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Bishop lauds accomplishments over HAFB, nuke-waste issue

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One may excuse U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop if he brags just a little bit about 2005.

Bishop addressed the Utah House and Senate on Monday, and while giving credit all around, he also said that his two top priorities last year were accomplished — keeping Hill Air Force Base open and placing congressionally designated wilderness around the Goshute Indian Tribe's west desert reservation to keep out nuclear storage.

But the Brigham City Republican, a former GOP speaker of the Utah House and legislative lobbyist, said Utah state government should take steps now to strengthen Utah's four major military installations so they will not only survive the next round of base closures but grow as other bases are closed.

And, Bishop said, don't assume that the newly created wilderness — the first time in 20 years that any Utah federal land was so designated — ensures the death of a nuclear storage facility on Goshute Indian land in Tooele County.

"The Utah Legislature is in the game" because now Private Fuel Storage — a consortium of nuclear power utilities — will have to use state roads and cross state lands to reach the Goshute land. And, says Bishop, the state should use that leverage in trying to stop the project.