WILSON EYES LAWSUIT TO PROTECT SAVANNAH RIVER SITE JOBS
S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson is preparing a legal challenge in the hopes of blocking U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to shutter a costly Department of Energy (DOE) project in the Palmetto State.
As FITS reported last month, Obama’s administration is looking to do away with the mixed oxide fuel (MOX) facility at the Savannah River Site – which would cost South Carolina at least 1,800 jobs.
Obama zeroed out funding for the facility in his latest budget – and his administration recently dispatched “shutdown specialist” David Darugh to the site. Darugh previously managed the termination of another massive failed government boondoggle, Texas’ Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) project.
The MOX facility is a monument to government ineptitude.
Last month, FITS reported on the cost overruns (and total lack of accountability) associated with this project – which is supposed to turn weapons grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors. This MOX facility was supposed to have been completed in 2007 at a cost of $1.6 billion to taxpayers – but nearly $4 billion later it still isn’t done, and the total tab for the project is now nearing $10 billion.
None of that is stopping U.S. Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham – and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson – from fighting for the project, though.
In a letter dated March 7, the three lawmakers ask for Wilson to “explore any legal avenues the state may have to address this injustice.”
Actually, the letter was addressed to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – which is surprising considering the governor’s low opinion of workers at the site.
“Down on River Site, they were hiring a few hundred people, and when we sat down and talked to them … they said of everybody they interviewed, half of them failed a drug test, and of the half that was left, of that 50 percent, the other half couldn’t read and write properly,” Haley told a group of Lexington County, S.C. Rotarians in September 2011.
The governor’s office isn’t expected to have any involvement in the MOX case – which makes her receipt of the letter somewhat unusual.
Two theories have emerged to explain it …
According to sources close to Graham, Haley had to receive the letter because one of its signatories was Joe Wilson – Alan Wilson’s father.
“They wanted to avoid any appearance of undue influence,” one source close to Graham told FITS.
Other sources say Haley’s office insisted that the letter be addressed to her because it involved jobs – and the governor didn’t want anyone else taking credit for safeguarding them.
Anyway, Wilson has fought the Obama administration in court on several prior occasions – winning a battle in district court over the Palmetto State’s voter identification laws but losing (along with many of his fellow Attorneys General) on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Obamacare decisions.
We’ll see how he does defending this boondoggle …