Today we will talk about the mirror image of public policy in US and that is again in our old friend NEVADA where the same underground nuclear waste storage facility was built costing billions of dollars----AND THEN WAS DETERMINED TO NOT BE USED TO STORE NUCLEAR WASTE by the same global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberal pols that collected all those billions of dollars......
Harry is quite the environmental poser as he turns Nevada into a Chinese-style toxic dump. Let' look at US version of nuclear storage facility that will never be used as such.
'Under a 1982 law, the federal government was supposed to begin moving nuclear waste to a permanent location by 1998. There is currently more than 70,000 metric tons of waste stored at U.S. nuclear power plants'.
'Entering the presidency in 1981, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, control of the money supply to curb inflation, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, spurred the War on Drugs, and fought public sector labor'.
Reagan comes to Presidency in 1981 with the intentions of starting a NUCLEAR ARMS RACE WITH RUSSIA and right after in 1982 Congress funds YUCCA MOUNTAIN telling the American people its OK we are going to be responsible and store nuclear waste to keep citizens safe. What is happening today? A second Reagan nuclear arms race with Russia started by Obama and again we are talking about Congress and Trump pushing YUCCA MOUNTAIN. Now, call me TIN FOIL-----but I don't see a Trump worried about nuclear waste AT ALL---in fact Obama and we will see Trump as well was all about FAST TRACKING TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT which allows a nation's environmental laws to be ignored. Harry Reid of Nevada was RAGING TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT---he was raging US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE ------so he was not ANTI-YUCCA.
As the quote below states----the costs of moving US nuclear waste to YUCCA would be high----what do far-right wing global Wall Street pols say about regulations that cost money? They could care less about the nuclear waste leaching around the nation. There will be no storage of nuclear waste at YUCCA.
TRUMP AND CONGRESS IS SIMPLY DOING WHAT REAGAN-ERA POLS DID ----STARTING A NUCLEAR RACE MEANS PRETENDING YOU ARE GOING TO KEEP CITIZENS SAFE FROM TOXICITY.
'Moving a nation’s accumulated nuclear waste to one spot — or even a few centralized spots — would be expensive. And it would involve complicated cooperation among nuclear companies that typically operated independently. So for two decades, almost nothing happened. Without serious political pressure, nothing would happen. But few people knew or cared enough to force legislative action'.
The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, a political hot potato, is back
Tom DiChristopher | @tdichristopher
Thursday, 16 Mar 2017 | 3:02 PM ETCNBC.com
A "no trespassing" sign outside the proposed nuclear waste dump site of Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
The White House's budget blueprint released Thursday seeks to revive spending for a hotly contested facility in Nevada that would store the nation's nuclear waste.
President Donald Trump is asking Congress to approve $120 million in spending to restart licensing activity at the Yucca Mountain repository and fund an interim storage program. That would allow development at the remote site located about 100 miles from Las Vegas to start up again.
Most Nevadans oppose the plan, which would consolidate the U.S. nuclear waste load currently spread across the country in their state. The project has essentially been on ice since 2010, when then-President Barack Obama suspended licensing for the Yucca Mountain facility.
Recently retired Democratic Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, one-time majority leader, used his influence to block funding for the project in past budgets. Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who now holds Reid's seat, has introduced legislation that would require states to consent to storing high levels of nuclear waste — giving Nevada the ability to refuse to accept it.
On Thursday, Cortez Masto said in a statement that Trump's "proposal to invest in Yucca Mountain is a nonstarter — it is dead, it has been for years, and that will not change."
Sen. Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, also opposes the plan.
"Washington needs to understand what Nevada has been saying for years: We will not be the nation's nuclear waste dump. This project was ill-conceived from the beginning and has already flushed billions of taxpayer dollars down the drain," he said in a statement.
Congress directed the U.S. Department of Energy to study Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository in 1987. The agency filed for a construction permit there in 2008.
The budget proposal puts Energy Secretary Rick Perry in a tough spot. While serving as governor of Texas, he said Nevadans shouldn't be forced to house the country's nuclear waste in their state if they don't want to.
