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Senator Heinrich and the makers of WMD

Your article narrowly grazes the truth about the junior senator from New Mexico, missing some critical observations.

Mr. Heinrich does have some impressive environmental creeds, but that predates his tenure as a congressman. He cannot, without equivocation, support the development, maintenance and manufacture of weapons of mass destruction and retain his status as an environmentalist; it creates a multiple oxymoron.

Since he began sleeping on the floor of his DC office, he has been, as all members of the New Mexico delegation apparently are, a wholly owned subsidiary of the national labs, two of which are in New Mexico.

Even facing an apparent no-brainer for a progressive, declining to extend subsidies for nuclear power, and armed with reams of data to support a more fiscally sound position, Mr. Heinrich could not stand up top the nuclearists.

His unwavering support for a huge new plutonium laboratory at Los Alamos, the CMRR_NF (see the website of the Los Alamos Study Group), the cost of which had ballooned by a factor of least ten since it was first pitched to Congress was an outrage.

Lost in Mr. Heinrich’s analysis of New Mexico’s economy, like that of Mr. Udall, is that New Mexico looms at the bottom of nearly every indicator of social well-being not in spite of but because of the disproportionate dependence New Mexico has on defense spending.

Like his colleague Mr. Udall, Mr. Heinrich repeats the standard tripe about how the labs are a national treasure, never accounting for the opportunity costs of having engines of destruction at the hub of out state’s economy.

If this is progressive politics in the twenty-first century, I wish I had a time machine.

Peter Neils, President, Los Alamos Study Group

Albuquerque, NM

May 15 2013 - 9:15pm