Friday, March 19, 2004 | 9:09 a.m.
WASHINGTON -- The League of Conservation Voters on Wednesday began running radio ads in Nevada to encourage Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., to continue to oppose pending energy legislation.
Congress has yet to pass a comprehensive energy bill that has been talked about since the early days of the Bush administration. It came close last year, when House and Senate negotiators came to an agreement on a final version of the bill. It passed in the House but stalled in the Senate.
Ensign voted to end debate on the bill, but promised to vote against its final passage. The bill never made it that far. Since then a new bill has surfaced in the Senate. Ensign spokesman Jack Finn said he is still reviewing the so-called scaled-down version of the energy bill, but as long as it contains provisions promoting new investment in nuclear power, he will oppose it.
"That's the deal-breaker," Finn said, adding that the senator also has concerns about the overall cost of the bill.
The ads focus on the nuclear components of the bill and tell listeners to call and thank Ensign for his opposition to the bill.
"That's because Sen. Ensign knows that more nuclear power plants means more nuclear waste," according to the ad. "And where do you think that waste will be deposited?"
The Energy Department now has plans to take nuclear waste from utilities and store it at Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, which the state strongly opposes.