For Candidates Roving US, Energy Stance is Fraught with Risks

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...the Yucca Mountain matter (proposed nuclear waste repository) is even more politically loaded this campaign season, because Nevada has moved up its caucuses, raising the influence of the state in the presidential nomination process.

John Edwards voted for making Nevada's Yucca Mountain a nuclear waste repository, but now he opposes it. Bill Richardson allowed the Yucca project to proceed when he was Bill Clinton's energy secretary, but now says he opposes it as a waste dump. Hillary Clinton several times voted against bills expanding the amount of ethanol required in gasoline, but now wants the government to help pay for the biofuel that is so important to Iowans.

Energy policy, presidential candidates in both parties agree, is a critical national priority. But the regional special interests involved in energy use, production, and waste disposal have created political problems for the presidential contenders as they woo voters across the country...

Decrying the siting of Yucca Mountain as a place to store the nation's nuclear waste goes over well with Nevadans, who are set to hold early caucuses Jan. 19. But in South Carolina - where Republicans will hold a primary the same day and the Democrats, the following week - voters don't like the idea of shelving Yucca, because that's where they want to send their nuclear waste...

The Yucca Mountain matter is even more politically loaded this campaign season, because Nevada has moved up its caucuses, raising the influence of the state in the presidential nomination process. Democratic candidates are likely to face questions about Yucca when they meet in Las Vegas for a nationally televised debate tomorrow night. And the West is emerging as a key general election battleground...

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