Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2014

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Reid, Ensign join forces against Yucca Mountain

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Harry Reid doesn’t bargain with the devil.

Reid and fellow Nevada Sen. John Ensign stood as one today to pushed back against those in Nevada who would like the see the state soften its opposition to Yucca Mountain and reconsider potential economic benefits of the proposed nuclear waste dump.

Over the past week, longtime Yucca Mountain advocates -- or those who are neutral -- have reasserted themselves in a way the state hasn’t seen in years.

They seized on an opening handed to them when the longtime director of the state office fighting the dump, Bob Loux, came under fire for improperly giving himself and his staff unapproved pay raises.

Reid, a Democrat, and Ensign, a Republican, said there would be no negotiating over the dump.

“There will be no deal cut,” Reid said on a call with Nevada reporters. “You can’t deal with the devil, and that’s what Yucca Mountain is.”

As Ensign put it: “Absolutely no way.”

“Senator Reid and I are standing shoulder to shoulder in this fight,” Ensign said.

Neither senator would wade into the pay raise controversy, saying it was the state’s decision how to handle the situation.

“I like Bob personally,” Reid said. “But it’s not up to me to decide what’s going to happen.”

Said Ensign: “Senator Reid and I have enough fights back here to worry about.”

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