April 21, 2010, Fairfax, Va.–Americans for Limited Government filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy (DOE) related to records of communications between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, his former appropriations staff person and current Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko , U.S. Department of Energy officials including Secretary Steven Chu, and Carol M. Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.
The Obama Administration in an attempt to regenerate Congressional interest in their cap and trade scheme has opened the door to developing nuclear power in the future with Chu recently stating, “I think nuclear power is going to be a very important factor in getting us to a low carbon future.”
Reid’s adamant opposition to the development of the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility in Nevada has long been one of the major impediments to expanding nuclear energy capacity as the U.S. only has temporary waste storage options that are on the verge of being overburdened.
Americans for Limited Government’s President Bill Wilson explained, “These FOIAs are important for Americans to learn if Nevada politics has superceded the national interest and the law in reversing decades of analysis and scientifically based decisions that led to the choosing and approval of the Yucca Mountain site to meet our nation’s nuclear waste storage needs.”
The Obama Administration’s Department of Energy changed course in 2009, seeking to abandon the Yucca Mountain site, and communications between Senator Reid, DOE officials and Jaczko are viewed as critical to gaining an understanding of that controversial decision.
The process of selecting Yucca Mountain started more than 50 years ago with Congress designating the Nevada site in 1987. Twenty three years later, Obama has a commission searching for other possible sites putting nuclear waste storage in limbo and casting doubt over the veracity of his newly found stated commitment to nuclear energy.
“These ‘shadow’ relationships can often overcome science in making policy determinations, in this case, with a potentially devastating impact on our nation’s search for clean energy alternatives,” Wilson concluded.
FOIA to Department of Energy, April 19th, 2010, Americans for Limited Government
FOIA to Nuclear Regulatory Commission, April 19th, 2010, Americans for Limited Government