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ICYMI: #SubEnvironment Chairman Shimkus Makes the Case for Advancing Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act


02.07.18

Currently, spent nuclear fuel sits idle in our communities across our country because of the federal government’s failure to fulfill its contractual obligation to construct and operate a permanent geologic repository. To date, over $40 billion has been collected from ratepayers in 39 states across the country to develop this repository and sadly those same ratepayers have yet to see a return on their investment.

Additionally, taxpayers across all 50 states are currently liable for an additional $30 billion because, as #SubEnvironment Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) writes in a post on Medium, “The $30 billion that has been quietly paid out in court-ordered claims all comes from a separate, off-budget account known as the judgement fund. In other words, the money is not subject to annual appropriations or spending caps.” Getting our nation’s nuclear waste management program back on track will help our long-term budget health.

Chairman Shimkus continued, “This is why, after years of hearings and oversight, I introduced H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017. This bipartisan legislation, approved by the full committee 49-4 last summer, would make necessary changes to the law that ensures the long-term funding for the repository program will be available over the course of the multi-generational infrastructure project.”

To learn more about the committee’s work on nuclear waste policy, click HERE.

For more information on the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, click HERE.

20 years late; $30 billion in the hole

By: Rep. John Shimkus

Last week marked 20 years since the federal government was supposed to start collecting and disposing of more than 70,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel from more than 120 commercial reactors across the country. Embarrassingly, in the past two decades not one ounce has been collected as required by law, and taxpayers are now forced to spend more than $2 million a day as a result.

Anyone who has followed the saga of America’s nuclear waste debate knows that ratepayers in 39 nuclear-powered states have yet to see a return on the $40 billion they’ve invested to develop a permanent repository. But even those familiar with this issue sometimes forget that taxpayers in all 50 states are likewise getting nothing for an additional $30 billion they’re on the hook for because of this failure.

That’s because Congress doesn’t vote on those outlays of taxpayer money. Instead, the $30 billion that has been quietly paid out in court-ordered claims all comes from a separate, off-budget account known as the judgement fund. In other wordsthe money is not subject to annual appropriations or spending caps set as a result of bipartisan agreements. Worse, this waste of taxpayer dollars would grow in perpetuity if the federal government does not fulfill its contractual obligation to construct a permanent nuclear waste repository.

Read the full piece online HERE.

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