WASHINGTON—The following is a statement by Joe Colvin, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, in response to Tuesday's vote for cloture in the U.S. Senate on the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1998, H.R. 1270.
"American consumers have been let down by the Senate and House leadership's partisan political agenda. The industry is outraged that House Speaker Newt Gingrich abandoned the needs of the country for purely political purposes. Similarly, the industry is disappointed that the leaders of both parties in the Senate failed to address this pressing national issue. Through these actions, Congress has joined the White House in effectively saying it's okay for the federal government to default on its legal obligation—beginning this year—to manage used nuclear fuel.
"By failing to act, the leadership has accepted the notion that the federal government can continue accepting billions of dollars from consumers and simply skirt its responsibility to solve this critical issue—despite support from nearly 70 percent of Congress on this legislation a year go. These actions also ignore widespread support for resolving this issue from 61 states and state agencies and American consumers, who have paid $14 billion for used fuel management, but have nothing in return but broken promises from the Administration, and now from Congress."
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.