Asked during his Senate confirmation hearing whether that was still his view, Perry told Cortez Masto he would "happily salute" her legislation if it were passed.
Locations of nuclear waste for geologic disposal (2002), source: Department of Energy
Perry pledged to solve the dilemma over what to do with America's nuclear waste, but offered few concrete solutions.
"Hopefully this is the beginning of seeing real movement, real management of an issue that I think no longer can sit and be used as a political football, one that must be addressed," he said.
Under a 1982 law, the federal government was supposed to begin moving nuclear waste to a permanent location by 1998. There is currently more than 70,000 metric tons of waste stored at U.S. nuclear power plants.
The industry has pressured D.C. to find a solution. Energy companies have mounted legal challenges that have cost the government more than $5 billion in settlements — a figure that could balloon to $29 billion by 2022, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a lobbying group.
States that currently store nuclear waste have also pushed for a resolution. This week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the federal government to force a vote on the Yucca Mountain site.
I would suggest to our citizens in Nevada and the region if Nevada is well on its way to being a toxic waste dump for technology waste------rare earth mining----nuclear testing-------why in the world would anyone think Nevada pols care about YUCCA? Harry Reid did not----he PRETENDED to be left social progressive on environment to be elected as a DEMOCRAT.
We do not see any left Democrats in Nevada---we see only far-right wing global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberals MOVING FORWARD US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE AND TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT policies that say-----no US environmental laws can cause global corporations to lose profits.
Remember, Nevada was where Bernie Sanders' supporters were blocked from election venues told to SHUT UP with CA global Wall Street neo-liberals coming in to help silence REAL left social progressives ----major Democratic primary fraud in Nevada.
Whether calling the 4th Industrial Revolution in US GREEN with a fake Paris Climate Change Accord or now this revitalization of YUCCA at the start of a new nuclear arms race-----IT IS ALL FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL WALL STREET PROGRESSIVE POSING ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.
Nevada delegation vows to stop Trump plan to fund nuclear waste dumping at Yucca Mountain
by Nathan O'Neal
Thursday, March 16th 2017
LAS VEGAS (KSNV NEWS3LV) — President Trump’s budget proposal includes $120 million in nuclear waste funding, part of which could be used toward the licensing of Yucca Mountain as a storage site in Nevada.
A bipartisan coalition of Nevada lawmakers is organizing to stop it.
An underground storage facility for nuclear waste sits about 100 miles outside Las Vegas. The controversial storage operations at Yucca Mountain was dropped under the Obama administration but now a new budget proposal from the Trump administration looks to revive it.
“We absolutely reject what their proposal is,” said Republican Sen. Dean Heller. “This is opening up old scabs and there’s no upside to the state of Nevada.
Nevada’s entire congressional delegation and Gov. Brian Sandoval united beyond party lines to oppose the White House’s plan which could make Nevada the country’s dumping ground for nuclear waste.
“It is throwing more money down a hole … which literally Yucca Mountain is. It is dead. It is going to be very difficult to reopen,” said Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.
Any nuclear waste would likely have to travel through the heart of Las Vegas and through millions of residents and tourists to get to Yucca Mountain.
The casino industry’s top lobbying group – the American Gaming Association-- calls it reckless and dangerous.
“The sheer thought of bringing radioactive waste within near proximity of the world’s premier tourist destination really is laughable,” said Whit Askew of the AGA.
Sens. Cortez Masto and Heller co-authored a letter to urge the Department of Energy to ditch the plan.
“We'll fight. I'll do everything I possibly can. I'll fight until the bitter end,” said Heller.
President Trump’s budget proposal still has to make it through Congress. If it makes its way through Congress, Nevada’s attorney general has already signaled along legal fight to prevent the re-opening of Yucca Mountain.
