White House Asks Congress to Overturn Court Decision on Yucca Mountain!

Contact your Senators now!

Congressional Quarterly is reporting today that the White House is asking the lame duck Congress to overturn last summer´s federal court decision that threw out the Environmental Protection Agency´s 10,000-year radiation protection standard for the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump. The court ruled that Congress had required EPA to abide by the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences, which has stated that the highest radiation doses from Yucca could come in the hundreds of thousands of years.

The White House apparently is asking that this be done as a rider to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill now being considered by the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.

This is absolutely inappropriate. There have been no hearings on this issue. The Senate (and House) have not examined this issue. Further, the court decision was correct, and should not be overturned. This is yet another transparent effort to put politics above science (which candidate Bush in 2000 said he wouldn´t do!) and license Yucca Mountain at any cost to Nevada and the environment generally.

There is not much time to act, but your actions right now will make a huge difference. Congress does have to pass the Energy appropriations measure, but it also wants to go home. If we can flood the Congress with phone calls this week, Congress will decide this is just too much to handle right now. So, please, call your Senators and Representatives right now (Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121). Then, ask your friend and neighbors to call. Alert your own e-mail lists and phone trees. Write a quick letter to the editor. Call radio talk shows. We need to raise this issue as loudly as possible as quickly as possible. A vote could occur by the end of the week. It is especially important to contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water (listed at the end of this message). But all Senators and Representatives should be called.

The message is simple: Congress must not, in a lame duck session, put politics above science and overturn this reasoned federal court decision. At the very least, Congress should wait until it can hold full hearings and investigate the issue.

Thank you for your help!

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
November 16,2004, 5 pm

Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water
Senator Pete Domenici (Chairman) (NM)
Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
Senator Mitch McConnell (KY)
Senator Robert Bennett (UT)
Senator Conrad Burns (MT)
Senator Larry Craig (ID)
Senator Christopher Bond (MO)
Senator Harry Reid (Ranking Member) (NV)
Senator Robert C. Byrd (WV)
Senator Ernest Hollings (SC)
Senator Patty Murray (WA)
Senator Byron Dorgan (ND)
Senator Diane Feinstein (CA)

. . .