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Hits & Misses | Nukes, Gays & Gas 

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Nukes 1, Huntsman 0
The folks at EnergySolutions aren’t dumb after all. When Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. last year inked a deal with Utah’s nuclear-waste dump for EnergySolutions to cap the amount of waste it would take at its disposal facility near Tooele, Huntsman was cheered as a radioactive-waste fighter. Now we know what EnergySolutions got. The deal apparently ties the hands of the governor so he can’t argue against an EnergySolutions plan to import mothballed Italian nuclear-reactor parts. The governor is left to beg for action from federal regulators who point out that only states can decide what nuclear imports to allow. By the way, EnergySolutions just submitted a bid to build a new nuclear power plant in England.

Mutual Commitment
Salt Lake City’s new mutual-commitment registry is up and running. The first couple to fork over $25 for a certificate and put their names at the top of the list signed up May 17. The lesbian couple had previously gone to great lengths to sew their lives together with legal documents but still wanted the imprimatur of the city seal. Now the registry is up and running, city employers should step up to recognize such relationships with health and insurance benefits. But even if that doesn’t happen, the registry has already succeeded in offering dignity and hope to city residents. Mayor Ralph Becker had to change the registry name from “domestic partner” to “mutual commitment,” but that isn’t bad. In fact, “mutual commitment” sounds even gayer.

Gassy Lawmakers
In the eyes of many Utah lawmakers, global warming is a lie. So is evolution, for that matter. So it should come as no surprise that Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, and other legislators are writing to federal regulators that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Noel reasons humans exhale CO2, so the greenhouse gas can’t be all bad. The background is a fight over a new coal-burning power plant proposed for northern Utah. Plant construction is being challenged based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that said federal clean-air officials can regulate CO2 as pollution. A recent study found CO2 emissions last year saw their largest one-year increase in a decade, largely because of power plants, some of the dirtiest of which are in Utah.

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More by Ted McDonough

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