What we have seen during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA is the construction of many underground 'bunkers' ----one right under the Capital Building---so the global Wall Street 1% and their 2% have safe haven as the US is brought to third world COLONIAL status. Lots of civil unrest in store and these ROBBER BARONS AND THEIR POLS want to have a quick exit.
Where the Congressional bunker is big enough for both Houses of Congress----the goal with underground bunkers is to build a few big enough for THE WORST OF SOCIETY to survive and do their good work.
We would watch to see if YUCCA MOUNTAIN is just that underground bunker and we would tell Canadians shouting against their NUCLEAR WASTE UNDERGROUND STORAGE site costing billions of dollars---to watch for the same. Canada under Trudeau is global Wall Street neo-liberal---Trudeau is Clinton -----and Canada once top in environmentalism as with our US west coast----is fast becoming that toxic wasteland.
The Doomsday Bunker For Billionaires
by Tyler Durden
Jun 14, 2015 10:13 PM
Two months ago we went inside the Fed's "doomsday" bunker: a 135,000 square foot facility built in 1969, and nestled inside Mount Pony, east of Culpeper, Virginia that housed some $4 billion in hard currency as well as the central hub of FedWire, the computer network which allows the nation’s banks to communicate and transfer funds.
It was meant to ensure that the US banking system could still function in the event there were still any banks left in the post-apocalyptic world, Culpeper Switch (officially the Federal Reserve System’s Communications and Records Center) was equipped with everything a Fed official would need to survive in the wake of a nuclear holocaust.
And yet, it was in a word, "spartan" even by 1970s standards. After all who wants to greet the post-nuclear holocaust world surrounded by sterile plastic, a Fed spreadsheet (which caused the nuclear holocaust in the first place) and all the cash in the world, especially since the only currency accepted is silver, gold and of course, lead (not to mention a bunker-full of voodoo economists).
Below we see our 99% working hard to assure public policy on environment and hazardous waste is addressed----the problem comes when WE THE PEOPLE do not understand goals of policy around toxic waste ------global Wall Street is MOVING FORWARD to making the US completely deregulated against any environmental protections. It is gearing up to SUPER-SIZE TOXIC WASTE in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones. The transport of nuclear material-----toxic chemicals will be tied to building PRODUCTS IN MANUFACTURING PLANTS. So global Wall Street WANTS to see movement of these materials grow ---not to nuclear waste storage---but to global corporate campuses and global factories. They will be moving these nuclear materials----that toxic chemical needed for manufacturing through our US PORTS------this is what public meetings on HAZARDOUS MATERIAL transport has as a goal----only, they are not telling WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% this----they are talking about nuclear waste storage.
A PORT OF BALTIMORE WILL SEE THOSE RARE EARTH MINERALS MINED AT THE AFGHANISTAN SITES BEING BOMBED BY OBAMA AND TRUMP ----MOVED TO OUR WEST COAST TECHNOLOGY MANUFACTURING CENTERS AND OUR EAST COAST MANUFACTURING CENTERS SLATED TO COME TO GREATER BALTIMORE.
The Port of Pittsburgh Commission is a government agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that manages the port of Pittsburgh, which is the second-largest inland port in the United States.
Pittsburgh's port ranks as the 26th largest port overall in the United States with almost 27 million short tons of river cargo for 2015, the port ranked 15th largest in the U.S. when measured in domestic trade.
See why global Wall Street pols have to start talking about storing nuclear waste right NOW.
Transporting Nuclear Waste: A Meeting with Dr. Gordon Edwards
Transporting Nuclear Waste: A Meeting with Dr. Gordon Edwards
Posted on: June 7, 2017
June 16, 2017 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Town of Lincoln Offices - 4800 S Service Rd, Beamsville, ON L0R 1B1, Canada
Niagara District Council of Women
On Friday June 16th, the Niagara District Council of Women is bringing highly respected nuclear expert, Dr. Gordon Edwards, to Niagara as a guest speaker. Dr. Edwards will respond to concerns and questions about the potential shipments of liquid high level, extremely dangerous, nuclear waste containing Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) by road through Niagara.
