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"Forget the Rest" blog

May 22, 2011
Washington, DC

Bulletin #115: XSEIS the SEIS -- why not try democracy? -- and some new resources

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Dear Study Group friends & colleagues,

1. Update on NEPA litigation regarding the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility (CMRR-NF) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

There has been no news from the Court so the legal situation is still as described in Bulletin #114.  The complete docket of the case can be read here.  We will send out a bulletin and press release as soon as we hear more. 

2. More CMRR news and views this week

In addition to previously-posted articles, the following very helpful articles have appeared.  Both authors deserve kudos, particularly Santa Fe Reporter writer Alexa Schirtzinger, who successfully tackled a story that sprawls across the whole state. 

And these op-eds:

3. I (Greg) am in Washington this week in meetings on Capitol Hill

These meetings take up detailed issues of the CMRR-NF in the context of weapons complex management (this is a brand-new summary of some of the key emerging CMRR-NF issues, pdf) the need to cut Weapons Activities spending in relation to other priorities and ways to do that, and related subjects. 

4. Public meeting in Santa Fe Tuesday, May 24, 7 - 9 pm at St. John's United Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail, Rm#116, downstairs

This Tuesday's discussion in Santa Fe will continue last week's focus on concrete actions you can take to effectively oppose the proposed plutonium warhead core ("pit") complex. 

On May 9th (Albuquerque) and 10th (Santa Fe), we discussed ways in which the federal government and political parties shape and subvert citizens’ efforts to save the planet and their communities, often using nonprofit organizations as their proxies, and how we can avoid these traps.  We used examples from climate protection, energy policy, and nuclear disarmament. 

Last week we began this practical discussion, but only scratched the surface. 

This coming Tuesday we will also discuss why the CMRR Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) hearings are an exercise in corralling and redirecting erstwhile citizen opposition into support for the CMRR-NF nuclear facility, no matter what the intention of the individual speakers.  For a corporation (or "spokesagency" for corporations, such as NNSA really is, mostly), all forms of feel-good "public participation" are just grist for the mill of "managed democracy" (Wolin) -- including and especially simulated NEPA compliance

5. Boycott the sham SEIS "hearings."  Do something real instead.

In  Bulletin #114 we discussed how the SEIS process is a prime example of how citizen groups can be co-opted and recruited to support nuclear weapons plans, as Study Group president Peter Neils explained.  The groups who are trying to herd citizens into DOE's "hearings" are really just doing NNSA's job for them, helping the agency get this project built by creating a veneer of legitimacy for an illegal process: preparing to construct CMRR-NF in the absence of an applicable environmental impact statement.

Come on Tuesday night, and we (but not me, because I will be here in DC) will talk about how we can actually use legitimate democratic means, instead of going back again and again to DOE's little group therapy sessions.

If you look at the last several bulletins we have sent, and follow their links, you will find a whole tool-kit of ideas for making our democracy work in this case.

Greg, Trish, and gang
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