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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Debate  CSPAN  May 11, 2018 2:06am-3:18am EDT

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dollars that have been spent or potentially not spent in a correct manner. not making any conclusion to that. believe we need to look at that little bit closer as well. >> newsmakers with congressman mark meadows here on c-span. us dream available to at c-span.org. -- two stream at c-span.org. >> today the house voted to move us dream at c-span.org. forward a vote to create a nuclear waste storage facility. here is the house debate on the bill. this is one hour and 10 minutes. k unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill h.r. 3053, including exchanges of letters between the energy and commerce committee and the committee on
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natural resources, and the committee on energy and commerce and the committee on armed services. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 879 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 3053. the chair appoints the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus, to preside over he committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 3053, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to amend nuclear waste policy act of 1982, and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, and the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr.
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chairman. mr. chairman, i'm going to have a lot of people want to come to the floor so i'm going to abbreviate my opening remarks and just address a few questions. that are going to be raised. first, i just want to highlight the fact that you're going to hear a lot about local consensus based decisionmaking, and then you're also going to hear about closeness or proximity. this chart kind of highlights what we're talking about, the red is federal government land. the federal government land is larger than 31 countries on the earth. and it's larger than -- you have three different sections. you have the national test and training range, you have the national security site, you have also some fish and wildlife interior land. bigger than many of our states in our union. to my colleagues, i want to make sure they have in
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perspective the size of the area we're talking about. bigger than the state of connecticut. and areas people are going to talk about. that's one question that's going to be addressed. another question will be the fear of tourism. because las vegas gets 42 million tourists a year. they seem to be concerned that this might affect that industry. and then it dawned on me that, the city of chicago gets 55 million tourists a year. 55 million. and they have over 10,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel in chicagoland. i want to make sure that my friends in nevada understand that they should not be -- that should not be a terrible concern when chicago seems to be doing well with tourism on that issue. i also want to make sure they are going to be a debate about transportation. i just want to call attention to you, mr. chairman, and
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through you my colleagues, is that we operate a nuclear navy. that nuclear navy has to have the power systems refueled. that means new nuclear fuel goes there. that means spent nuclear fuel goes off the nuclear navy ships. that's on the ocean. it's either on the atlantic ocean or the pacific ocean. this spent fuel goes to idaho. which means that we transport safely spent nuclear fuel and we have done it for decades. those are three main contentions you are going to hear with this bill. i'm going to allow my colleagues to talk about all the great benefits of this bill. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. tonko: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 3053, the
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nuclear waste policy amendments act. first, let me recognize the hard work done by mr. shimkus on this bill. he has been tireless in this effort. and to his and his staff's credit, he has worked with us to make what i believe are a number of improvements to the given bill. regardless of your position on nuclear energy, we have to acknowledge the reality that tens of thousands of tons of waste already exists. this is a problem for over 120 host communities across our country. and it will not be solved by continuing to ignore it. but even if you do not represent one of those communities, all of our constituents are paying for this waste. decades ago the federal government entered into agreements to remove it from nuclear plants. deadlines have been missed. and now all taxpayers have a legal liability of over $34 billion, which is being paid from the treasury's judgment fund n my view, the most
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bill does ing this is set up a path forward on interim storage, which will allow spent nuclear fuel to be stored in a consolidated location on a temporary basis b is set while a permanent repository is pursued. bill includes language based upon a proposal developed by our colleague, doris matsui, to allow the secretary of energy to enter into an agreement to establish an interim storage pilot program, which can move forward drectly after enactment. . consolidating waste will help ensure waste is managed more safely and securely while allowing those 121 sites to begin to be redeveloped for other purposes. i know a number of our colleagues have concerns about this bill, and i understand their bill. and many members that support this bill, including myself, have not passed judgment on the
