REP. KIHUEN TESTIFIES BEFORE RULES COMMITTEE TO PREVENT NUCLEAR WASTE FROM BEING STORED AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN
WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen testified before the Committee on Rules to speak out against the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018 in an effort to prevent unwanted nuclear waste from being stored at the Yucca Mountain facility located in Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District. Rep. Kihuen offered two amendments – one preventing Congress from allowing budget tricks that bypass pay-as-you-go-rules, and another calling for a study of the socioeconomic burden on the State of Nevada if the proposed project moves forward. Excerpts from his testimony can be found below:
“In the 30 years since this bill passed, Congress has wasted $3.7 billion dollars of taxpayers money. Now, some of my colleagues want to continue to egregiously spend money on a project that my constituents in Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District do not want.
“That is why I have introduced an amendment that would get rid of the ability to have appropriations offset by nuclear waste fee collections, also known as the Waste Fund. When drafting this bill, my colleagues created a budget gimmick that would make it easier to fund this proposed project by not doing an actual offset.
“For my colleagues who always talk about the need to reduce the debt and deficit, they should support my amendment and have real appropriations that follow PAYGO rules.
“In addition, this amendment would require that any funds appropriated to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository Site be treated as discretionary appropriations.
“I urge your support for my
“Mr. Chairman, I have been to Yucca Mountain. I have driven through the desert that is home to
“It is clear that reopening Yucca Mountain threatens the health and safety of Nevadans and Americans from across the country.
“My home state of Nevada, which has no nuclear energy producing facilities, should not be the dumping ground for the rest of the country’s nuclear waste.
“I have grave concerns with the transportation of nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, should this project continue against the will of my constituents.
“That is why I have also offered an amendment that would authorize grants to the State of Nevada and affected local governments to conduct socioeconomic studies on the economic burden that the State of Nevada would face by having the nation’s first high-level nuclear waste repository.
“Nevadans deserve to know if our state has adequate resources to deal with the influx of nuclear waste and nuclear workers into our state. Can our schools handle the influx of children, what impact will
“The State of Nevada has already conducted many of these studies on a wide range of topics, from quality-of-life costs to rural community impacts to the impact of Native Americans; however, these studies are decades old and don’t account for the rapid changes the State of Nevada has experienced.
“At the time many of these studies were done, the population of Nevada was approximately 1.5 million people. Now, the state has doubled in size, with a population of nearly 3 million.
“In fact, these studies are so outdated that my Congressional District, the Fourth Congressional District, did not even exist, nor did my esteemed colleague, Jacky Rosen’s, either.
“For such an important issue to the state, we must rely upon data that accurately reflects the current situation in Nevada so that we can see the impacts the proposed nuclear site will have. We need to know what the strain would be