(KCPW News) Utah Congressman Jim Matheson held a press conference this morning to respond to a new EnergySolutions commercial he’s calling a vicious and misguided attack. The ad is critical of a flier he sent to his constituents last month regarding a bill he’s sponsoring to ban the importation of foreign nuclear waste.
Matheson says bipartisan support for the Radioactive Importation Deterrence Act, or RID Act, is proof that he’s not “just another anti-business, anti-free trade liberal.” Supporters include some top Utah Republicans: Representative Jason Chaffetz, who is co-sponsoring the bill, and Governors Gary Herbert and Jon Huntsman. And it garnered sixty-two Republican votes on the House floor.
Matheson says the ad is an attempt to move the debate away from federal nuclear policy and into partisan politics.
“I’m used to these personal attack ads in my campaigns over the years. I’ve seen them all the time. I know that most people in Utah discount them anyway,” Matheson says. “But I think this ad is an attempt to divert from the real substance of the issue. And that is: No country in the world takes another country’s radioactive waste, and I don’t think we should either.”
The RID Act passed out of the House of Representatives earlier this month and now heads to the Senate for consideration. It could halt EnergySolutions’ plans to import low-level radioactive waste from Italy and other countries to be stored at the company’s facility 75 miles west of Salt Lake City.
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