Shimkus Comments on Court Decision to Zero Out Nuclear Waste Fee

November 19, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) issued the following statement after a federal appeals court today ordered the Department of Energy to submit to Congress a proposal to zero out the nuclear waste fee.

“According to the Government Accountability Office, nearly $15 billion has been spent on Yucca Mountain over the past 20 years, $9.5 billion which has been directly collected from consumers’ utility bills. The utilities and ratepayers held up their end of the bargain but the government did not. This administration has abandoned its responsibility to follow the law, and taxpayers and ratepayers should not be forced to pay for this inaction when nuclear waste continues to pile up at sites across the country.

“The court ruled today that ‘the key defect in the government’s position is that the Secretary still declines to carry out his basic statutory obligation.’ That obligation is to pursue the license to construct Yucca Mountain. Based on the recent action in the courts, I am hopeful that DOE will follow the law and restart the Yucca Mountain project so we can get our nuclear future back on track.” 

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