FANDOM


To protect public safety and health from dangerous and toxic waste, my partner and I stand Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly reform its environmental policy.



Observation 1: Resolutional Analysis



Definitions:



1. Environmental Policy



[Stedman/Bunda doesn't support openness enough to give away our awesome definition]



2. Significantly



Published by Encarta® World English Dictionary (North American Edition) at http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?lextype=3&search=significantly.

Published 2009; accessed November 28, 2009



importantly: in an important or fundamental way”



3. Reform



Published by Encarta® World English Dictionary (North American Edition) at http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?lextype=3&search=Reform.

Published 2009; accessed November 28, 2009



improve something by removing faults: to change and improve something by correcting faults, removing inconsistencies and abuses, and imposing modern methods or values






4. Yucca Mountain



Published by U.S. Department of Energy at http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/uploads/1/06237PD_The_National_Repository_at_Yucca_Mountain.pdf.

"The National Repository at Yucca Mountain: Solving a National Problem Now" Published May 2009; accessed November 28, 2009



“On June 3, 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submitted an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to construct a repository at Yucca Mountain. With this application, DOE’s Office of civilian Radioactive Waste Management moves forward in meeting its congressionally mandated directive to develop, build, and operate a deep-underground facility that will safely isolate spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from people and the environment for hundreds of thousands of years.



The national repository at Yucca Mountain will address a pressing national need by safely securing and disposing of this waste in tunnels deep underground on federally controlled land in the Mojave Desert about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.Currently, the waste is stored at 121 temporary locations in 39 states across the nation. If licensed by the NRC, the national repository at Yucca Mountain will provide a permanent solution to disposing of the nation’s nuclear waste rather than leaving it for future generations”



Criteria: Net Benefits



If our plan creates a better world than the status quo, you should vote affirmative.



Disclaimer:



In order to ensure the educational benefit of this round, please put all personal convictions and biases aside. Please judge this round based on the weight and merit of the arguments rather than what you may know and feel. This means that even if you know we are dead wrong, if we prove our point more effectively than opposing team, then you must credit the argument to us. Thank you.



Observation 2: Inherency



Yucca Mountain cut in the middle of construction



Published by Associated Press at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/29/senate-passes-water-energy/, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/07/30/politics/main5197612.shtml. 

"Senate Passes Water and Energy Bill" Published July 2009; accessed November 30, 2009



The Senateon Wednesday passed a $34.3 billion energy spending bill that backs up President Obama's promise to close the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility in Nevada



The move fulfills a campaign promise by Obama to close Yucca Mountain, which was 25 years and $13.5 billion in the making.It would, however, leave the country without a long-term solution for storing highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.”



Impact: We now are without a long-term solution for storing highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.



Observation 3: Harms



1. Air Pollution



A. Stopping Yucca Mountain reduces nuclear energy and increases fossil fuel plants



Jack Spencer'(Research Fellow in Nuclear Energy at The Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies)

Garrett Murch'(Deputy Director of House Relations)

Published by Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/press/commentary/ed060908c.cfm.

"Road to Clean Air Runs Through Yucca Mountain" Published June 2008; accessed November 28, 2009



“Delaying Yucca has unintended consequences for Nevada and the nation. Opposition to Yucca has made building nuclear plants much more difficult. By hamstringing America's energy options, obstructionist politicians are forcing fossil fuel plant construction when utilities might have chosen to build emissions-free nuclear.



B. Nuclear power offsets air pollution



Jack Spencer'(Research Fellow in Nuclear Energy at The Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies)

Garrett Murch'(Deputy Director of House Relations)

Published by Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/press/commentary/ed060908c.cfm.

"Road to Clean Air Runs Through Yucca Mountain" Published June 2008; accessed November 28, 2009



Nuclear power, which provides about 20 percent of the nation's electricity, has off-set millions of tons of CO2 and pollutants that would have been fossil-fuel power plants. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, had America's reactors not been operating, approximately 48 million tons of sulfur dioxide, 19 million tons of nitrogen oxides and 8.7 trillion tons of carbon dioxide would have been emitted since 1995.



Impact: Since nuclear power is being hindered, fossil fuels remain dominant.



Impact: Disease, healthcare costs, and deaths



Published by The Washington State Department of Ecology at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/Health_community/Health_info.html.

