Saturday, December 04, 2004

I-297: Populist Imperialism?

From the Seattle P-I:

YAKIMA -- A federal judge yesterday granted a court order that prevents a state initiative -- dealing with cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation from taking effect....

Washington's voters last month overwhelmingly approved Initiative 297, which would bar the U.S. Department of Energy from sending more radioactive waste to south-central Washington's Hanford site until all existing waste there is cleaned up....

Justice Department lawyers ultimately hope to invalidate the initiative on grounds that it violates federal laws governing interstate commerce and nuclear waste. Hanford, a federal site, is immune from state regulation, the government argues....

Now, for the observant observations: this initiative can be summed up in three words: unconstitutional populist imperialism.

While I-297 passed statewide by almost a 40 point margin, it managed to fail in only two counties - Benton and Franklin. What's so special about Benton County? That's where Hanford IS. Franklin County? It's right next door.

So besides the fact that the initiative is unconstitutional, maybe someone should have thought to ask the people they claim to be helping first.

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