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merits or final disposition of the yucca mountain project. that is why members of the minority demanded a number of troubling nevada-related provisions be removed from the bill during the committee process. this bill will not rubber stamp the yucca permitting application. the nuclear regulatory commission will still need to adjudicate the many remaining issues with the application and it will need appropriations in order to do so. i know we will hear about the challenges of transporting spent fuel to a final repository, but the reality is nuclear material is already moved around our country today without incident due to strict safety requirements. the only alternative to not moving this waste is keeping it spread out in 121 locations for tens of thousands of years. overall, this bill is a step in the right direction toward beginning to address our nation's very difficult nuclear waste issues, which is why it
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was reported out of committee by a vote of 49-4. with that i urge my colleagues to support the measure, the bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i yield as much time as he may consume the chairman of the full energy and commerce committee, congressman walden from oregon. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walden: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank mr. shimkus who i think his life's work is on the floor today in many respects. nobody's been more tenacious in this effort to get perm nate, safe, secure nuclear waste -- permanent, safe, secure nuclear waste. this is a promise that the united states congress, on behalf of the entire federal government made to our constituents a generation ago. today we're keeping that promise. we will accept responsibility for and properly dispose of
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radioactive waste. this is long overdue. americans across the country from maine to southern california, from florida to the pacific northwest are watching today and they're expecting us to act. you know, the department of energy's hanford site is just up the mighty columbia river from where i live and where i grew up. that area and those workers helped us win world war ii and the site's nuclear program was instrumental in projecting peace through strength throughout the cold war. while the community has been a constructive partner and support of our vital national security missions, it did not agree to serve as a perpetual storage site for the resulting nuclear waste. 56 million gallons of toxic waste sitting in decades' old metal tanks at hanford, these are those tanks that were being constructed to hold this waste. they are now buried in the ground. the only entry point is right
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here. the amount of waste stored would fill this entire house chamber 20 times over. according to a recent government accountability office report, the oldest of these tanks, some of which date back to the 1940's, have single layer waters or shells. they were built to last 20 years. they will be almost 100 years old by the estimated end of their waste treatment. the department of energy has reported that 67 of these tanks are assumed or known to have leaked waste into the soil. there's an understandable sense of urgency in the northwest behind the cleanup efforts that are under way at hanford. h.r. 3053 will provide the pathway to clean up the contaminated hanford site. you see, the waste from hanford will end up in a secure permanent storage site that we
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believe will be yucca mountain. these tanks will be drained and cleaned out. the waste glassified and put away. this bill keeps our commitment to energy consumers, too, who are legally bound to pay for a nuclear waste management program. these consumers in 34 states, including oregon, have paid the federal government in excess of $40 billion. even after the last administration stalled the project, ratepayers continue to hand over nearly $800 million annually to develop the repository until finally the courts stepped in and said the fee collected will be halted. that money was paid to the u.s. treasury for a specific purpose, and we have a legal and moral obligation to advance the program for which ratepayers paid. now, my friends in nevada should have confidence the yucca mountain repository will protect public health and the environment. the completion of the safety
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review will answer the many questions raised by the state of nevada and will determine if he site meets the required one million--year environmental protection standard. that's right. one million years. consolidating this is better for the environment than the status quo, where these materials sit around in 121 communities in 39 states or tanks like this. the legislation authorizes the department of energy to contract with the private companies to store nuclear waste while d.o.e. finishes the rigorous scientific analysis of the repository design and the associated nuclear regulatory commission licensing process. so an interim storage facility can bring added flexibility to d.o.e.'s disposal program and may provide a more expeditious, near-term policy to store spent nuclear fuel. the longer the government delays the greater the potential consequences. the legal cost of inaction, a
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bill paid by every american taxpayer, is staggering. today, taxpayers pay an average of $2 million every day, every day in legal claims because we as a government have not done what was promised decades ago. we're doing that today with this legislation. we're on the hook for nearly $34 billion. that increases every day we delay action. instead of contributing to an escalating national debt, this money could be better spent to support our men and women in uniform, to deal with the opioid crisis, or a whole myriad of other things. by acting today, we will eventually turn off that penalty phase and start the productive phase. at the end of the day, this bipartisan legislation is good for our communities around the country and their safety. it's good for consumers and fiscal sanity. it's good for the environment, for secure storage. it's good for taxpayers and it's good for national security
