Appeals Court Shoots Down Obama Administration’s Yucca Delays

In this photo taken April 26, 2011, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, uses his cell phone to take a photo of the entrance to Yucca Mountain in Mercury, Nev. Republicans claim this stark landscape is the nation's best hope for a national nuclear waste dump. But with Democrats running the White House and Senate, the Yucca Mountain nuclear site has been shuttered with no chance of reopening. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
National Journal
Alex Brown
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Brown
Aug. 13, 2013, 11:53 a.m.

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 »
FLINT FUNDING STILL AT ISSUE
Spending Bill Fails to Clear 60-Vote Hurdle
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
SURPASSED 80 MILLION VIEWERS
Monday’s Debate Was Most Watched Ever
2 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE
‘WASN’T PREPARED’
Hill Republicans Don’t Like What They See in Debate
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"It was obvious he wasn't prepared." “He only mentioned her email scandal once." "I think he took things a little too personal and missed a lot of opportunities to make very good debate points." That's just a smattering of the reactions of some elected Republicans to Donald Trump's debate performance.

Source:
MOST WATCHED EVER?
Little Ratings Drop-Off from Beginning to End of Debate
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

The conventional wisdom is already emerging that Donald Trump opened last night's debate well, but that he faded badly down the stretch. And most viewers apparently witnessed it. "The early Nielsen data confirms that viewership stayed high the entire time. Contrary to some speculation, there was not a big drop-off after the first hour of the 98-minute debate." Final data is still being tallied, but "Monday's face-off may well have been the most-watched debate in American history. CNN and other cable news channels saw big increases over past election years. So did some of the broadcast networks."

Source:
FUNDING RUNS OUT ON FRIDAY
Federal Agencies Prepare for Govt Shutdown
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

As Congress continues to bicker on riders to a continuing resolution, federal agencies have started working with the Office of Management and Budget to prepare for a government shutdown, which will occur if no continuing resolution is passed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday night. The OMB held a call with agencies on Sept. 23, one that is required one week before a possible shutdown. The government last shut down for 16 days in 2013, and multiple shutdowns have been narrowly avoided since then. It is expected that Congress will reach a deal before the clock strikes midnight, but until it does, preparations will continue.

Source:
×