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Confronting the Nuclear Waste Problem

The editorial "Energy and Nuclear Waste," Oct. 23, states that "the nuclear waste problem must be confronted for the sake of present and future generations."

For two years, as the president's appointed official in charge of creating a voluntary siting process for nuclear spent fuel facilities, I have worked with more than three dozen states and tribes that have some interest in hosting a temporary storage facility for nuclear waste.

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However, you printed a one-sided critical news article "Indians Press Clinton To Halt Waste Storage," Nov. 25, alleging that our process "targets" Indian reservations and should be eliminated. This is wrong and misleading. This office targets no jurisdiction and treats states and tribes equally as independent sovereigns and potential negotiating partners.

In October 1991, as required by federal law, we mailed to 50 states and 565 tribes an identical call for participation that encouraged interested volunteers to apply for federal grants and study nuclear facility hosting in any way the jurisdiction deemed to be feasible. Significantly, states responded at twice as high a percentile rate as did Indian tribes.

To treat tribes any differently from the way we treat states by denying Indians the freedom of opportunity to participate or to decline would have been an unacceptable form of paternalism and discrimination. Through the negotiator process, the United States government encourages and defends the freedom of political and economic choice long ago promised, but all too often denied to native Americans. David H. Leroy, Boise, Idaho US Nuclear Waste Negotiator The words of Rush Limbaugh

Thank you so much for the book review "The Portable Conservative," Dec. 1, about Rush Limbaugh's book "The Way Things Ought to Be."

I am a staunch conservative and was happy to see such a positive review of Mr. Limbaugh's book from what is considered to be a basically liberal newspaper. This article has motivated me to go out and buy his book. I didn't think that it would be very good reading, but your review points out several issues that I would like to read more about. Jeff Stevens, Webster, Texas

The review of Rush Limbaugh's bestseller calls the book "informative." However, where Mr. Limbaugh deals with factual information rather than opinion, "misinformative" would be a more accurate description. The chapter "Sorry, But the Earth Is Not Fragile" is packed with inaccuracies and factual errors. For example, Limbaugh propagates the myth that chlorine from volcanoes has a larger affect on the ozone layer than chlorine from man-made CFCs, despite solid evidence in the modern earth sciences.

Limbaugh draws many of his "facts" about environmental issues from another right-wing "expert," Dixie Lee Ray, whose book "Trashing the Planet," is also chock-full of factual errors and distortions.

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In this way, Limbaugh propagates misinformation to a wider audience than does Ms. Ray, and the Monitor amplifies the distortion by calling Limbaugh's book informative. Conway Leovy, Seattle Lending a helping hand

After reading the article "Women Care Lends Hand to Women Exiting Prison," Dec. 1, I was glad to see something positive happening toward our prison system. Mentor programs like this need to be implemented in all prison systems, and for men, too. If governments concentrate more on these programs, maybe less funding will go toward building more jails. Sofia Zuberi, Ellicott City, Md.

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