Appeals Court Shoots Down Obama Administration’s Yucca Delays

None

Alex Brown, National Journal
See more stories about...
Alex Brown, National Journal
Aug. 14, 2013, 6:02 a.m.

WASH­ING­TON — The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts to aban­don Yucca Moun­tain as a stor­age site for nuc­le­ar waste were dealt a set­back Tues­day, as a fed­er­al ap­peals court ruled that the Nuc­le­ar Reg­u­lat­ory Com­mis­sion must is­sue a rul­ing on the site’s per­mit ap­plic­a­tion.

The 2-1 rul­ing said the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s dir­ect­ives “vi­ol­ate the law,” which des­ig­nates Yucca Moun­tain as the United States’ nuc­le­ar waste re­pos­it­ory, Re­u­ters re­ports. En­ergy Sec­ret­ary Ern­est Mon­iz has ex­pressed sup­port for find­ing al­tern­at­ives to Yucca Moun­tain, which has been met with mixed re­views in the House and Sen­ate.

In Ju­ly, Mon­iz presen­ted the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s view that wrangling over the long-dis­puted Yucca site has “no end in sight.” The “stale­mate,” he said, “couldn’t con­tin­ue in­def­in­itely.” Mon­iz was ap­poin­ted by Pres­id­ent Obama to serve on a blue-rib­bon com­mis­sion tasked with find­ing al­tern­at­ives to Yucca Moun­tain, and the com­mis­sion’s pro­pos­als have served as a frame­work for Sen­ate le­gis­la­tion that calls for find­ing al­tern­at­ive stor­age fa­cil­it­ies.

House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee Chair­man Fred Up­ton, R-Mich., and En­vir­on­ment and the Eco­nomy Sub­com­mit­tee Chair­man John Shimkus, R-Ill., is­sued a joint state­ment prais­ing the rul­ing. “The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion re­jec­ted the law and pre­ma­turely ter­min­ated the Yucca Moun­tain re­pos­it­ory pro­gram, but Con­gress and the courts have spoken out to pre­vent bil­lions of tax­pay­er dol­lars and three dec­ades of re­search from be­ing squandered,” the pair said.

An­oth­er Re­pub­lic­an, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, had a far dif­fer­ent re­ac­tion to the re­newed fo­cus on his state as a nuc­le­ar stor­age site. “This rul­ing is an ex­er­cise in fu­til­ity that will ul­ti­mately waste re­sources that could be bet­ter used else­where,” Heller said. “In­stead of con­tinu­ing to try to force Yucca Moun­tain on the people of Nevada, my col­leagues should fo­cus on mov­ing for­ward to­wards a new pro­cess that will al­low for con­sent-based sit­ing.”

Mean­while, Mon­iz and Nevada Gov. Bri­an San­dov­al are meet­ing Tues­day as they con­tin­ue to dis­pute wheth­er the state has agreed to take on stor­age of nuc­le­ar waste.

What We're Following See More »
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
21 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
17 hours ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
12 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
×