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as well. so i thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have put so much work into this. mr. tonko and certainly mr. shimkus. and i urge all our colleagues to support h.r. 3053. let's put an end to these tanks before they put an end to us. thank you, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, our outstanding ranking member of the energy and commerce committee. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank our ranking member, mr. tonko. 3053. in support of h.r. congress first passed the nuclear waste policy act back in 1982, but more than 35 years later, we still don't have a national solution to address the safe storage of spent nuclear fuel. instead, it continues to sit on
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site at our nation's nuclear power plants. this becomes a concern as more and more nuclear power reactors are scheduled to shut down in the coming years, including the oyster creek nuclear generating station in new jersey. as these reactors shut down, the surrounding communities are realizing the nuclear waste currently stored at these sites will be there indefinitely when the plant closes absent a workable solution. this bill will bridge the gap until a permanent repository is licensed and constructed. the bill before us today is a bipartisan compromise that was reported out of the energy and commerce committee by a vote of 49-4. democrats on the committee, especially representative matsui, worked with mr. tonko to craft a bipartisan compromise that establishes an interim storage pilot program which will allow for consolidated, temporary storage of spent nuclear fuel with priority given to waste to demissioned nuclear plants.
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we can have this at a single site instead of 121 sites in communities around the country. in one consolidated site will help ensure it is managed more safely and securely while allowing communities with decommissioned plants to begin working towards redevelopping those sites. now, some of the opponents of this bill have focused on claims that spent nuclear fuel can be transported through many congressional districts across the country and that's true. spent nuclear fuel will ultimately need to be transported from power plants to an interim storage facility or repository. but moving nuclear material by rail and truck, as it has occurred frequently for decades and they know shipments have occurred without incident. so despite your position on the yucca mountain project -- and i know people feel strongly on both sides on that -- but spent nuclear fuel will need to be transported somewhere in the u.s. unless it is left to be at the site of a nuclear power plant that may no longer produce power.
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mr. speaker, this bill is a balanced bill that i support. just as it is also supported by other c.i.a., ibwd, the and - afl-cio, ibwd, others. and it will save taxpayers money. i urge my colleagues to vote for this bill. i want to thank both mr. shimkus, the main sponsor who's worked so hard, obviously. mr. tonko, ms. matsui, of course, the chairman of our committee, mr. walden, as well. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to the former chairman of the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman from michigan, fred upton. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. upton: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to particularly commend john shimkus, chairman of the subcommittee, who helped shepherd this bill through. chairman walden, ranking member pallone, and others, tonko, it is truly a bipartisan work of
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art. 49-4 is what this bill passed in our committee. you know, i can remember way back when when president reagan was in office and signing the nuclear waste act in the rose garden. he said, we're going to keep our promise. the federal government is going to take care of nuclear waste. that's going to happen. well, here we are now nearly 50 years later. i can remember the upton-towns bill back in the 1990's, a bill that did very much along the lines what this bill does. we came within a vote or two of having it overwritten by the u.s. senate, stopping it in its tracks. so decades later, here we are again. in my district we have two nuclear plants, both of them have run out of room in their storage. so they have dry cast that are literally a john shimkus baseball throw away from lake michigan. every one of these hundred-some sites across the country is in
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an environmentally sensitive area and at some point they will run out of room. in michigan we have two other sites that also have dry casts. in addition to the two in my district. so we spent nearly $40 billion. enough time has gone by. we need to deal with this. for those that are against this bill, your alternative is just keeping it there. just keeping it in california, just keeping it on that pristine river. just keep it on the great lakes for however how long. that's not the answer. this bill is. and because it's bipartisan, i am confident that not only will we have the votes to get this thing through today, but we're going to get it ultimately to the president. so, again, i want to thank our leadership on both sides of the aisle to get this thing done, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. mcnerney. the chair: the gentleman is
