Congrats to all those working for CTBT ratification in Utah, as the Utah state House just unanimously passed a resolution (HR-4) urging the U.S. Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
From the resolution:
“United States ratification of the CTBT would be a significant step towards preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, reducing nuclear weapons arsenals worldwide, and building confidence among nations that abolition of nuclear weapons can someday be achieved,
…further nuclear weapons testing is not necessary to maintain the integrity, effectiveness, and deterrence value of the existing United States nuclear weapons stockpile,
…as part of its recognition of the 50th anniversary of nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site, in the 2001 General Session, the 54th Legislature of the state of Utah expressed, ‘the fervent desire and commitment to assure that such a legacy will never be repeated,’
…the House of Representatives of the state of Utah strongly urges the United States Senate to promptly give its advice and consent for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.”
As experts have identified, support from Utah’s two Republican Senators – Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennet – will be key in new efforts for Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Both Hatch and Bennett voted against the agreement when it was first brought to the Senate in 1999. Though the primary concerns that led to that first failed vote no longer hold water, the Senators will be under significant pressure from Republican leadership not to break ranks with the party conservatives who will oppose the agreement.
Today’s unanimous vote is a giant leap in the right direction for both Utah and the country, and it demonstrates the truly bipartisan consensus that exists for a smarter nuclear weapons policy that addresses today’s national security challenges.
From the Salt Lake City Tribune:
Rep. Trisha Beck, D-Sandy, reminded her colleagues of a pamphlet distributed decades ago by the U.S. government saying that the nuclear-test site in Nevada was safe and did not cause illness.
But, by 1990, the federal government had passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to aid those who had been damaged by above- and below-ground testing that continued through the Cold War.
‘The pamphlet said it was benign,’ Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, said. ‘People would sit out and watch the explosions with their kids.’
Noel urged passage of HR4, saying his own mother had died of cancer.
You can read the entire resolution here.