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SANTA FE — Our federal government has neglected to address many issues over the years. Two of them really stand out.
The issues involve officially recognizing our nation’s development of a weapon that has changed the world and recognizing the New Mexicans who served as guinea pigs for studying the effects of an A-bomb explosion.
Bills have been introduced to correct both. A measure to create a Manhattan Project National Park based in Los Alamos; Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Hanford, Washington passed the U.S. House in September but without the two-thirds vote necessary for the rules under which the bill was considered.
Objections included cost, opposition to nuclear energy, opposition to the National Park Service and an attitude that either we would be celebrating our action or apologizing for our action.
Sponsors of the bills in both houses of Congress hope to get the measure moving again before the current lame duck session is over. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring at the end of the month, is the chief Senate sponsor. The cause will move forward without him but his clout helps.
Proponents have come up with some new arguments and tactics. Many of the buildings at the three locations still are usable as museum sites. The cost of demolishing them is much greater than the cost of improvements and maintenance.
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