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
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 »
ON GUN RIGHTS
Trump Jr. Meeting with GOP Members
11 hours ago
THE LATEST
CONTRARY TO REPORTS
Ryan Not Endorsing Trump Just Yet
16 hours ago
THE LATEST
OTHER SECRETARIES AT FAULT, TOO
State Dept. Review Faults Clinton Email Management
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A State Department audit has faulted Hillary Clinton and previous secretaries of state for poorly managing email and other computer information and slowly responding to new cybersecurity risks. ... It cites 'longstanding, systemic weaknesses' related to communications. These started before Clinton's appointment as secretary of state, but her failures were singled out as more serious."

Source:
CRUZ STILL TOOK DELEGATES AT THE CONVENTION
Trump Rolls in Washington Primary
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump "was on course to win more than three-quarters of the vote in Washington's primary" last night. Ted Cruz's defunct candidacy still pulled about 10 percent. "Cruz dropped out of the race on May 3, but won 40 of the state's 41 delegates up for grabs at last weekend's state GOP convention."

Source:
MULTIPLE OFFICERS INJURED
Trump Rally Turns Violent in New Mexico
18 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"What started as a calm protest outside Donald Trump’s rally Tuesday erupted into fiery violence as protesters jumped on police cars, smashed windows and fought with Trump supporters and police. Police faced such an angry crowd that they called in reinforcements from around the state, seeking to double their numbers to counter the protesters, whose numbers swelled beyond 600." Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police, who broke up several fights. 

Source:
×