There are many questions that have not been answered by the federal government or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:
What is the nature of the liquid radioactive material to be trucked over our roads?
Has highly radioactive liquid of this kind ever been transported before? Why now?
How dangerous is this material in case of a major accident?
Can leakage occur?
Are there practical and affordable alternatives that would make these shipments unnecessary?
NDCW is inviting first responders, transport workers, First Nations leaders, the public, local, provincial and federal representatives and community affiliates to attend this important meeting.
Doctor Edwards is renowned for his articles, presentations and reports on radiation standards and nuclear waste; he has been featured on radio and television, as well as worked as a consultant for governmental bodies, such as the Auditor General of Canada. Dr. Edwards has received many awards, including the Rosalie Bertell Lifetime Achievement Award and the YMCA Peacemaker Medallion.
This event is hosted by the Niagara District Council of Women.
As this article makes clear----not only will there be a nuclear bomb-making spree-----with all the necessary ingredients flowing to our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones-----like Baltimore-----our US government has a different CONFIGURATION TODAY then it did before/during Reagan. Bush era privatized all Defense Industry and Obama continued this ---trillions of dollars in DOD fraud created what are today global multi-national defense industries no longer tied to America----and they will be the global corporations in our Greater city regions controlling our nuclear arsenal ----controlling movement of rare earth minerals to global factories in our FTZ US city factories. No US government involved----no regulations----no oversight----no citizens' voice.
This article shows the states already mentioned in southwest----but all these global corporations have subsidiaries across the nation----SAIC is global Johns Hopkins so we can be sure Baltimore and its port is slated to see a flow of rare earth minerals----toxic chemicals----nuclear components.
THIS IS WHY TRUMP AND CONGRESSIONAL POLS ARE TALKING ABOUT YUCCA AND NUCLEAR STORAGE.
Meet the Private Corporations Building Our Nuclear Arsenal
Privatizing our nuclear arsenal development is not only dangerous, but incredibly inefficient.By Richard Krushnic and Jonathan Alan KingSeptember 22, 2015
The Titan II ICBM at the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona (Steve Jurvetson/CC BY-NC 2.0)
Imagine for a moment a genuine absurdity: Somewhere in the United States, the highly profitable operations of a set of corporations were based on the possibility that sooner or later your neighborhood would be destroyed and you and all your neighbors annihilated. And not just you and your neighbors, but others and their neighbors across the planet. What would we think of such companies, of such a project, of the mega-profits made off it?
This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com.
In fact, such companies do exist. They service the American nuclear weapons industry and the Pentagon’s vast arsenal of potentially world-destroying weaponry. They make massive profits doing so, live comfortable lives in our neighborhoods, and play an active role in Washington politics. Most Americans know little or nothing about their activities and the media seldom bother to report on them or their profits, even though the work they do is in the service of an apocalyptic future almost beyond imagining.
Add to the strangeness of all that another improbability. Nuclear weapons have been in the headlines for years now and yet all attention in this period has been focused like a spotlight on a country that does not possess a single nuclear weapon and, as far as the American intelligence community can tell, has shown no signs of actually trying to build one. We’re speaking, of course, of Iran. Almost never in the news, on the other hand, are the perfectly real arsenals that could actually wreak havoc on the planet, especially our own vast arsenal and that of our former superpower enemy, Russia.
In the recent debate over whether President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran will prevent that country from ever developing such weaponry, you could search high and low for any real discussion of the US nuclear arsenal, even though the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that it contains about 4,700 active warheads. That includes a range of bombs and land-based and submarine-based missiles. If, for instance, a single Ohio Class nuclear submarine—and the Navy has 14 of them equipped with nuclear missiles—were to launch its 24 Trident missiles, each with 12 independently targetable megaton warheads, the major cities of any targeted country in the world could be obliterated and millions of people would die.