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recognized. mr. mcnerney: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 3053. i want to thank ranking member tonko and chairman shimkus for their hard work on this very difficult subject. this is a bipartisan bill. it seeks a solution on how to remove and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high level radioactive waste. this bill recognizes the need to consolidate interim storage in an integral waste management program. h.r. 3053 authorizes the department of energy to develop its own interim storage facility or contract with private entities for such development. the bill also authorizes the development of one pilot c.i.s. facility that is not linked to the nuclear regulatory commission's decision on the yucca mountain license application, and it provides a solution for nuclear waste stranded at sites without an operating reactor. this bill will help us create a path toward permanent storage while also being inclusive and
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transparent about the process. one of the key additions to this bill is that it will re-establish the office of civilian radioactive waste management. it also increases assistance to states and tribes for transportation safety which is important when transporting radioactive materials. you know, mr. speaker, we can't continue to put our heads in the sand about nuclear waste. there are about 120 sites across the country that stored nuclear waste on a so-called temporary basis. with this situation, a serious accident is virtually inevitable. nuclear waste can be transported and stored safely for the generations needed. this is really an engineering problem, and america has some of the best engineers in the world. we can do this. this bill is an important step towards safe storm. i urge my colleagues to support this well crafted legislation.
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the chair: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: mr. chairman, i recognize for one minute the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of chairman shimkus' bill, the nuclear waste policy amendments act of 2017. this legislation is important not only because of what it means to the future of clean energy opportunities for this country, but also what this means for our communities. nuke already energy has become a safe and effective way to produce energy. nukewlar waste policy amendments act would finally put in place a permanent repository for the waste generated by nuclear energy production that powers millions of homes and businesses across the country. we began this process nearly 30 it ago and today we move forward. my good friends' legislation authorizes the disposal of spent nuclear fuel in a safe,
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term place. right now spent it forward. my good friends' legislation fu on nuclear energy sites around the country, leaving our o communities open to larger vulnerabilities and possible attacks or stents. i urge my colleagues to support the -- or accidents. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. i thank the gentleman for his leadership and yield back. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: thank you. mr. speaker, i yield two minutes of time to the gentlelady from michigan, mrs. dingell. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. miss particularrle -- mrs. dingell: mr. chairman, i rise in support of h.r. 3053, the nuclear waste policy amendment act. finding a way forward on the future of our nation's nuclear waste storage is no easy task. arrived at a bipartisan agreement on nuclear waste storage that we need to advance today to address this issue. i would first like it thank chairman walden and ranking member pallone and chairman
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shimkus and ranking member tonko for their outstanding leadership and thank you to all of my colleagues who worked on this in committee, because it wasn't easy. but we worked together in a bipartisan wafmente -- way. this bill will authorize the department of energy to establish and maintain interim storage facilities to hold nuclear a waste until there is a clear decision on the national repository. also included in this bill is an amendment i offered at the good ommittee with my friend, fred upton. this important amendment expresses the sense of the congress that the governments of the united states and canada should not allow permanent or long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel or good friend, fred other radioactive waste, near the great lakes. mr. upton and i were proud to get this amendment included on behalf of every member of the great lakes region. the great lakes account for 20% of the world's fresh water
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supply and is absolutely critical for millions of americans who rely on them for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life. nearly 1/10 of the u.s. population lives in the great lakes basin, and more than 35 llion people, with approximately 24 million of them being americans, rely on the great lakes. this provision reinforces the importance of the approximately 24 million of hea lakes basin free of nuclear storage. i commend all of my colleagues one more time for their good work in crafting a bipartisan agreement that will ensure nuclear waste is stored at secure security facilities. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i recognize the gentleman from south carolina, congressman duncan, for one minute. mr. duncan: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank chairman
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shimkus for his work. i have long been an advocate for nuclear waste policy like this for yucca mountain. since 1982 when the nuclear aste policy act was created, ratepayers in this nation have paid as part of their utility bill over $40 billion. in south carolina that means ratepayers have paid $1.3 billion for the construction and operation of what we now know as yucca mountain. currently in south carolina there are over 4,500 tons of spent nuclear fuel in temporary storage from commercial reactors. at savannah river site we have both research and military clear waste sitting ready to go to a long-term reposs torery. the law of the land passed in 1992 is for yucca mountain to be a long-term repository for this nation's waste. it's time to move forward and give the ratepayers, not the taxpayers, but the ratepayers
