Local leaders respond to President Trump's push to support Yucca Mountain
President Trump continues to support Yucca Mountain despite push back from Republican leaders.
On Monday, February 12, 2017 Trump unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2019.
President Donald Trump included $120 million to restart licensing on the dormant site north of Las Vegas. Along with allocating money to the geologic site, Trump hopes to establish an interim storage program to address the stockpile of nuclear waste produced by power plants nationwide.
Republican Governor Brian Sandoval and GOP Senator Dean Heller oppose the Yucca Mountain Project siting the wasted billions of taxpayers' dollars.
Senator Heller released the following statement prior to the President's budgetary announcement:
A state without a single nuclear power plant should not have to shoulder the entire nation’s nuclear waste burden. Instead of pursing a failed project that has already cost taxpayers billions of dollars, the Administration should refocus its efforts on the only sustainable path forward: a consent-based approach.
Gov. Sandoval also released a statement:
My office did receive notice from the Department of Energy that Yucca Mountain licensing funding would be in the budget, but we continue to disagree on the necessity to invest any money at all on this ill-conceived project. Yucca Mountain is incapable of safely storing the world’s most toxic substance and Nevada will continue to oppose any efforts to dump nuclear waste in our state. I am disappointed that the Administration’s budget appears to resurrect this dormant project and we will leave no stone unturned in fighting any attempt to revive this failed idea.
Vice-chairman of the Nye County Board of Commissioners Dan Schinhofen says he is pleased by the President's action and urges Congress to pass the budget item as quickly as possible.
It has now been 20 years since the federal government was mandated by law to start accepting nuclear waste for safe long-term storage in a deep geological repository. Not only is the repository not complete, but we haven’t been allowed to see if the proposed site, at Yucca Mountain, is even safe for its construction. All the President’s budget does is allow for the science to be heard on the safety of Yucca Mountain. It also follows the law.
Included in the budget request is $3.6 million for Nye County as the host community for the repository. These funds would be used for a number of crucial investments, including funding for programs for our county’s seniors, housing assistance for veterans and to help provide medical services for central Nevada.
I hope our opponents can articulate why they oppose funding to help the elderly, veterans and everyone that needs medical assistance. I hope they can explain why they are afraid of hearing the science. I hope they can tell us why they think it is acceptable not to follow the law.
I applaud the President for his leadership on this important matter and urge Congress to pass the Yucca Mountain funding request, says Schinhofen.
Despite the House backing the efforts to restart licensing at Yucca Mountain, the Senate failed to approve funding last year.
The funds are just part a portion of the $30.6 billion budget requested for the Department of Energy for fiscal year 2019.