Indeed, the detonations and ensuing fires would send up so much smoke and particulates into the atmosphere that the result would be a nuclear winter, leading to worldwide famine and the possible deaths of hundreds of millions, including Americans (no matter where the missiles went off). Yet, as if in a classic Dr. Seuss book, one would have to add: that is not all, oh, no, that is not all. At the moment, the Obama administration is planning for the spending of up to a trillion dollars over the next 30 years to modernize and upgrade America’s nuclear forces.
Given that the current US arsenal represents extraordinary overkill capacity—it could destroy many Earth-sized planets—none of those extra taxpayer dollars will gain Americans the slightest additional “deterrence” or safety. For the nation’s security, it hardly matters whether, in the decades to come, the targeting accuracy of missiles whose warheads would completely destroy every living creature within a multi-mile radius was reduced from 500 meters to 300 meters. If such “modernization” has no obvious military significance, why the push for further spending on nuclear weapons?
One significant factor in the American nuclear sweepstakes goes regularly unmentioned in this country: the corporations that make up the nuclear weapons industry. Yet the pressures they are capable of exerting in favor of ever more nuclear spending are radically underestimated in what passes for “debate” on the subject.
Privatizing Nuclear Weapons Development
Start with this simple fact: the production, maintenance, and modernization of nuclear weapons are sources of super profits for what is, in essence, a cartel. They, of course, encounter no competition for contracts from offshore competitors, given that it’s the US nuclear arsenal we’re talking about, and the government contracts offered are screened from critical auditing under the guise of national security. Furthermore, the business model employed is “cost-plus,” which means that no matter how high cost overruns may be compared to original bids, contractors receive a guaranteed profit percentage above their costs. High profits are effectively guaranteed, no matter how inefficient or over-budget the project may become. In other words, there is no possibility of contractors losing money on their work, no matter how inefficient they may be (a far cry from a corporate free-market model of production).
Those well-protected profits and the firms raking them in have become a major factor in the promotion of nuclear weapons development, undermining any efforts at nuclear disarmament of almost any sort. Part of this process should be familiar indeed, since it’s an extension of a classic Pentagon formula that Columbia University industrial economist Seymour Melman once described so strikingly in his books and articles, a formula that infamously produced $436 hammers and $6,322 coffee makers.
Given the process and the profits, the weapons contractors have a vested interest in ensuring that the American public has a heightened sense of danger and insecurity (even as they themselves have become a leading source of such danger and insecurity). Recently, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) produced a striking report, “Don’t Bank on the Bomb,” documenting the major corporate contractors and their investors who will reap those mega-profits from the coming nuclear weapons upgrades.
Given the penumbra of national security that envelops the country’s nuclear weapons programs, authentic audits of the contracts of these companies are not available to the public. However, at least the major corporations profiting from nuclear weapons contracts can now be identified. In the area of nuclear delivery systems—bombers, missiles, and submarines—these include a series of familiar corporate names: Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, GenCorp Aerojet, Huntington Ingalls, and Lockheed Martin. In other areas like nuclear design and production, the names at the top of the list will be less well known: Babcock & Wilcox, Bechtel, Honeywell International, and URS Corporation. When it comes to nuclear weapons testing and maintenance, contractors include Aecom, Flour, Jacobs Engineering, and SAIC; missile targeting and guidance firms include Alliant Techsystems and Rockwell Collins.
To give a small sampling of the contracts: In 2014, Babcock & Wilcox was awarded $76.8 million for work on upgrading the Ohio class submarines. In January 2013, General Dynamics Electric Boat Division was awarded a $4.6 billion contract to design and develop a next-generation strategic deterrent submarine. More of what is known of such corporate weapons contracts can be found in the ICAN Report, which also identified banks and other financial institutions investing in the nuclear weapons corporations.