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what they paid for. this legislation moves in the right direction. i appreciate the chairman. i look forward to my colleagues supporting this bipartisan legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield as much time as she may consume to the gentlelady from california, ms. matsui, who made tremendous contributions to this final version of the bill. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. matsui: thank you. thank you, mr. tonko, for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the nuclear waste policy amendments act. in sacramento, our publicly owned utility storage spent nuclear feel at the rancho saco nuclear generating station. despite the fact this plant has been demissioned for many, many years. and that the federal government has a responsibility to take the fuel. the continued presence of the spent fuel there has a direct impact on the rates in my district and prevents the site from being redeveloped. that is why i have continuously
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been supportive of an interim storage solution tore spent fuel. today it is the most viable path to consolidate the fuel housed in over 120 communities across the country. for the last two congresses, i have co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to explicitly authorize the department of energy to enter into agreements for consolidate the interim storage . i believe a stand alone piece of legislation that creates a pathway for interim storage is the commonsense next step in our national nuclear waste management strategy. so, i was opposed to the initial version of h.r. 3053 that came before the energy and commerce committee last year. it tied yucca mountain, which i have major concerns with, to interim storage. linking these two policies together would effectively maintain the status quo for decommissioned sites across the country, which is unacceptable.
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that's why i worked in a bipartisan basis to ensure that the interim storage policy in this bill is dedumbed from a permanent reposs -- decoupled from a permanent repository. the bill we're considering now authorizes the use of one consolidated interim storage site and creates a path to move ent fuel to that site before final decision is made on permanent geologic repository. it is critically important that we have further clarified the regulatory pathway for interim storage. for that reason, i will be supporting this bill today. despite some provisions i believe are less than ideal. thank my colleagues for working with me in a collaborative and bipartisan manner to ensure the federal government finally takes the spent fuel thank my colleagues working with me in a stranded i our communities nationwide. thank you, i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from illinois is
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recognized. mr. shimkus: mr. chairman, i recognize for a minute and a half the gentleman from new jersey who is on the committee and has been doing great work to deal with his constituents. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lance: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 3053, the nuclear waste policy amendments act. this is an enormous achievement for chairman shimkus who has worked so hard and so long to make this day a reality. the nation needs a safe and environmentally conscious plan to dispose of this waste. this plan is bipartisan and it is sensible. new jersey is home to four nuclear reactors and three generating stations. oyster creek will be closing this october. in the congressional district i serve, these plants account for about half the power generation and 90% of the carbon-free electricity. new jersey's nuclear plants
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avoid 14 million tons of carbon emissions each year. public service and others are doing their part in storing their nation's spent nuclear fuel on site, but we need a permanent site. the expertise and know how of the federal government has a responsibility to it my constituents and to the american people. i want the 3,000 metric tons of nuclear waste out of new jersey and consolidated in a national protected facility. new jersey ratepayers have contributed nearly $2 billion to the department of energy's nuclear waste fund to dispose of the waste at a permanent repository at yucca mountain. my constituents should see a return on that investment. new jersey someone of the top state contributors to this fund. it is time for the government to hold up its end of the warring -- bargain and permanently lee move -- remove this waste. i urge a yes vote. the chair: the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: i yield two minutes of time to the gentleman from
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new mexico, mr. lujan. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lujan: i believe it makes it more likely that a future interim storage site, potentially one in new mexico, becomes a permanent home for nuclear waste. i oppose this bill. i know these are tough issues and i agree we have a responsibility to address the waste issue that result from our country entering the atomic age. however, addressing nuclear waste is not our only responsibility. 70 years ago, rural new mexico became ground zero for the detonation of the first nuclear bomb. this marked the beginning of sickness and suffering for generations of people who lived and grew up in the basin. that atomic bomb, gloria wrote to me, has caused anguish to so many people in new mexico. the people from new mexico have suffered physically, mentally, and financially. and all -- in all we're here and hope you will find a way to
