Looks like Idaho is about to get scammed once again by slick business types who have the ear of media and politicos.
This time it’s an outfit called Areva which is in the energy business. They got the obligatory color drawing on the front page of the Daily Paper and endorsements from state and federal politicians to build a $2 billion uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls.
Now all they need is about a hundred permits, $2 billion in financing, land, local zoning approval, and a market for enriched uranium fuel rods to power nuclear reactors, while the nation struggles with disposal of hot nuke waste that could be used to make bombs.
Locals in Idaho Falls are questioning the hazards of the proposed facility and seem eager to hear “the rest of the story.”
The GUARDIAN did a brief number crunch with the Bonneville Assessor. If the plant truly turned out to be worth $2 billion and it paid its fair share of taxes, it would mean a 41% DECREASE in local property taxes. As it now stands, the taxable value is capped at $400 million. At best it could contribute about 8% of the county revenues. Total taxable value in Bonneville County is currently $4.8 billion.
The Daily Paper ran the story as a “done deal,” saying the company WILL open the plant near Idaho Falls–not may, could, wants to, proposes, but WILL.
Here some examples of other highly promoted proposals which never made it:
ASSORTED BILL AGEE schemes including the Texas TGV rail line, the Honolulu monorail.
ROCKET LAUNCH site also near Idaho Falls promoted by Lockheed with a giant mock up of a space ship they towed around the country hustling local politicos.
THE DEFUNCT “WPPS” nuke plant that cost millions and never opened.
SATURN AUTO PLANT. Idaho wanted to put it at Kellogg to create jobs for unemployed silver miners…never mind GM would have had to ship parts and supplies a thousand miles to the wilds of Idaho and also ship finished cars as far.
SUPER COLLIDING SUPERCONDUCTOR. Another scheme that was shopped all over the nation. The GUARDIAN noticed everywhere we traveled the locals were “in the running.”
MEDITERRANEAN MOVIE SET and “planned community” at Blacks Creek east of Boise. What an idea location for a seaside community in the desert of Idaho.
MOVIE SOUND STAGE and theme park at Nampa. Sweetwater Junction never got going either, despite press conferences and headlines.
BOISE TOWER and a dozen other hotels, offices, convention centers, and condo projects.
MICRON PLAYED the political game of “we will put you on the list if you give us a break.” They got the break and built new facilities–in China, Singapore, and Virginia, NOT idaho.
Meanwhile the politicos still gush about all the jobs these projects “will create.” They seem to forget the humiliation of Albertson’s tax deal, the tax cap on Micron–the largest non-profit company in the state, Hollywood movie production rebates, and the list goes on.
For the record, the GUARDIAN actually favors nuclear power as a clean energy source, but it is absolute INSANITY to create more waste without establishing a permanent safe repository for spent fuel rods.
Areva, like any other company should pay its way. If they can meet the safety standards, provide the financing, pay their taxes, offer a safe workplace and good wages–welcome to Idaho.
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