“We are deeply disappointed that the Department has overstepped its bounds and has ignored congressional intent without peer review or proper scientific documentation in its actions regarding Yucca Mountain,” the lawmakers noted in the letter
- By Stephen Heiser -
Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu urging the Administration to immediately halt all actions to dismantle operations at Yucca Mountain at least until legal action regarding the withdrawal of the application is resolved. Click here to read a copy of the letter signed by 91 Members of Congress.
“We are deeply disappointed that the Department has overstepped its bounds and has ignored congressional intent without peer review or proper scientific documentation in its actions regarding Yucca Mountain,” the lawmakers noted in the letter.
In 1987, Congress designated Yucca Mountain as the nation’s geological repository for spent nuclear fuel and high level defense waste. Congress has voted to reaffirm this decision several times.
On March 3, 2010, DOE filed a motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to withdraw its license application for Yucca Mountain. On June 29, 2010, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board denied DOE’s motion, stating that DOE did not have the authority to unilaterally act to terminate its license application.
Earlier this year, the State of Washington, the State of South Carolina, and Tri-Cities community leaders filed suit in the D.C. Circuit Court challenging DOE’s ability to withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application. On June 15, 2010 the Court issued an order setting an expedited schedule for oral arguments, to be held September 23rd, demonstrating a clear desire to hear the merits of the case.
In the letter the lawmakers asked that DOE “recognize the letter and spirit of the law, honor the timeline set by the court and halt all efforts to reprogram funds and terminate contracts located at Yucca Mountain.”
The letter was signed by the following Members of Congress:Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) 4th
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)Senator Lamar Alexander (R-KY)Senator John McCain (R-AZ)Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX)Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO)Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)Senator George LeMieux (R-FL)Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY)Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)Senator James Risch (R-ID)Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA) 6thRepresentative John M. Jr. Spratt (D-SC) 5thRepresentative James Clyburn (D-SC) 6thRepresentative Eric Cantor (R-VA) 7thRepresentative John Dingell (D-MI) 15thRepresentative Joe Barton (R-TX)- 6thRepresentative Lincoln Davis (D-GA) 4thRepresentative Fred Upton (R-MI) 6thRepresentative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) 11thRepresentative Mike Pence (R-IN) 6thRepresentative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) 5thRepresentative David G. Reichert (R-WA) 8thRepresentative Jay Inslee (D-WA) 1stRepresentative Rick Larsen (D-WA) 2ndRepresentative Gresham Barrett (R-SC) 3rdRepresentative Joe Wilson (R-SC) 2ndRepresentative Henry Brown (R-SC) 1stRepresentative Bob Inglis (R-SC) 4thRepresentative Bart Stupak (D-MI) 1stRepresentative Paul Broun (R-GA) 10thRepresentative Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) 13thRepresentative Parker Griffith (R-AL) 5thRepresentative Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) 16thRepresentative Steve Scalise (R-LA) 1stRepresentative John Shadegg (R-AZ) 3rdRepresentative Pete Olson (R-TX) 22ndRepresentative John Linder (R-GA) 7thRepresentative Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL) 10thRepresentative Judy Biggert (R-IL) - 13thRepresentative John Kline (R-MN) 2ndRepresentative Zach Wamp (R-TN) 3rdRepresentative Thomas Rooney (R-FL) 16thRepresentative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)- 6thRepresentative Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) 2ndRepresentative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) 9thRepresentative Michael K. Simpson (R-ID) 2ndRepresentative Robert Andrews (D-NJ) -1stRepresentative Brett Guthrie (R-KY) 2ndRepresentative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) 6thRepresentative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) 6thRepresentative John Sullivan (R-OK) 1stRepresentative Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA) 11thRepresentative Ken Calvert (R-CA) 44thRepresentative John Duncan (R-TN) 2ndRepresentative Donald A. Manzullo (R-IL) 16thRepresentative Edolphus Towns (D-NY) 10thRepresentative Pete Sessions (R-TX) 32ndRepresentative Jo Bonner (R-AL) 1stRepresentative Lee Terry (R-NE) 3rdRepresentative Darrell E. Issa (R-CA) 49thRepresentative Greg Walden (R-OR) 2ndRepresentative Jack Kingston (R-GA) 1stRepresentative Steven C LaTourette (R-OH) 14thRepresentative Ralph Hall (R-TX) 4thRepresentative Harold Rogers (R-KY) 5thRepresentative Joe Courtney (D-CT) 2ndRepresentative Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ) 2ndRepresentative Denny Rehberg (R-MT)Representative F. James Jr. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) 5thRepresentative John Shimkus (R-IL) 19thRepresentative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) 6thRepresentative Mike Rogers (R-MI) 8thRepresentative Erik Paulsen (R-MN) 3rdRepresentative Sue Wilkins Myrick (R-NC) 9thRepresentative Frank Wolf (R-VA) 10thRepresentative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) 1st