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help us. over 70 years since the trinity test. 70 years in the federal government has done almost nothing to recognize or compensate those impacted over that test. they are not alone. in 1990, congress passed an act to begin it right the wrong. however we have since learned there are many more individuals who are sick or dying because they worked in the uranium industry, lived near a mining operation, or downwind from a test. the apache and other indian reservations are particularly affected. that is why repeatedly introduced the radiation exposure compensation act amendments to compensate those workers. we have had navajo elders travel here to washington, d.c., and ask us in congress, are youaiting for us to die to solve this problem? the rules committeeejected amendments that i offered. why in the world is it that the people of new mexico where the first bomb went off are the
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onl ones left out of protections? people in nevada, colorado, and utah are included, but new mexico been left off. the first place the bomb was tested, these people weren't given a warning. all they saw was a light flash while they were in their kitchens or outside working. the chair: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: mr. chairman, i recognize now theentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus, for one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rothfus: i rise in support of the nuclear waste policy amendment act. this bill is the opportunity to give the department of defense and our nation's nuclear plants a proper place to store spent fuel. relieves a burden on our nuclear plants ich provide a critical source of resilient base load power to our electric relieves a burden . nuclear plants provi good jobs to communities across the nation, many of which are in economicall distressed areas. nuclear tely several
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power plants nuclear power plants are prematurely closing because of government policies. for a long time i have repeatedly warned the executive branch about the national security risks if too many plants deactivate. i'm glad to hear some members cross the aisle are actually acknowledging this problem, at least partially n april i bet with beaver valley nuclear wer station workers and told my constituents acknowledging this that i would everything i can to protect their jobs and theation's grid. and i meant it. this bill addresses some of the uncertainty and added costs the industry faces and one step in helping to security those jobs and the riability and the resiliency of our grid w that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance his time. the gentleman from illinois reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield three minutes of time to the gentlelady from nevada, ms. titus. the chair: the gentlelady from nevada is recognized for three inutes. ms. titus: today we must decide if you are going to double down -- or ies -- excuse me
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if you'll chart a new course that doesn't repeat the same mistakes of previous congresses. the first screw nevada bill was passed in 1982, and since that time, nevada's residents, elected officials, business leaders, health and environmental groups have steadfastly opposed the yucca mountain repository. i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record over 100 letters from those groups in opposition. the chair: the gentlewoman's request is covered under general leave. ms. titus: you heard the legislation before you now, screw nevada 2.0, is a work of compromise, a bipartisan effort, not perfect but a step forward. well, that frankly is an opinion. it's not the facts. here are the facts. the legislation overrides environmental laws, allowing the e.p.a. to move the goal post in terms of radiation limits to ensure that nothing will ever interfere with the agenda of the nuclear industry. it sets up a consent-based
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process for the establishment of an interim storage facility, but imposes a permanent facility at yucca mountain. it increases the amount of nuclear waste to be dumped in nevada by 37%. 110 metric tons more than were not considered in any of the environmental or safety studies being used to justify the project. it also removes the prohibition currently in law that prohibits nevada from being the de facto interim storage facility until a permanent one can be licensed. it also was changed after passing out of committee to address the high scoring costs -- is it already three minutes? the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, we grant the gentlelady another minute. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. titus: to address the high scoring cost, making to less likely we get host benefits. also, contrary to the sponsor's
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comments, the area around yucca mountain is not some desloate area. it has iconic wildlife, endangered species and native american artifacts. also, the proposed facility sits above the water table and on an active fault and can only be reached by roads that travel through 329 of your congressional districts. and finally, like new mexico, the people in nevada have suffered from tests of atomic weapons that the government told us, don't worry, it will be safe. in short, this bill does nothing to really address the root of the problem, and i urge you to vote against it. it's cost us 36 years and $15 billion, and all we got to show for it is a hole in the ground. we should be doing consent-based decisionmaking that will move us forward and not continue this failed policy that is bad politics and bad policy. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr.
