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IN-HO USE NOTES Mary Lenz, our gifted staff reporter and columnist during the regular session of the legislature, has fulfilled a previous commitment by returning to Bethel, Alaska, to work for a season on the Tundra Drums, a lively weekly in the outback. We have made some ad hoc staff arrangements that will manifest themselves in due time. Katharine C. Fain, our research director in Washington, D.C., was born in Connecticut and votes in Texas. After receiving her AB in political science at George Washington University in Washington, she worked on the Hill for National Journal, the State of New Jersey congressional liaison office, and Congressional Record Abstracts, for which she was managing editor seven years. With her husband, Ty Fain, she coauthored three readers in political science, on the intelligence community, national health insurance, and federal reorganization, published by R. R. Bowker Co. We are extremely fortunate, in having her assistance and perspective as the Observer resumes paying close attention to the Texas delegation in Washington. This issue is a breather from the heavy legislative coverage our readers have been receiving from Austin. In the July 10th issue we will consolidate our legislative roundup with a focus on the issues of the special session, which opens July 13th. Ed. More Nuclear Bombs To Be Made at Pantex Washington The Pantex nuclear weapons plant 15 miles outside of Amarillo, identified by Cong. Jack Hightower of Vernon as “the only facility in the United Sates which assembles nuclear weapons,” is being expanded now in a $55 million construction program to permit it to accommodate the Carter and Reagan Administrations’ build-up of nuclear weapons. This expansion is occurring without a completed environmental impact state When it comes to build ing warheads for the MX and Trident missiles, an air-launched cruise missile, delay at Pantex cannot be risked, a New York con gressman said. tal Awareness Committee sued over this, but made a deal with the Department of Energy. The DOE agreed to come up with an EIS in 1982, in return for which the committee dropped its suit and gave up the right to seek an injunction to stop the expansion. This did not satisfy Cong. Sam Stratton of New York, to whom it occurred that any other peace or environmental group is perfectly free to seek such an injunction. During House debate over the DOE appropriations bill this month \(which authorizes the first half of the hibit an EIS for Pantex or any other is required by law. Hightower, with Pantex in his home district, rose to the defense of the deal that had been made, and the ensuing debate laid upon the pages of the Congressional Record the facts already here recited and other unusual official insights about the momentous facility called Pantex. THE FORTHCOMING EIS statement “could involve a shutdown of the Pantex plant,” Stratton said. “I am very much for the facility at Amarillo,” Hightower replied. “We are very proud to have it there. We want to do everything we can to make it .. . carry out its mission in the production of atomic weaponry. So our difference of opinion is not based on any philosophical idea of mine as being opposed to nuclear weapons, because I am very much pronuclear . . . ” “That is the plant at which all of our nuclear weapons are assembled,” Stratton said. “The U.S. had undertaken a major program to increase our nuclear weaponry,” continued the New Yorker. “I refer to the MX, the air-launched cruise missile, the groundand sealaunched cruise missile, the Pershing II, and the Lance nuclear artillery weapons. . . . “Over the next few years the Departsands of old weapons and recover the nuclear material in them and then provide material for new weapons and produce thousands of new weapons.” \(See “Moving Bombs, Plutonium,” TO 5/ “This involves a very extensive expansion,” Stratton said. If the enlargement at Pantex has to wait for the EIS, the national defense will be delayed two years, he argued, but since the EIS is being prepared as construction goes forward, there really is no need for the EIS “The end result is already predetermined.” Hightower said the Pantex plant is vital for national security. “The House armed services committee recognizes this when it says in its ‘report that the DOE must provide the necessary nuclear warheads before the MX, the cruise missile, Trident, and other nuclear weapons achieve an initial operating capability.” The expansion at Pantex is required “because of the growing number of nuclear weapons being assembled at the Pantex plant and the anticipation that more capacity will be needed,” Hightower said. `We have a good local situation’ at Amarillo. ‘Let us not disturb it. . . . We want to build those nuclear weapons,’ said Cong.’ Jack Hightower of Vernon. In June, 1980, suit was brought, Hightower continued, “by a group of concerned, respected citizens in my district,” objecting to the lack of an EIS. The deal was struck, the suit withdrawn, but Hightower warned that if Congress prohibited the EIS, “I have been assured by the attorney for the plaintiffs that an injunction to halt Pantex’s expansion will be sought. We must not let that happen. . . . “Under the present agreement construction is going on. Nothing is being THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9