Last Friday marked a milestone for the Department of Energy’s management of nuclear power. The agency ceased collecting nuclear waste fees from ratepayers in response to a court order that found DOE was not complying with the law and had no feasible plan in place to store the country’s nuclear waste. CNN’s Situation Room featured a segment on this action and highlighted the billions of dollars the government has collected from consumers for decades to pay for a “non-existent” nuclear waste site. Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) appeared on the segment and expressed that the best nuclear waste plan would be for the administration to comply with the law and restart the Yucca Mountain project. As quoted in The Hill, Shimkus stated, “To get our nuclear future back on track, the secretary simply needs to carry out that obligation and restart Yucca Mountain. Short of that, I am glad this annual theft of $750 million from electricity consumers has finally come to an end.”
DOE stops collecting nuclear waste fee
May 16, 2014
The Department of Energy Friday stopped collecting a small fee on nuclear energy customers’ bills that was supposed to pay for a nuclear waste site that was never built.
The fee amounted to 0.1 cent per kilowatt-hour of electricity, but it added up to about $750 million a year, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said in a November ruling. It ordered the DOE to stop collecting the fee, and the agency agreed to do so Friday.
The DOE started collecting the fee after a 1982 law that authorized a federal nuclear waste repository. Congress eventually picked Yucca Mountain in Nevada for the repository, but construction stopped in 2010, when lawmakers cut funding amid opposition to the plan.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and Economy subcommittee, welcomed the end of the fee but urged the government to continue working to build a nuclear waste site.
“To get our nuclear future back on track, the secretary simply needs to carry out that obligation and restart Yucca Mountain,” Shimkus said in a statement. “Short of that, I am glad this annual theft of $750 million from electricity consumers has finally come to an end.” ….
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