Many Americans are unaware that much of the responsibility for nuclear weapons development, production, and maintenance lies not with the Pentagon but the Department of Energy (DOE), which spends more on nuclear weapons than it does on developing sustainable energy sources. Key to the DOE’s nuclear project are the federal laboratories where nuclear weapons are designed, built, and tested. They include Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories in Livermore, California. These, in turn, reflect a continuing trend in national security affairs, so-called GOCO sites (“government owned, contractor operated”). At the labs, this system represents a corporatization of the policies of nuclear deterrence and other nuclear weapons strategies. Through contracts with URS, Babcock & Wilcox, the University of California, and Bechtel, the nuclear weapons labs are to a significant extent privatized. The LANL contract alone is on the order of $14 billion. Similarly, the Savannah River Nuclear Facility, in Aiken, South Carolina, where nuclear warheads are manufactured, is jointly run by Flour, Honeywell International, and Huntington Ingalls Industries. Their DOE contract for operating it through 2016 totals about $8 billion dollars. In other words, in these years that have seen the rise of the warrior corporation and a significant privatization of the US military and the intelligence community, a similar process has been underway in the world of nuclear weaponry.
In addition to the prime nuclear weapons contractors, there are hundreds of subcontractors, some of which depend upon those subcontracts for the bulk of their business. Any one of them may have from 100 to several hundred employees working on its particular component or system and, with clout in local communities, they help push the nuclear modernization program via their congressional representatives.
One of the reasons nuclear weapons profitability is extremely high is that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the Department of Energy, responsible for the development and operations of the DOE’s nuclear weapons facilities, does not monitor subcontractors, which makes it difficult to monitor prime contractors as well. For example, when the Project on Government Oversight filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information on Babock & Wilcox, the subcontractor for security at the Y-12 nuclear complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the NNSA responded that it had no information on the subcontractor. Babcock & Wilcox was then in charge of building a uranium processing facility at Y-12. It, in turn, subcontracted design work to four other companies and then failed to consolidate or supervise them. This led to an unusable design, which was only scrapped after the subcontractors had received $600 million for work that was useless. This Oak Ridge case, in turn, triggered a Government Accountability Office report to Congress last May indicating that such problems were endemic to the DOE’s nuclear weapons facilities.
The Nuclear Lobbyists
Federal tax dollars expended on nuclear weapons maintenance and development are a significant component of the federal budget. Although difficult to pin down precisely, the sums run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. In 2005, the Government Accountability Office reported that even the Pentagon had no firm numbers when it came to how much the nuclear mission costs, nor is there a standalone nuclear weapons budget of any sort, so overall costs must be estimated. Analyzing the budgets of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, as well as information gleaned from Congressional testimony, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies suggests that, from 2010-2018, the United States will spend at least $179 billion to maintain the current nuclear triad of missiles, bombers, and submarines, with their associated nuclear weaponry, while beginning the process of developing their next-generation replacements. The Congressional Budget Office projects the cost of nuclear forces for 2015-2024 at $348 billion, or $35 billion annually, of which the Pentagon will spend $227 billion and the Department of Energy $121 billion.
In fact, the price for maintaining and developing the nuclear arsenal is actually far greater than either of those estimates. While those numbers include most of the direct costs of nuclear weapons and strategic launching systems like missiles and submarines, as well as the majority of the costs for the military personnel responsible for maintaining, operating, and executing the missions, they don’t include many other expenses, including the decommissioning process and nuclear-waste disposal issues involved in “retiring” weapons. Nor do they include the pensions and healthcare costs that will go with retiring their human operators.
In 2012, a report by Global Zero chaired by former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright concluded that “no sensible argument has been put forward for using nuclear weapons to solve any of the major 21st century problems we face [including] threats posed by rogue states, failed states, proliferation, regional conflicts, terrorism, cyber warfare, organized crime, drug trafficking, conflict-driven mass migration of refugees, epidemics, or climate change. In fact, nuclear weapons have on balance arguably become more a part of the problem than any solution.”
Not surprisingly, for the roster of corporations involved in the US nuclear programs, this matters little. They, in fact, maintain elaborate lobbying operations in support of their continuing nuclear weapons contracts. In a 2012 study for the Center for International Policy, “Bombs vs. Budgets: Inside the Nuclear Weapons Lobby,” William Hartung and Christine Anderson reported that, for the elections of that year, the top 14 contractors gave nearly $3 million directly to Congressional legislators. Not surprisingly, half that sum went to members of the four key committees or subcommittees that oversee spending for nuclear arms.
