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Meltdown in leadership of nuclear regulator

December 15, 2011
Salem News

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko should have been fired by President Barack Obama months ago. We can only assume politics in some form kept him in office.

But there is no partisanship involved in complaints by the NRC's other four members, two Republicans and two Democrats. All four signed a letter to Obama expressing "grave concerns" about Jaczko.

Jaczko withheld information from his fellow commissioners regarding the proposal for a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. He has "intimidated and bullied" NRC staff, according to the letter. He has ignored opinions of the majority of commission members and told NRC staff to withhold information from him.

Again, four of the commission's five members agree on that. Jaczko himself is the only dissenter.

In terms of the public's safety, the NRC is among the government's most important agencies. It needs an honest, capable leader. That means Jaczko should be fired.

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Politicians love to be able to take credit for new roads, bridges, public buildings and other infrastructure. But Ohio Gov. John Kasich is doing the responsible thing with a plan to limit such state-funded projects.

Instead, the Kasich administration plans to focus its scarce resources on maintaining existing infrastructure.

Requests for funding of new construction will have to pass "an extremely high threshold" to gain approval, state Budget Director Tim Keen has ordered.

Good. Ohioans simply cannot afford to pay for expensive new projects, sometimes of questionable value, while existing roads, bridges, etc. deteriorate. Kasich is right to set priorities that will serve the state well in the long run.

 
 

 

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