Published June 2006; accessed November 30, 2009



"Recent studies have shown that some air pollutants cause decreased lung function, increased symptoms of respiratory irritation, increased use of asthma medications, and increased hospitalization for asthma. These things all occur even when levels of some air pollutants meet federal health standards. Exposure to some kinds of air pollution has been linked to increased deaths and higher rates of lung cancer."



2. Radiation health danger; There is radiation health danger to all the people who live near radioactive waste storage sites



Nuclear waste is spread all over the United States



The Washington Post, March 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/07/AR2009030701666.html



The project has burned through $7.7 billion. It was supposed to start accepting spent material from the nation's operating nuclear reactors (now numbering 104) in 1998. Our longstanding support of the Yucca Mountain facility has been grounded in the belief that the center of a desert mountain 1,000 feet underground and more than 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas was an appropriate place for the nation's nuclear waste. Instead, storage is spread over 121 above-ground sites located within 75 miles of more than 161 million people in 39 states.



Impact:There is more chance for harm if nuclear power should be faulty. For example, nuclear waste is stored near the public in over a hundred different locations. Also, there is more terrorist threat. In Yucca, terrorists would have to get through miles of highly secure federal landand even if they did break through, there would be no public harm because it is off in the wilderness away from society, but with the status quo, terrorists have 121 different targets which could harm the public because its above ground.



Observation 4: Plan



Agency:The President and Congress



Mandates 1: Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility will be restored to its original operating plan and funding levels.



Mandate2: Yucca Mountain’s size capacity allowance will be expanded from 77,000 metric tons of nuclear waste to 400,000 tons.



Funding: The Nuclear Waste Fund, which consists of $30 billion, and general federal revenues, which consists of $2.6 trillion, to pay for the total cost of about $90 billion.



Enforcement: The Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Justice Department.



Timeline:Immediately upon an affirmative ballot



Intent: We reserve the right to clarify the intent of the plan as necessary.



Observation 5: Advantages


  1. Protecting public health and safety from nuclear waste


Instead of being spread all over the United States, as it is right now, nuclear waste would be safely stored in one spot. Instead of there being radiation danger to all of the people that live near the current nuclear waste storage sites, there would be no more danger for them because it would all be stored at on safe spot. Public health would be protected because the waste will not be stored near the billions of people that it is stored near now, but instead safely stored at one facility away from people.



2. More Jobs. Yucca Mountain provides jobs and helps the Nevadan economy



Published by U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works at http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=1c2f9d87-802a-23ad-4596-63977c942f69&Region_id=&Issue_id=.

"Democrats' Mission to Kill Yucca Mountain Rejects Sound Science, American Energy Security, and America Jobs" Published May 7, 2009; accessed November 29, 2009



Back on Janunary 14, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared, "Yucca Mountain is not a jobs program." According to a report from the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Yucca Mountain Project accounted for 3,650 jobs and contributed $195.7 million to the state's economy in the year 2000 alone. However, due to Sen. Reid’s continued efforts to starve the project of its needed funding, 1,860 jobs have been cut since 2007. Historically, 80-90% of those jobs have been in Nevada.Sen. Reid’s answer seems to be: “Hold on, green jobs are coming.” Not much comfort for former employees of the Yucca Mountain Project who are now struggling to provide for their families.


  1. Cleaner Air. The road to cleaner air runs through Yucca Mountain


Jack Spencer'(Research Fellow in Nuclear Energy at The Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies)

Garrett Murch'(Deputy Director of House Relations)

Published by Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/press/commentary/ed060908c.cfm.

"Road to Clean Air Runs Through Yucca Mountain" Published June 9, 2008; accessed November 28, 2009



“Renewable” energy, such as wind and solar, simply cannot affordably meet the 40 percent increase in electricity demand that America will face over the next 25 years. No politician seriously can oppose nuclear power while advancing a clean-air agenda and expect the lights to stay on. Ultimately, the road to cleaner air must run through Yucca Mountain. The choice, then, is clear. Nuclear energy, carbon dioxide or the lights go out. What’s it gonna be?



“Judge, to save lives, improve life, and help the economy, I strongly urge an affirmative ballot. Thank you; I am now open for cross examination.”