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Judges Block Obama Effort To Close Yucca

From McClatchy:

Judges block Obama effort to close Yucca Mountain waste site

Sun, Jul. 04, 2010   

The Obama administration has suffered a defeat in its efforts to close the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Three administrative judges within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled last week that President Barack Obama and Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu don’t have the authority to close the controversial site unilaterally. That can only be accomplished, the judges said, by an act of Congress.

It’s amazing that someone has finally noticed how much Mr. Obama is abusing his executive power, and how he is abrogating the Constitutional role of the legislative when he rules by executive diktat.

"Unless Congress directs otherwise, DOE may not single-handedly derail the legislated decision-making process by withdrawing the (Yucca repository) application. DOE’s motion must therefore be denied," the judges wrote, adding that the DOE had weakened its arguments by "conceding that the application is not flawed nor the (Yucca) site unsafe."

"Given the stated purposes of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and the detailed structure of that legislation, it would be illogical to allow DOE to withdraw the application without any examination of the merits," the judges found…

Those are some stunning admissions, which oddly enough we don’t recall hearing before. It certainly begs the question as to why the Obama administration tried to close the Yucca site in the first place, if it is neither flawed nor unsafe.

It would seem that it was done simply to cripple our nation’s use of nuclear power.

The federal government designated Yucca Mountain in 1987 as the repository of highly toxic waste from nuclear complexes that built atomic bombs during the Cold War and has spent more than $10 billion readying it to receive some of the most dangerous material in the world

More exactly, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established a Nuclear Waste Fund which levied taxes against electric utilities to pay for the costs of constructing and operating a permanent repository for the nation’s nuclear waste.

Since 1982 more than $32 billion in taxes has been collected from citizens who get their power from nuclear energy. (See below.)

In December 1987, Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to designate Yucca Mountain, Nevada a permanent repository for all of the nation’s nuclear waste. And, as the article notes, $10 billion has been spent to outfit it for that purpose.

All of which, Mr. Obama seeks to undo with the wave of a pen. But of course he wants to keep the $32 billion in taxes that the bill has raised.

Republicans accuse Obama of moving to close the site to help Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in his tough re-election battle.

"The president is risking the country’s energy independence in an effort to help Senator Reid win a tough election," said Sen. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, senior Republican on a House Select Committee on Energy and Global Warming.

The administrative judges’ ruling already is scheduled for reconsideration. On Wednesday, the day after the ruling was announced, the NRC quickly set a schedule to hear an appeal, calling for follow-up briefs to be filed by July 16…

The 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Actset a surcharge on the electrical bills of users of nuclear-generated power to develop and operate a dump for nuclear waste.

That surcharge, which has generated about $32 billion, has hit South Carolinians especially hard because nuclear power provides 51 percent of their electricity, more than in all but two of the other 30 states with commercial reactors.

After Obama moved to mothball Yucca, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill in April 2009 to give nuclear utility consumers rebates from the Yucca surcharges

Sure, the government is going to give back that $32 billion it took under false pretenses.

We can see that happening any day now.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Judges Block Obama Effort To Close Yucca”

  1. P. Aaron says:

    While they’re at it, can we get this 3-Judge panel to look into Obamacare, TARP, the GM & Chrysler takeovers, and the Voter Intimidation suit dropped by the DOJ?

  2. proreason says:

    This is the fourth encouraging judicial action in the last 6 months. McCain-Feingold, the second amendment, preventing the shutdown of off-shore drilling, and now this.

    Why, it’s almost like some adults are saying….you know, we had a few laws in this country before the emperor was appointed.

  3. Right of the People says:

    As an aside, if we did recycling of our nuclear waste like the French and other did, we wouldn’t even need Yucca Mountain.


    You mean obeying the rule of law? What a novel idea, someone should tell the Most Impotent One about that. You’d have thought being a (sic) “Constitutional Scholar” like he is he’d know all this stuff.

    • proreason says:

      He’s not really impotent.

      He’s just been knocked out of the saddle since his body man got a little demanding and had to be expelled from the white house and calmed down with a king’s ransom.

      The two mistakes are probably his.

      But his masters rest assured that there are no other mistakes out there.

  4. Georgfelis says:

    Lets see….

    Current situation:
    US has collected 32 billion in taxes, for an expenditure of 10 billion.
    US continues to collect taxes for every watt of nuclear power used.

    Situation if Yucca Mt. is closed:
    US will no longer be able to collect taxes on this power
    US may be forced to give the remaining 20 billion or so back to the nuclear industry, who will use it foolishly of course, possibly even to make more nuclear power plants, not for smart things like electric cars and union paychecks.

    Best course for the US of Democrats: Keep Yucca Mt. open, but don’t do anything. Continue to collect the taxes. Continue to collect campaign contributions from the anti-nukes.

  5. eaglewingz08 says:

    We should be thankful that a Judge actually decided to read the law and abide by the separation of powers stated in the US Constitution. We should also be aware that shutting down Yucca was a direct political payback by Obama to Harry Reid who really doesn’t want that site operational (or any other nuclear waste site) but who didn’t have the votes to expressly shut it down. Hence, the overreaching by Obama’s minions. Last, there would be no need for this site if the democrap liberals in Congress had not outlawed nuclear waste reprocessing. France and other nuclear power plant countries, reprocess more than 90 percent of their nuclear waste, and thus have no need for nuke waste storage facilities. But liberals/ democraps gambled that if they shut down reprocessing, thereby forcing waste to be stored interminably, they could NIMBY nuke waste storage facilities to death and thereby kill the nuclear power industry.

  6. untrainable says:

    …nuclear power provides 51 percent of their electricity, more than in all but two of the other 30 states with commercial reactors.

    So out of 31 states with nuclear power plants South Carolina was hit hardest because they’re… third? Who were first and second? How hard were they hit? I mean they use more nuclear energy than Sounth Carolina which is the highest nuclear user except for the other 2 of the 31 states that use more than the other 28 states which use less than South Carolina… (I think I’ve just had a small but debilitating stroke)

    I will never cease to be amazed by the media’s ability (and their need) to twist the language.

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