Upton and Shimkus Welcome Blue Ribbon Commission's Recommendations on Nuclear Waste, Announce Hearing

January 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) today welcomed the final report from the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. While disappointed that President Obama prohibited the commission from reviewing the merits of Yucca Mountain, Upton and Shimkus agree with several of the commission's recommendations and believe the report's findings only underscore the urgent need to move forward with development of the Yucca program.

Chairmen Upton and Shimkus made the following statement:

"In the wake of the Obama administration's mismanagement of Yucca Mountain, we agree with the commission that a new organizational structure must be put into place to manage our country's nuclear waste. The current administration has proved unwilling to carry out the law; it's time to think about a new single-purpose entity to put our country's nuclear future back on track. As recommended in the report, it is crucial this authority have full access to the Nuclear Waste Fund. Recent House efforts to fund Yucca Mountain have been repeatedly thwarted by Harry Reid's Democratic Senate and the White House. We must decouple these funds from political whims imposed by the budget cycle to ensure the billions of dollars taxpayers and ratepayers have poured into Yucca Mountain will not be squandered.

"The commission underscored the need for prompt action on a long-term storage disposal facility, and we believe Yucca Mountain remains the most shovel-ready, thoroughly studied option. While we develop this repository, we agree that we must also prepare for the large-scale transport of nuclear waste. As our nation's nuclear waste increases, so does the need for a long-term nuclear waste solution. We will continue to examine the commission's findings as we work to ensure the safety of our nuclear future."

The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy has scheduled a hearing next week to further discuss the report. The hearing, titled "Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future," will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Witnesses to be announced.

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