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Posts Tagged ‘US Congress’


Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Press release follows below:


February 24, 2011

Press Office
(202) 226-4972
Energy & Commerce Leaders Press Energy Dept. on Yucca Mountain, Status of Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Collected for Disbanded Project
WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) today sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu seeking answers on the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository. Upton and Shimkus are concerned that despite the scientific community’s seal of approval as well as billions of taxpayer dollars collected for the project, the administration inexplicably pulled the plug on the Yucca repository without offering a viable alternative. 
In the letter to Energy Secretary Chu, Upton and Shimkus expressed concern over the billions of dollars that have been collected from the American public’s monthly electric bills. The two lawmakers wrote, “In the case of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (the Act) we have extra obligations:  a fiduciary duty to consumers who, under the Act, have paid billions of dollars into the Waste Fund only—so far—to receive nothing in return; and a moral obligation to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars from the U.S. Treasury to pay damages to plant operators whose contracts with the Department of Energy (the Department) to transfer possession of nuclear waste material are breached.”
Upton and Shimkus further wrote, “It would be difficult to draft legislation to make the Act more plain, specific, and mandatory than it already is.  However, all three of these problems must be solved:  the establishment of a permanent facility for accepting high level waste; the consumers paying out billions of dollars and receiving nothing in return; and the Treasury paying out billions of dollars in damages with no real end in sight due to the Department’s failure to meet its obligations." 


Saturday, February 19th, 2011

February 19, 2011

Nuclear Townhall
An amendment seeking to cut funding for the Yucca Mountain program for government fiscal year 2011 was defeated by a voice vote shortly after midnight during the stretch drive by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to finalize a spending bill with “the largest single discretionary spending cut in the history of the nation.” 
The Yucca defunding amendment was offered by Congressman Dean Heller (R-Nevada).  The Heller amendment would have eliminated approximately $200 million in funding for the program, which continues to receive funds under a continuing resolution despite efforts by the Obama Administration to terminate the program.
The House bill also includes a pro-Yucca Mountain provision seeking to thwart an ongoing effort by Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko to shut-down the agency’s Yucca Mountain review without any final determination by the Commission with regard to the Atomic Safety Licensing Board’s rejection of the Energy Department’s license withdrawal request.
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers hailed the Yucca Mountain review rider in a statement saying “in addition to spending cuts, the legislation also contains multiple provisions to stop harmful regulations or programs that would hurt the nation’s economy and inhibit the ability of American businesses to create jobs, such as onerous EPA “greenhouse gas” regulations, the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility application process, and the Obama Administration’s health care reform act.
The House spending package, which passed the House with a party line vote, heads to an uncertain future in the Senate.  The current continuing resolutions expires on March 4.

Non-Proliferation Worrywarts Still Haven’t Discovered North Korea

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

In the long list of Extraordinary Popular Delusions About Nuclear Energy, none matches the fantasy that the U.S. still possesses the secret to nuclear weapons and that we can prevent it from spreading across the globe.

This 1945-style phantasm was on display again House Foreign Affairs Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee, where Washington nonprofit worrywarts once again tried to convince gullible Congressmen that all we have to do it hide our light under a bushel and the world will never learn about nuclear energy.

In an age when the U.S. is importing far more nuclear technology than we are exporting, the K Street set is still asking for more Congressional oversight. "Congress needs to require that both houses approve all nuclear cooperative agreements that the executive branch negotiates," Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Washington-based Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, told the hearings. “The United States could also threaten to withdraw its nuclear material and technical support if a nation tested atomic weapons.”

Haven’t we done this already?  It was the Canadians that supplied India with its bomb material, not us. And that was in 1974. Since then, North Korea has figured out how to do it themselves.

The upshot of all this is that other countries still continue to surge ahead while we sit deluding ourselves we still lead the world in nuclear technology. Russia is supplying nuclear technology and building reactors in Iran, Egypt, Morocco, India, Vietnam, Brazil and Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. China is helping Pakistan. Wouldn’t it be safer if we were superintending the development of these countries’ nuclear programs?

Read more at Global Security News Wire

William Tucker