During the Las Vegas GOP debate last night, one question turned to a more local issue for Nevadans when the candidates were asked about their position on the proposed nuclear waste-burial site planned to be in Yucca Mountain, 90 miles away from Las Vegas.
While former Speaker Newt Gingrich said Yucca was a good location for it, former Gov. Mitt Romney said it was a states’ rights issue. “If Nevada says, ‘Look, we don’t want it,’ then let other states make bids and say, ‘Look, we’ll take it,’” he said.
And for once, Texas Gov. Rick Perry acknowledged that he agreed with Romney’s position:
“From time to time Mitt and I don’t agree, but on this one he’s hit the nail on the head,” Perry said.
“Allow the states to make the decision,” Perry added. “And some state out there will see the economic issue and they will have it in their state.”
Now Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who has endorsed Perry, is hoping that Perry will join him in supporting the Yucca Mountain project, which Nevadans strongly oppose:
Inhofe told reporters outside the Capitol Wednesday that he hopes to speak with the Perry camp on the matter.
“I am looking forward to that conversation,” Inhofe said. Inhofe also said he did not believe the question about Yucca was asked fairly in the debate.
“I think you will see a more modified answer next time,” Inhofe said.
The Obama administration has backed away from the Yucca Mountain proposal, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has consistently opposed the plan.
And during the GOP debate, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) also said he approached the issue from a states’ rights perspective, but he reached a different conclusion than Romney and Perry: “What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say we’re going to put our garbage in your state? […] I think that’s wrong.”