process. Make sure you are sitting down for this and swallow whatever is in your mouth: The Swedes made it a CONTEST. A competition. They had people compete for the chance to have their own nuclear waste site. I am not kidding. I’ve included 5 pages of this nonsense from the Blue Ribbon Commission Report below. The utter stupidity of these people to even PUBLISH this stuff anywhere that can be found by those who just might care to find out what they are up to just makes it all the more clear that they don’t have the intellect to deal with the problems they’ve created. And then mix in the frequent comments (see one of them at the end of page 5 below) throughout the report about how this whole NUKE-YOU-LOR kinda issue is far too complicated for the average dumbass, taxpaying citizen to possibly have a chance to understand, you know, with the spit dribbling down their grubby chins and all…
Why do they want to get Native Americans (more) involved in this process? They spell that out, too. Maybe they just don’t think we’re smart enough to understand their fancy lingo (it’s not that fancy). Many states have put up a very good fight against getting stuck with this nuclear waste. The Energy Department is still smarting from completely screwing up Yucca Mountain. Nevada, like Idaho and other states, managed to find a lot of “state-like” jurisdictional methods and maneuvers to fend off the looming radioactive gift that keeps on giving. Oh, those pesky states! But the Blue Ribboners felt quite certain that all those inalienable rights to sovereignty, self-determination, self-government….you know, all those things that they completely disregard when they choose to (like that recent Apache Land grab) will come in VERY handy when they want tribes to sign up and compete to get their very own nuclear waste site. From the Blue Ribbon reports:
The Blue Ribboners ALMOST (but not quite) grab on to one actual and for-real example of Native Americans winning a court battle which makes them look like they are indeed in charge of their own lands. They cite a case where tribes attempted to ban the transportation of nuclear waste through their property. I say “almost” because the tribe did not, in fact, “win.”
You can BET Moniz’ bad haircut:
that he’s bought a truckload of “White Out” and he’s feverishly trying to rewrite old court decisions at this very moment, attempting to prove that, hey look, Native Americans have SO MANY RIGHTS that they’ve won a whole bunch of dang cases where they were actually exercising their sovereignty, jurisdiction and self determination. And since they OBVIOUSLY call all the shots when and where they want to (except for, um, things like that Apache sacred land thingy and a few other little bits of stuff here and there), then they can decide to win the “Big Competition for the Awesome Nuclear Secret Sauce” and get their very own waste site (and we’ll even manage to throw in lots of never ending liabilities!) and then we can go AROUND all those potential pesky state legal interferences.
Now, it is not for me to say what, if anything, Native American tribal leaders should do. I just want them to know what they’re dealing with. And who they’re dealing with. These Ribboners caution that it is gonna take YEARS to convince and brainwash anyone who will sit still for their snazzy infomercial that the Department of Energy, bearing glowing gifts of lethal waste (better stock up on kitty litter, peeps) really want their INPUT and CONSENT and they’ve got a lot of cool new terms for how they’re gonna con people, including a lot of references to what can only be called bribery. Not even good enough to be called references, actually. I’m giving them too much credit. They’re fairly explicit that the “old way” as outlined in previous strategies, was woefully insufficient and that it is, therefore, not going to do at all. The “game” must definitely be “upped.”
What would I do, personally? Well, not knowing how Native Americans look at this situation (curse vs opportunity) and with the assumption that they do not all share the same opinion, much like every other group or nation of people, I will now transform myself into a hypothetical “other nation” or collective group of people and let you know what I’m thinking here. I’ll call my nation the “Schatzies,” for lack of a better word (and so that I might only offend myself).
I imagine that, as part of the Schatzie leadership, and having explored just how desperate the US government is, and assuming that whatever they have made public about how screwed they are is just a small part of a really big and much, much worse picture since they are basically a bunch of big fat liars, I’m going to really stick it to them. You can imagine that some parts of the Schatzies plan are not going to be written right here for anyone to read, but basically, I’m going to find some plot of dirt that I may or may not have ownership to, con them into thinking I do own it or have rights to it. Easy peasy. They make shit up all the time. So can I. When they initially come calling for the first part of their stupid attempt to fool me, which they won’t, I’m going to take the bull by the horns and let them know that I’m going to cut short this painfully embarrassing (for them) song and dance, and I’m just going to agree to take their radioactive shit right away. Then, I’m going to hire the best and most expensive army of filthy former tobacco industry attorneys and demand pretty much everything short of the entire United States of America be returned (since they have not been stewards of basically ANYTHING other than their own pocketbooks and self interests).
I’m going to demand changes to the Cabinet, starting with the Secretary of Energy. I’m going to share being President of the United States with a rotating group of Schatzies. I’m gonna run the Department of Education. I’m going to supersize NASA (and convince them not to abandon the Earth unless they take my people with them). I’m going to outlaw fossil fuels and send those fuckers to prison. And I’m not talking “white collar farms.” I’m talking Sing Sing. But first I’m going to let out the vast majority of people who are in there for crimes that are not particularly heinous, because, hell, Congress and the rest of these underhanded assholes have already done so much worse. I’m going to definitely keep the pedophiles in that prison, and that’s where I’m going to put a select, handpicked group, including the fossil fuel assholes, who are nearly all men, so they’re gonna have a great time with that. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some women (hello, Department of the Interior) who have done the Schatzies and the natural world very wrong. Just take for example all those poor mustangs and other precious creatures that have been poisoned, corralled and killed on federal lands. They need pay back. So, let’s sum things up:
There is going to be new leadership. And it’s going to be people with a genuine interest, intent and purpose in bringing back our natural world to where it thrives again and doesn’t just shrivel up and die before our eyes. There will be NO fossil fuels. No damn GMO’s. No hoarding of seeds, or gold or any such nonsense. And with the exception of the nuclear waste I’m going to help those idiots bury so it stops hanging over everyone’s head, and just a spoonful of plutonium which I’m going to shove up Rex Tillerson’s ass (right before I send him up the river), there will be no more nuclear ANYTHING. Clean energy is going to actually be clean. Education, proper medical care for everyone (except the Sing Singers, of course) – basic human decency WILL BE RESTORED except for the criminals who have done my people and this (once great) nation wrong. And for those who think the Schatzie’s are a bunch of really vengeful people, well, you’re right. Deal with it.
Stupid ideas such as dimming the sun to bring down the temperature on earth so that we can just keep burning fossil fuels, you know, crazy stuff like that? It will NOT be tolerated and be considered a viable plan to fix anything. Don’t like it? Go live on an island with sociopath Richard Branson and let HIM tell you what to do because the Schatzies are outlawing the former leadership and its tireless and unrelenting greed. And if anyone thinks us naïve, then you have, understandably, become jaded. Go sit with a class of 1st graders and ask them about right and wrong and you will see that common sense does not come with a diploma from an ivy league school. We all have it. We are just too afraid to let ourselves believe in it anymore.
Sound like the Schatzies are aiming too high? Not at all. The problem is that everyone has come to expect and accept so very little these days. And not fully realizing just how monumental the “pickle” the US government has gotten itself into means just settling, and selling ourselves short. No more of it. Taking it back to where it belongs.
Dick Cheney, you’re the first to go.