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Legislators: 'Spaceport America Could Become a Ghost Town' 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the contract-negotiations-underway-with-actual-ghosts dept.
RocketAcademy writes "A group of New Mexico legislators is warning that the $200-million Spaceport America 'could become a ghost town, with tumbleweeds crossing the runways' if trial lawyers succeed in blocking critical liability legislation. The warning came in a letter to the Albuquerque Journal [subscription or free trial may be required]. Virgin Galactic has signed a lease to become the spaceport's anchor tenant, but may pull out if New Mexico is unable to provide liability protection for manufacturers and part suppliers, similar to legislation already passed by Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Virginia. The proposed legislation is also similar to liability protection which New Mexico offers to the ski industry. An eclectic group of business and civic interests has formed the Save Our Spaceport Coalition to support passage of the liability reform legislation, which is being fought by the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association."
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Legislators: 'Spaceport America Could Become a Ghost Town'

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  • by Whatsmynickname (557867) on Friday January 04, 2013 @02:17PM (#42477839)

    And this folks is precisely why we never get anything done anymore... Between the lawyers / politicians / managers who "just want to get along", we will just sit here and spin our wheels until our society falls apart.

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Friday January 04, 2013 @02:21PM (#42477893) Journal

    corporate welfare to me, the cost of which is borne by the tax payers.

    If the business can't generate enough cash flow to pay the liability insurance bill, maybe the business shouldn't exist.

  • Re:Suspicous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lisias (447563) on Friday January 04, 2013 @02:27PM (#42477983) Homepage Journal

    A crashing rocket can fall over the entire America, not only New Mexico.

    I'm sure I'm far from 100% right, but as far as I know, rockets commonly explodes on lauchpad, or are emergency destroyed a few kilometers high, when the debris fall out over a relatively small (and manageable) area.

    There're exceptions, as the two Space Shuttle accidents. But IMHO, people living near an prosaic airport are far more endangered than the guys at New Mexico.

    However, crashing rockets are not the only problem a spaceport (and its neighborhood) can suffer.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday January 04, 2013 @02:40PM (#42478163) Journal

    Virgin Galactic has signed a lease to become the spaceport's anchor tenant, but may pull out if New Mexico is unable to provide liability protection for manufacturers and part suppliers, similar to legislation already passed by Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Virginia.

    Allow me to translate:
    Virgin Galactic has signed a lease to become the spaceport's anchor tenant, but may pull out if New Mexico is unable to provide liability subsidies for manufacturers and part suppliers, similar to subsidies already passed by Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Virginia.

    Virgin is asking to be protected from paying insurance on the full cost of the risk it is creating.
    I'm not saying I'm against it, just that we should call this "protection" what it is: socializing the risks and privatizing the profits.

  • Re:Why not? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:02PM (#42479217)

    Amazing, a conservative Republican renouncing someone after he's no longer useful, we haven't heard this before. IIR the vote for Prsident Bush fell along party lines, with conservatives voting him in. You voted him in, you nominated him, he's yours. The "liberals" got Al Gore, Kerry, Kennedy and Obama each with their own issues. You don't just get to say he's not ours because it's inconvenient to your belief system. Most conservatives don't listen to Rush? Right...and Fox News isn't the #1 conservative news source. I'm fairly certain most non-partisan people don't consider descriptive words as insults, though it's possible that it can be construed as that. We have a predetermined right and left wing of our political spectrum, so calling someone right winger or left winger isn't generally a major insult. Sarcastic use of the word genius, would however be ironically insulting.

    His point, since it seems to alude you, is that being a reactionary, hyperbolic windbag by using a known false statement that is used as a talking point has no place in this discussion as it is irrelevant to the point at hand. The discussion was about Spaceports and regulation, not about whether or not the government was providing federal benefits to poor people so they could have a reasonable chance at getting gainful employment.

    I'm tired of partisan bickering getting in the way of real issues, isn't about time we had some adult populace in the room that didn't sneer and start choosing what was best for their side as soon as an issue is found. Sometimes being an adult means you're wrong or you have to take responsibility even if it's not your fault or your problem. It's amazing that when the President and John Boehner worked so hard to get something together that typical partisan garbage can unwind what the entire country wants. If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work fixing what we know is broken. It's up to us to do it, even if that means we end up getting dirty and doing things we don't like or that go against our normal political motivations.

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