The Mescalero Apache and Monitored Retrievable Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel: A Study in Environmental Ethics

32 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2006  

Noah Sachs

University of Richmond School of Law

Abstract

The proposal of the Mescalero Apache Indians to host a nuclear waste storage facility raised difficult questions about political sovereignty, environmental justice, and democratic consent. While the proposal had numerous drawbacks and deserved to be opposed, many of the arguments used against it were conceptually flawed and paternalistic. Arguments decrying bribery of a poor community were particularly weak, while those criticizing targeting of Indian tribes by the United States government and coercion of tribal membners by the Mescalero leadership had more merit. The core ethical arguments should be separated from the rhetoric so that policy makers, Native Americans, environmentalists, and industry leaders can better evaluate similar projects in the future.

Keywords: nuclear waste, environment, Indian law, environmental ethics

Suggested Citation

Sachs, Noah, The Mescalero Apache and Monitored Retrievable Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel: A Study in Environmental Ethics. Natural Resources Journal, Vol. 36, p. 641, 1996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=917190

Noah Sachs (Contact Author)

University of Richmond School of Law ( email )

28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
United States
804-289-8555 (Phone)

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