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Bulletin #101

November 7, 2010

Local governments, tribes, and Los Alamos residents are beginning to question the
$6 billion nuclear factory proposed for Los Alamos.

Your voice is critically needed now to help turn the tide -- please help!  Attending these Santa Fe City Council and County Commission meetings is especially important.  If you can't go, please call or write.

Dear friends and colleagues–

A resolution in support of a brand-new environmental impact statement (EIS) for LANL's Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility (CMRR-NF) has been introduced to the Santa Fe City Council and the Santa Fe County Commission. It will be voted on by the City this coming week. It was and may still be a Joint Resolution. We think it has solid support in both bodies, but the City made last-minute changes which the County now must review. We need your help to keep this process strong and on track, especially since this process straddles an election.

Helpfully, Jemez Pueblo is now questioning this project and asking for a new EIS, not a supplemental.  The Pajarito Chapter of the Sierra Club, representing more than 350 members, has requested a halt to this project while a new EIS is prepared.  It's unusual for so many people in Los Alamos to request a halt to a big lab project.  However, this project is not just big, it's the biggest project ever proposed for Los Alamos - six times the size of the whole Manhattan Project in New Mexico, in constant dollars.

The City and County of Santa Fe have not yet heard from many of you – just a few people have been actively working to educate local government so far. They need your help, and not just in Santa Fe but also in Taos, Sandoval, and Rio Arriba counties, in the town of Taos, and wherever you live. Even if you live outside Santa Fe County a call or note to a Santa Fe County commissioner wouldn’t hurt. (Contact information is below.)

For background use the information provided at our CMRR web site. However, this project is still expanding, far from the public eye. Originally 200,000 gross square feet, it is now twice that big. Concrete requirements are now more than 100 times greater. The cost per square foot of useful space has grown to more than 100 times what LANL’s existing plutonium facility cost in 1978, in constant dollars. This coming week, Vice President Biden will meet with arch-conservative Senator Kyl to reaffirm and increase the Administration’s financial commitment to this project. But it will take more than money to fix this project’s problems.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) does not allow the federal government to proceed on major projects while an EIS is pending. We are in federal court now to help enforce this law and our lawsuit is proceeding well. If passed, these resolutions mean more than the usual non-binding political sentiment.

If you live in Santa Fe or nearby, your support and attendance at the Santa Fe City Council this coming week and later this month at the Santa Fe County Commission is crucial – and not just to help pass this resolution. These meetings represent a political opportunity of the very first importance in the struggle against nuclear military colonization as the primary “development” path for New Mexico. Many of you know these elected officials personally. If you don’t this would be an excellent time to get acquainted and involved.

The Councilors and Commissioners are taking a small stand for due process and the environment. They are uneasy about standing by silently while a giant factory for weapons of mass destruction becomes the biggest project government does in New Mexico for the next decade. They need your moral support.

More than that, we all need the moral support that only coming together face-to-face can provide. And the media needs to see live people who care - us!  The corporations that profit so handsomely from mass violence work all day every day for their selfish interests. This is one of those moments when we need to “see and be seen” in an actual democratic context.

Here’s when and where:

The Santa Fe City Council will meet Wednesday, November 10, at 5:00 pm (afternoon session) and at 7:00 pm (evening session), at the Council Chambers, 200 Lincoln Ave. The Resolution is on the consent calendar for the City and may be voted on in the afternoon. Petitions from the Floor come at the beginning of the 7:00 pm meeting.

The Santa Fe County Commission, unless plans change, will address the resolution under the "Matters from the Commission" section of its agenda when they meet on Tuesday, November 30, 11:00 am, at 102 Grant Ave, upstairs.

Study Group staff and volunteers will be in attendance on both occasions and will share information outside the meetings about the Nuclear Facility, the Joint Resolution, and our lawsuit. We’d love to discuss nuclear issues in relation to the recent election and the opportunities (yes!) before us.

Here's a City Council District map, and your Councilor's contact info.  Here's a County Commission District map, and your Commissioner's contact info. Phone calls, letters, and emails will all work.

Please also contact your family, friends, and colleagues, forward this email to them, and help us mobilize supporters to come to these meetings or otherwise support this Resolution. If they live in Rio Arriba, Taos, Sandoval, Bernalillo, or Los Alamos counties, or in cities and pueblos in northern New Mexico, share the good news with them – citizen action at the local level works!  They can call us for more information to help them engage with their local elected officials to take a stand for real economic development and environmental protection by calling for a new EIS for the CMRR-NF.

There are also other ways to help.

Thank you.  We are looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming meetings!

Greg, Trish, & Darwin for the Los Alamos Study Group

Los Alamos Study Group • 2901 Summit Place NE • Albuquerque, NM 87106 • 505-265-1200

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