By J. Eller @SDzzz SandersGuide 2016 YouTube
- The Man Behind Sierra Blanca’s Woes
- Sanders & Sierra Blanca Legislation
- Bernie’s Sweet Tooth and Simmons
- Bernie Sanders – Trader of “The People”
- Bernie Sanders’ Dissonance and Dissidents
- Activism FAIL – Politics of Sierra Blanca
- Sanders Family: Sex and the Brain
- Sanders Finances – Bring a Shovel
The Polluted Political Trail to Sierra Blanca
Bernie Sanders is a 2016 presidential candidate claiming a strong anti-corporate, pro-environmental record. This research began as a simple search to verify that claim. As the search progressed, the man behind the curtain revealed himself in a story of environmental racism, political partnerships with major GOP operatives and a Texas tycoon, a famous lead polluter known as the King of Superfund Sites costing US taxpayers $4.4 billion. This research touches on the history of Sierra Blanca, TX since it was the victim of an insider plot to make millions, possibly billions by dumping nuclear waste on a Latino community, 2.6 times below the state poverty level.
Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders are part of a twisting story that crisscrosses from a GOP mega-donor, to foreign policy with Mexico culminating with a former Goldman Sachs superstar. As you read this, keep Sanders’ campaign focal points in mind; wealth, corporations, corporate welfare, tax breaks, banks, investors, Goldman Sachs, Citizens United. You’ll see it’s all here in a spider’s web of greed holding the hypocrisy together. Is it just too “complicated” for citizens to understand, as Sanders says? I don’t think so, we’re a pretty clever lot down here on the ground.
FAST FACTS – TEXAS-VERMONT-MAINE Nuclear Waste Compact
- Pro Sierra Blanca: Tycoon Harold Simmons, owner. Gov. George W. Bush R-TX. Gov. Rick Perry R-TX . Rep Joe Barton R-TX. Rep John Fields R-TX. Senator Bernie Sanders I-VT.
- Opposed to Sierra Blanca: Citizens of West Texas. Paul Wellstone D-MN. Lloyd Doggett D-TX. NAACP. LULAC. Sierra Club. Government of Mexico.
Influential Texas billionaire Harold Simmons owned the Sierra Blanca waste site, doing business as Waste Control Specialists or WCS.
2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was a leading proponent and co-sponsor of the Texas-Vermont-Maine compact legislation, H.R. 629 (1998) and its predecessor H.R. 558 (1995)
- WCS bought the site (1995) even before it had performed a proper environmental study of it. Immediately, H.R. 558 legislation was introduced in congress that year and failed.
- 12 million shares of Titanium Metals Corp., another Simmons company, provided financial assurance for the dump. It was a highly unorthodox arrangement that critics panned as a “polluters’ dream.” Titanium Metals’ stock plummeted not long after the deal was sealed. Eventually, in November, another company purchased Titanium Metals for $2.9 billion. Simmons then used 9.8 million shares of Kronos, another Simmons company (also sold). Texas Observer
- Another Simmons company National Lead Industries had already poisoned communities. Dallas’ Most Evil Genius
- 1998-H.R. 629 was a private compact between Texas, Vermont and Maine. Vermont sends its nuclear waste from the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to Texas.
- Sierra Blanca was mentioned 58 times in the committee debate as the designated site, a fact Bernie Sanders rejected.
- Sierra Blanca is located in an earthquake zone 16 miles of the US-Mexico border.
- The Sierra Blanca nuclear waste site did not have to be built.Gov. George Bush said if H.R. 629 did not pass, the Sierra Blanca site would not go forward.
- H.R. 629 opened the door to national waste storage and expansion of sites in Texas, one of Simmons’ goals.
- In 1999, WCS opened a second site in Andrews County, Texas, northeast of the Sierra Blanca site after allegations of fraud, environmental record tampering and unethical political influence eroded legislative support for the Sierra Blanca site.
- Three commissioners resigned from TCEQ rather than accept the commission’s approval of a nuclear waste license for WCS.
- WCS is the only private company in the United States licensed to import class “B” and “C” low level waste from other states. The term “low level” is a catch-all classification that does not mean it’s safer or less dangerous; it simply means it’s radioactive waste that can’t be classified as spent fuel from reactors, which is often termed “high level” waste. Another waste source called “greater than class C” is a more highly radioactive version that must be kept away from human contact for many thousands of years.
- WCS’ second site in Andrews County threatens the water supply of nearly a third of America’s farmland- Ogallala Aquifer.
- MIT says that at present rates of use the Ogallala Aquifer will be drained within this century due to pollution, drought and poor management.
- Studies show only 14 feet of separation between the site and the nearest groundwater.
- WCS shelved the Sierra Blanca site after intense debate and significant and ongoing efforts by local residents, environmental agencies, groups and the government of Mexico ended a twenty year battle for survival. Still, AFCI Texas, an Austin-based company approached Sierra Blanca residents with a proposal for high-level radioactive waste as recent as 2011. Sierra Blanca residents, their shoulders already laden with years of indignities are forced to spend their lives fighting for the safety of their community.
- 2004, Maine pulls out of the compact citing too many delays with the Texas site.
- 2012, Jane O’Meara Sanders, wife of Bernie Sanders,was appointed Vermont compact commissioner.
- In 2011 the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (TLLRWDCC) passed a rule allowing WCS-Andrews, licensed since 1997 for radioactive storage, to accept out-of-compact waste expanding the Texas-Vermont-Maine Compact to a national waste facility near Andrews, 120 miles NE of Sierra Blanca.
- In 2012 Vermont sent its first shipment of nuclear waste to Texas.
- In May 2013, Energy Capital Partners II, LP and its parallel funds acquisition of EnergySolutions, Inc. purchased WCS from Simmons’ Valhi, Inc. ECP is a leading global provider of nuclear services to government and commercial customers holding 27 energy related companies. EnergyCapital Partners
Starting in 1983 and prior to co-founding ECP, Senior Partner Douglas W. Kimmelman was instrumental in developing the Constellation Power Source concept as the initial entry point for Goldman Sachs as a principal into electricity markets and spent 22 years with Goldman Sachs in the firm’s Pipeline and Utilities Dept within the Investment Banking Division.The Team