In 2015, the defense industry mobilized a small army of at least 718 lobbyists and doled out more than $67 million dollars pressuring Congress for increased weapons spending generally. Among the largest contributors were corporations with significant nuclear weapons contracts, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics. Such pro-nuclear lobbying is augmented by contributions and pressure from missile and aircraft companies that are primarily non-nuclear. Some of the systems they produce, however, are potentially dual-use (conventional and nuclear), which means that a robust nuclear weapons program increases their potential market.
The continuing pressure of Congressional Republicans for cuts in domestic social programs are a crucial mechanism that ensures federal tax dollars will be available for lucrative military contracts. In terms of quality of life (and death), this means that underestimating the influence of the nuclear weapons industry is singularly dangerous. For the $35 billion or more the US taxpayer will put into such weaponry annually to support the narrow interests of a modest number of companies, the payback is fear of an apocalyptic future. After all, unlike almost all other corporate lobbies, the nuclear weapons lobby (and so your tax dollars) put life on Earth at risk of rapid extinction, either following the direct destruction of a nuclear holocaust or a radical reduction in sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface that would come from the sort of nuclear winter that would follow almost any nuclear exchange. At the moment, the corporate-nuclear complex is hidden in our midst, its budgets and funds shielded from public scrutiny, its project hardly noticed. It’s a formula for disaster.
Citizens in NW still have some voice and power as regards environment and labor-------but that power is fast decreasing as Seattle becomes the same GREATER SEATTLE global technology hub as San Fran. We thank our Boeing labor unions for taking the stand----they knew Boeing was heading to third world wages and these professional unions walked away.
South Carolina is the opposite----it is a cheer leader for ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE THIRD WORLD WAGE AND GLOBAL LABOR POOL. Boeing knows as well South Carolina could care less about environmental laws----so it will be free to create the massive toxic waste dumps tied to coming MOVING FORWARD. As a GATEWAY state SC has structures to move global labor pool into South Carolina for training and then to send immigrant labor across US just as Atlanta----Baltimore-----Providence. This move by Boeing was more than simply jet planes----and the NW citizens are fighters!
We hope our NW labor unions are building local CO-OPS and include local solar panel manufacturing---you know, the real green solar panels without all the toxic chemicals as components.
Say goodbye to Charleston and Myrtle Beach----between offshore oil rigs-----floating industrial solar platforms---INDUSTRIAL FISH FARMS-------nuclear bomb manufacturing-----global tech industry rare earth global factories-----NOT SO GENTILE FUTURE FOR A BEAUTIFUL PART OF OUR NATION.
The incalculable cost of Boeing’s South Carolina gamble
- Fri Feb 19th, 2016 12:23pm
The Boeing Co. is turning 100 on July 15. Throughout the year, The Daily Herald is covering the people, airplanes and moments that define the Boeing century.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — There is an alligator in a pond at the entrance to the Boeing Co.’s plant here. Just beyond the pond, construction workers are raising a new paint hangar that can handle two planes at a time.
Finishing the paint hangar will mean Boeing’s South Carolina workers can do everything needed to deliver a finished 787 Dreamliner on-site. It could be where Boeing introduces the next step forward in using robots to paint airplanes.
Just seven years ago, Boeing executives decided to do something the company had never done — build a jetliner factory outside Washington. They announced in October 2009 that the second 787 assembly line would be at a site adjacent to the Charleston airport, where suppliers had already been making sections of the airplane’s composite-material fuselage.
The decision hit metro Puget Sound like a gut punch.
It has been a boon for Charleston, which was thrust into the global aerospace market. But the implications for Boeing and Washington are murky. For one thing, increasing production rate and quality here have taken longer and cost more than Boeing expected.
