Las Vegas Sun

September 23, 2017

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Yucca ads may be misleading about Bush

WASHINGTON -- The facts cited in a new ad running in the state saying President Bush misled Nevadans on his position on the Yucca Mountain project may actually be misleading viewers.

An ad sponsored by political action group, designed to help Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, pushes his position to stop the nuclear waste storage project at Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, and accuses Bush of breaking a promise to Gov. Kenny Guinn.

A new ad says:

"It's coming to Nevada. Radioactive waste, headed for Yucca Mountain. Why? Because in 2000, George Bush misled Nevada. That's right. After promising Governor Guinn he would veto legislation making Yucca Mountain a nuclear dump. George Bush personally approved the disposal of radioactive waste in Nevada. John Kerry's fighting to stop Yucca Mountain."

Bush never told Guinn he would veto the overall project. In a letter he had promised that he would veto temporary storage of nuclear waste at the site while the scientific details were still being worked out.

Bush promised to make his decision on "sound science."

Yucca Mountain has become a campaign issue in Nevada because Bush approved Yucca Mountain in 2002. Democrats have accused him of breaking that promise.

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said he would stop the project if he's elected.

In a Sept. 28, 2000, letter sent in response to a letter from Gov. Kenny Guinn, Bush said "I would veto legislation that would provide for the temporary storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain."

Bush also told Guinn, "As president, I would not sign legislation that would send nuclear waste to any proposed site -- either on a permanent or temporary basis -- unless it has been deemed scientifically safe."

In the fact sheet backing up their ad, the group lists a Sept. 29, 2000, Las Vegas Sun article as a reference point on Bush's stance, but the story's headline is "Bush says he'd veto Yucca as interim site," and the fact sheet includes the quote from Bush saying he would veto interim storage.

A spokeswoman for did not know why a distinction was not made in the ad between interim storage and the overall project, but said she would check with the ad agency. Calls seeking comment were not returned.