Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Is Phil Bryant Misinformed about Misinformation?

Governor "Three Mile" Phil Bryant is pushing back against opponents of a plan he is supporting to house the country's nuclear waste. As we noted yesterday, if this plan goes through, foreign nuclear waste may make its way to Mississippi too.

The strategy by Bryant is getting more confusing as the hours pass. First, we heard of temporary storage for the nuclear waste. Then we heard Bryant wants to push nuclear manufacturing. After that, Bryant said he has not heard of any attempt to permanently store nuclear waste in Mississippi's salt domes. Now we are told that Bryant is interested in recycling nuclear waste. Talk about messaging whiplash!

The Mississippi Energy Institute claims that thousands of jobs and billions of dollars will go to support this project, if national leaders change certain policies. First, let's put this proposed project into perspective. After nearly ten years of investments, the Nissan plant in Canton is on track to have a workforce of around 4,500 persons. If this nuclear storage facility is to be temporary, as the governor is suggesting, how will the state handle the thousands of workers losing their jobs? Is the governor ready to go on record to say that in order to keep these jobs that the nuclear dump plan is to be made permanent? Second, national leaders changing policies? They can barely agree on what day of the week it is. There should be a big asterisk next to any job creation and financial impact figures associated with this project if federal policy has to be changed in order to obtain the benefits.

Bryant has begun blaming "the media" for perpetrating a misinformation campaign against his and the Mississippi Energy Institute's plan. If the governor and the plan's supporters would state what their true intentions are, we can all be on the same page. Then we can have a discussion about a topic the governor has called an "overreaction."

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