The expansion of manufacturing to South Carolina was one of several critical decisions that seemed to signal a change in how Boeing’s corporate leaders in Chicago viewed the company and, especially, its relationship with the Seattle area, where Bill Boeing started making airplanes in 1916.
“The age of loyalty is dead,” a Daily Herald story declared a few days after Boeing announced the 787 line was going to South Carolina.
Turning point: 1997
Many veteran Boeing workers say things changed after the company’s 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas, which had a reputation for having a more-cutthroat corporate culture.
“This is no longer your father’s company!” a top Boeing exec reportedly told workers after the merger. That’s according to University of Puget Sound professors Leon Grunberg and Sarah Moore, in their book “Emerging From Turbulence.”
The merger made Boeing the world’s biggest aerospace company, and one much more focused on quarterly financial performance. That was a drastic change. For more than 50 years, Boeing had fostered a family culture in its machine shops, R&D labs and even the corner offices.
Since the merger, the Boeing headquarters was moved from Boeing Field in Seattle to a high-rise in downtown Chicago. The company courted other states, including South Carolina, when considering where to locate 787 assembly. And relations with organized labor deteriorated. Machinists union members in Washington went on strike in 2005 and again in 2008. That latter strike was fresh in execs’ minds when considering where to put the second Dreamliner factory.
In the months following the South Carolina announcement, Boeing executives publicly said they selected the state in large part for its non-union proclivity.
When Vought Aircraft opened a North Charleston plant to make 787 fuselage sections in 2006, workers voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which also represents about 31,000 Boeing workers in Washington and Portland. A couple months after Boeing bought Vought’s plant in July 2009, the workers voted the union out.
A new aerospace hub
Boeing execs saw other benefits, too, such as how the new site would diversify the company geographically and strengthen its clout in D.C. In doing business in South Carolina, Boeing would gain the support of South Carolina’s congressional delegation.
At the same time, local business boosters and public officials made the Charleston area very attractive for Boeing expansion. The state offered about $450 million in incentives. Training programs for aerospace workers were started after Vought and another Boeing supplier, Alenia Aeronautica, came to the area.
However, quality-control problems at those suppliers prompted Boeing to take over their operations.
Boeing’s decision to step in put South Carolina on a global stage in aerospace, said David Ginn, head of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. The group was key in coordinating efforts to attract aerospace, automotive manufacturing and other high-value industries.
Since then, dozens of companies have come to the area to do business with Boeing. Many are still growing, some have struggled and a handful have failed. The industry as a whole, however, is growing and employs more than 15,000 people in the area. About 7,500 work for Boeing.
Other high-value manufacturers followed, such as Volvo and Daimler.
“It has been a stamp of approval for companies in other industries” thinking of opening shop in the area, he said of Boeing’s presence.
High cost of moving
Boeing’s early years in South Carolina were plenty painful. That pain was felt as far away as Everett, where workers put in overtime completing work not finished or re-doing assembly poorly done in North Charleston.
Boeing had anticipated there would be some additional costs associated with a new assembly line far from Washington. It expected that an all-new factory in Charleston, with a new workforce, would cost about $1.5 billion more over time than it would if a second 787 assembly line was located in Everett, according to a presentation by Jim Albaugh, then head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, on Oct. 26, 2009.
So far, Boeing has spent $28.5 billion more than it has earned in revenue to deliver the first 370 Dreamliners. That staggering amount is the result of problems in the supply chain and on the assembly lines, among other things. It is not clear how much of that can be attributed to teething at the South Carolina site.
In 2013, the 17 Dreamliners built in South Carolina spent an average of nearly 93 days in final assembly, according to analysis of data by the blog All Things 787. Last year, that number was down to about 46 days. In Everett, 787s spent an average of 33 days in final assembly.
In any case, Boeing execs say the cost of making a 787 is under control, and the company is ready to recover some of that $28.5 billion.
It likely will be decades before it is clear whether Boeing’s decision to build airplanes somewhere other than Washington is an anomaly or a harbinger of things to come.