Activism FAIL – Politics of Sierra Blanca

By J. Eller @SDzzz  SandersGuide 2016 YouTube

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his ruthless, but clever strategists (the same guys who attacked Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for “blatant environmental injustice” and “environmental racism” over Sierra Blanca as John Kerry aides)  have managed to sweep Sierra Blanca under at least one or two activists’ tattered rugs, Bill Addington, for one.

In a new Feb. 28, 2016 article by the Texas Observer, Bernie Sanders’ Nuclear Waste Votes Divide Texas Activists, Addington decides Sierra Blanca is in the past, and takes a swipe at Hillary Clinton to shift the blame from Sanders:

“Addington pointed out that Sanders was far from the only Democrat who supported the plan and that even many Texas Democrats supported it. U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson LeeEddie Bernice Johnson, and Gene Green — all supporters of Hillary Clinton — cosponsored the bill along with Sanders.”

“Everyone considers Sen. Sanders to be a progressive, so we did hold him accountable,” Addington said. “But Bernie was not alone, so why are they singling him out?”

Shocking coming from a man that admittedly sacrificed his family, his wife, lost custody of his son and let his home turn into his own private dump because of what he called his “magnificent obsession” to stop the Sierra Blanca dump. Who knew the only thing worse than nuclear waste is a woman president?

Here’s Addington going after Bill Clinton for signing the Texas-Vermont-Maine compact into law as presidents do with veto-proof legislation: Addington Press Release

As noted in previous articles about Sierra Blanca, Sanders and Harold Simmons, owner of the nuclear dump before his death in 2012, there were many politicians voting for H.R.629 who served Simmons and his campaign power, politicians from the states in the compact and quite a few wrong-headed politicians happy to please their constituents with a NIMBY vote to send nuclear waste anywhere but their home state.

Addington has been criticized by other activists for upstaging those who worked against the nuclear dump. A biting satire, The Activist Who Went to Seed in a Field of New York Manure, addresses his activism about the Sierra Blanca dump when it was still a sludge dump, mocking him for the condition of his own home:


He doesn’t seem to comprehend the significance or need to scrutinize someone in a campaign for the highest office. So, as the good old white boys of Sierra Blanca take off their Sierra Blanca spurs and find a way to blame Bill and Hillary Clinton for what Bernie did, we’ll just keep talking about Sierra Blanca as it really was:

Activists Still Fighting

Dr. Robert Bullard, author of Dumping on Dixie and dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University strongly disagrees with Addington and believes Sanders should be held accountable:

More from the Texas Observer:

“I don’t think that we should let the people who were making these decisions off the hook by spreading the blame,” Bullard said. “There’s no gray area. Everybody who pushed this proposal was condoning and acquiescing to environmental racism. Each person who was involved with this, their hands are dirty. And that absolutely includes Bernie Sanders.”

“Wellstone was a true progressive,” Bullard said. “So we were not just some wild-eyed radical environmental justice folks out there. We had real allies in Congress who said this is wrong, this is unjust, this is unfair. But Bernie was not one of them. In fact, he was the opposite.”

“It reflects very poorly on him,” said longtime environmental justice activist . “Shoving this down people’s throats is not progressive politics. It was business as usual. It’s a classic case of rich people from a white state shifting something they don’t want to a poor minority community somewhere else.”

“Former U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, also pushed back at the congressional level and remembers being frustrated with Sanders over the dispute, describing the Vermont senator’s views on it as “insanely callous.”

“It was the first time I’d come face to face with the arrogance that some of my colleagues called the ‘northeast attitude,’” Reyes said. “They were looking to dump nuclear waste and they didn’t care where it went as long as it didn’t affect the heavily populated areas where they came from. So when he says he cares for the little people, that’s contrary to my experience with him.” Bernie Sanders’ Nuclear Waste Votes Divide Texas Activists

It’s true, a number of environmental activists have endorsed Bernie Sanders because of his anti-nuclear stance and their support for closing nuclear power plants, but it isn’t like all the prominent environmentalist are flocking to endorse him. Anyone can sign up on Sanders’ endorsement page as a so-called environmentalist and associate themselves with a group or organization, sort of like his list of “economists” who are not all economists, but it looks great politically. Environmentalists For Bernie

In a tragic bit of irony for anti-nuclear activists, once nuclear plants are decommissioned, the nuclear waste will have to be stored on site at the decommissioned nuclear plants themselves (like Vermont could have done) or somewhere in the host state or more Sierra Blancas will continue to spring up in communities across America, something Sanders’ environmental supporters have no plan or solution to stop, nor do they even seem to care, and by condoning Sanders’ actions, it isn’t hard to see what’s coming on the environmental front.

Maybe we’ll build special highways to transport the waste. No, we can’t do that, they’re still blaming Bill Clinton for allowing nuclear waste to be transported cross-country, you know, like from Vermont to Texas.

It could be the shiny new millennial  environmentalism of 2016 is letting politicians like Bernie Sanders, who has already cemented his disconnect to minorities, lead the way and make nuclear problems, lead pollution and whatever toxic stew that’s simmering in the hot sun just simply disappear.You can bet those nuclear waste dumps won’t be in white majority, middle-class states and communities.



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