The Saints Haven’t Come Marching in
Almost 75 percent of Utah residents object to plans to store tons of nuclear waste at the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation, 50 miles outside of Salt Lake City — so why isn’t the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Utah’s main opinion-setter, taking a stand on the issue? So far, the silence of the Mormon leadership on the issue has set the tone for the entire opposition movement, according to Claire Geddes of Utah Legislative Watch. “A lot of people take their political cues from the church. A lot of people will not speak out until they are told to,” she said. Kaylinda Tilges, a grassroots organizer against nuclear waste in Utah and Nevada, adds that if the Church got involved, “it would be over” and the “government would be looking at another way to deal with its garbage.” If approved, the Skull Valley waste deposit will be the nation’s first new nuclear construction project in more than two decades. The federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board is expected to recommend whether to license the project by early December.