House Democrats Block Bipartisan Amendment To Consider Yucca Mountain

This was a bipartisan amendment aimed at ensuring that defense nuclear wastes are not stranded in our states indefinitely and are instead safely stored in the scientifically-proven national repository at Yucca Mountain

 - Edited by April Murelio -

Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Congressman John Spratt (D-SC) authored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill for next year to ensure that Yucca Mountain, which remains the national repository for high level defense waste and spent nuclear fuel under the law, moves forward.  Late last night Democrats blocked the amendment from even being considered on the House floor. 

“This was a bipartisan amendment aimed at ensuring that defense nuclear wastes are not stranded in our states indefinitely and are instead safely stored in the scientifically-proven national repository at Yucca Mountain,” said Hastings.  “It’s critical that this Congress use every tool available to stop the Administration from shutting down the legally-designated national repository.  House Democrats refusal to even allow a vote on our amendment has resulted in a lost opportunity to keep Yucca Mountain moving forward.” 

Decades were spent studying potential locations for a national repository – and Yucca Mountain was determined to be the best solution.  Congress designated Yucca Mountain in 1987 as the national repository and has voted to reaffirm that decision several times.  The Obama Administration, however, has chosen to reprogram funds intended for Yucca Mountain licensing without the consent of Congress and to move as quickly as possible to terminate the project in violation of the law. 

While testifying before the House Rules Committee about the amendment, Hastings noted that “the federal government has legal commitments to the states to cleanup these wastes and to ensure that the national repository is ready to receive shipments of high level defense waste.” 

The text of the amendment and the full text of Hastings’ testimony before the House Rules Committee are attached. 

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Hastings’ Testimony Before the House Rules Committee

“Thank you, Madame Chairwoman.

“I join with my colleague, Mr. Spratt, in offering this amendment to ensure that Yucca Mountain, which remains the national repository for high level defense waste under the law, moves forward. 

"Decades were spent studying potential locations for a national repository – and Yucca Mountain was determined to be the best solution. 

“Congress has designated Yucca Mountain as the national repository for spent nuclear fuel and high level nuclear defense waste and has voted to reaffirm that decision several times. 

“Yet, the Department of Energy has chosen to reprogram funds without the consent of Congress and move as quickly as possible to terminate the project – with no clear reason or scientific justification. 

"This bipartisan amendment is about the safe and secure storage of our nation’s high level nuclear defense wastes.  These wastes were created by our nation’s World War II and Cold War era nuclear weapons production program and are currently at nuclear cleanup sites in several states including Washington and South Carolina. 

“In fact, at the Hanford Site, in my district, a massive $12 billion project is underway to build a plant that will treat this waste and turn it into safe, stable glass logs that are scheduled to be stored at Yucca Mountain.  The plant is being built to meet specifications designed to match the geologic and structural makeup of Yucca Mountain.

“The federal government has legal commitments to the states to cleanup these wastes and to ensure that the national repository is ready to receive shipments of high level defense waste.  This amendment simply directs the Department of Energy to carry out its obligation under the law to provide for the permanent disposition of high level defense nuclear waste. 

“I appreciate your consideration of this amendment and I request that the Committee allow this amendment to be debated and voted on by the full House.”
 

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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Voters should remember that it was President Obama and his liberal left cohorts in Congress who will cause nuclear waste to remain in their neighborhoods for the next 100 years instead of being put away into Yucca Mountain.  To push difficult issues off to future generations is not leadership Mr. Obama, but cheap Chicago poiticis.  This is not the change America voted for in 2008 and this fall's elections will start to correct the violation of America's morals and laws wrought by his administration and led by Pelosi and Reid in Congress.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    davelv: There are plenty of tea party sites for this rubbish.  Please use them.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    What's the matter SteveK9? Afraid of a little free speech?

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    This is one of the campaign promises that was made by President Obama and for which he was elected. Keeping a campaign promise is not "Chicago Politics."

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    fryguy,

    By the same logic, his offers of employment to not run for office are just a "promise", not Chicago politics.

    Both are illegal and payola, which is what Chicago Politics is about.  The NWPA requires Yucca Mountain to be evaluated by the NRC.  No campaign words by Obama can change a federal law.

    SteveK9,

    Please point out which of my three sentences previously posted are incorrect.  This is not tea party rubbish, but the desire of an American that our President, even if probably born in Kenya, should follow the US Constitution and laws passed by Congress.  What I said is what the whole article says, just in blunter terms than what Hastings can say in public.

    BTW, the ASLB this week also took extremely dim view of DOE's justifications for their proposed action to withdraw the license application.  Perhaps there is still some sanity in the world.

    If the country wants a new storage method, change the law that was created by the 50 states in Congress.   This is how America is supposed to work, not by dictatorial edict by the President as payback for help being elected by Senator Reid.