Waste, spending, and political cronyism haven’t killed Yucca Mountain yet

As if there wasn’t enough evidence that President Obama believes in the Bottomless Magic Money Bag, his attempt to trash the newly completed and necessary Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository should convince anyone. How else to explain such casual willingness to trade the work of four previous administrations and an investment of ten billion dollars just to help re-elect Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid.

Leslie Paige with Citizens Against Government Waste: 

“That decision, which is widely and correctly understood to be a political gift to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), has negative ramifications far beyond the near- term political expediency of appeasing Leader Reid and the anti-nuclear power crowd.  In fact, it is patently illogical when viewed in tandem with the President’s stated support of nuclear power in general.  The nation currently has 58,000 metric tons of commercial nuclear waste sitting at storage facilities at power plants across the country.  President Obama’s crusade to close Yucca Mountain and permanently yank the facility’s license application will imperil the nation’s entire energy policy and cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.” 

I am grateful for the wiser heads at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who told Obama, “Not so fast” last week. However, the Oregonian, speaking for a region with considerable nuclear waste issues, warned of continued political sabotage from Reid and Obama.

The people of the Northwest and supporters of the nuclear industry everywhere should cheer a decision preventing the Obama administration from abandoning the Yucca Mountain repository and walking away from two decades and $10 billion spent developing the nation’s first long-term nuclear waste dump.
A panel of judges at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled Tuesday that the Energy Department cannot unilaterally withdraw its application to open the waste dump built deep in a long-dormant volcanic structure about 100 miles from Las Vegas. The judges pointed out that Congress directed the Energy Department to file the application for Yucca Mountain. Neither the Energy Department nor President Obama has the authority to simply abandon it.
Obama promised to kill the project during his presidential campaign, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from, yes, Nevada, remains implacably opposed to it. As long as both men are in power, there’s little chance Congress will appropriate the millions of dollars a year the Energy Department would need to pursue the application for the Yucca waste dump.

This latest illustration of Obama’s paralyzing waste and inefficiency is only a footnote to the painfully over-regulated oil spill containment in the Gulf of Mexico. And who knows what will be the next. But this is America. We are resilient. We can make it until 2012.

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