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chairman. mr. chairman, i recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. aderholt, who's a subcommittee chair on appropriations. mr. aderholt: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank my colleague, mr. shimkus, for this important legislation. this is a bipartisan piece of legislation that has already been said that puts our country back on the right track and honoring that commitment that was made by the federal government to safely collect and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high level nuclear waste. it's been noted here this morning that under the nuclear waste policy act of 1982, congress assigned the responsibility for spent nuclear fuel to the federal government. but today, because the federal government has failed to honor this commitment, spent nuclear fuel sits idle in 121 communities across 39 states. it was back in 1987 that congress designated yucca mountain as the permanent repository for nuclear waste,
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but despite collecting more than $40 billion from taxpayers, yucca mountain nuclear waste repository has yet to be completed. the legislation before us today offers important reforms for our country's nuclear waste policy. it utilizes yucca mountain as our main point of nuclear waste storage while directing the department of energy to move forward with a temporary storage program as it works on the yucca mountain facility. with that i want to thank my colleague, again, for his legislation and urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3053. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, i inquire as to how much time we have remaining, please. the chair: the gentleman has 11 1/2 minutes. mr. tonko: thank you, sir. the chair: the gentleman from illinois has 14 minutes remaining. mr. tonko: thank you. mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes of time to the gentleman from nevada, mr. kihuen. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kihuen: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i rise to speak in opposition to h.r. 3053, the nuclear waste policy amendments act. you know, mr. speaker, i find it offensive. i sit here and listened to all my colleagues and they all want to send nuclear waste to the state of nevada. they are all generating this nuclear waste and they want to send it to my back yard right in the fourth congressional district. you know, bottom line is this, mr. speaker. if you generate nuclear waste, you should keep it in your own back yard. don't be sending to to my back yard. i met with various people out at the air force bases and the hawthorne army depot. these are very important military installations in the fourth congressional district for our entire country. they don't want this nuclear waste passing through their own back yard. it is offensive. it is offensive that we have a state that depends on tourism, that depends on people coming into our state, and we want to generate this -- bring all this nuclear waste to my back yard. we want to send it to yucca
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mountain, a place that hasn't even been deemed safe. it's disappointing, mr. speaker, that we have all this nuclear waste and we can't pick any other place in the country. it has to be somewhere where we have military bases. it has to be somewhere where it hasn't been deemed safe. their sites make activity. just a few weeks there was an earthquake there. mr. speaker, i'm seriously concerned for nevadans. i am seriously concerned for our military bases. i am concerned about our touristes that will be coming from all over the country. i am concerned about every single one of the congressional districts and its constituents where this nuclear waste is going to be traveling through. these are some serious concerns that have been brought up, that none of us, none of my colleagues have been able to address. so i'm here to oppose this project. i'm here to speak on behalf of 80% of nevadans who oppose bringing nuclear waste to our back yard. and i'm here to send a message that we are going to continue
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fighting this tooth and nail right here in congress, in the senate, here in the house, and also if need be we will continue fighting this in the legal courts. thank you, mr. speaker. i'm here to speak in opposition and to speak on behalf of all nevadans. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i recognize the gentlelady from southern california, who's been very helpful in this project, mimi walters. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. how much time? the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: for one minute. the chair: one minute. the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. walters: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 3053, the nuclear waste policy amendments act of 2017. at the decommission nuclear generating station just south of my district, 1,800 tons of spent nuclear fuel sits along the pacific coastline. this spent nuclear fuel must be moved for safety and environmental reasons but also out of fairness to american
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taxpayers. to date, california ratepayers have contributed more than $2 billion to the nuclear waste fund with the promise those funds would help establish a permanent storage facility. h.r. 3053 authorizes interim storage, a necessary step to get spent nuclear fuel out of our communities and into interim storage facilities until a permanent storage facility is established. mr. speaker, i speak on behalf of my constituents who say the time to fix this problem is now. the federal government owes it to the american people to fulfill its obligation and take ownership of spent fuel. i'd like to thank my friend from illinois, mr. shimkus, for his leadership on this issues and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3053. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: yes, thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield two minutes of time to the gentlelady from nevada, ms. rosen. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. : i thank the
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gentleman from new york. mr. speaker, i rise today and stand with the overwhelming majority of nevadans who wholeheartedly oppose our state becoming the dumping ground for the rest of the nation's nuclear waste. based on the department of energy's own studies, yucca mountain is unfit as a repository site for nuclear waste because of the impact it would have on national transportation. we're talking about shipping up to three loads of radioactive waste per week to nevada by rail or truck for over 50 years. here's a map of what the proposed routes would look like. dangerous waste would go through 329 congressional districts across this country. to the members representing these districts, do you consent to high level radioactive waste barreling down your highways and your train tracks, and are you prepared to face your constituents at home and tell them that you voted to put their safety at risk?
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yucca mountain would also jeopardize our national security and the readiness of our air force by compromising military activities at the nevada test and training range, the largest air and ground military training space in the contiguous united states. instead of spending billions more in hard-earned taxpayer dollars on this ill conceived project, let's work on converting the site to something that will keep our country safe and create jobs. my bill, the jobs not waste act, which i add as an amendment to 3053, would prohibit d.o.e. from moving forward with its plan until are r job-creating ideas considered. we can repurpose this site for something useful. i urge congress to stop wasting time and taxpayer money on yucca mountain and finally realize just how dangerous and costly this project will be. it's past time we identify viable alternatives for this project while finding a safe,
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long-term repository in a state that can consents to its citing. thank you. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. members are reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i recognize my neighbor, my friend, the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinsinger, for one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kinzinger: thank you, mr. chairman. as an air pours pilot, i will note this will not affect range operations. my district is home to four nuclear power plants and i've seen firsthand the hard work and dedication of the men and women who work there. these plants not only provide clean, reliable power, but also create good jobs and they strengthen our communities. in 1982, the government made a commitment to these communities. congress and the president approved yucca mountain over 15 years ago. the nuclear regulatory commission concluded it can safely store spent fuel for a million years. in illinois alone, ratepayers have contributed over $3 billion to the nuclear waste fund. illinois houses more spent fuel
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than any state. today is about following through on our commitments. we must reassure communities like la salle and byron who put their trust in the government that they can continue to make clean, reliable nuclear power as well as have a safe place to store it. i want to thank my friend and illinois colleague, john shimkus, for being a tireless advocate for making good on this commitment. and, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield two minutes of time to the gentleman from connecticut, a good friend, mr. courtney. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in strong support of the nuclear waste policy amendments act. xt to me is a picture of connecticut, a pristine part of the state where the connecticut river and salmon river come together, where the circle is on the photograph, there is 43 casts of spent uranium rods that today pretty much corden off that whole area.
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if you drove up in a car you will be met with a platoon of heavily armed security guards who for good reason have to patrol that every single day because of the dangerous material that's stored there. it has been that way for 20 years. it cost ratepayers $20 million a year again, for a site that should be long overdufort renovation and access for folks from all over the world because of its rich archaeological and historical area. this bill provides a way out for this area along with 120 other sites across the country that host communities have been saddled with storage of spent nuclear fuel because of the fact this country has been unable to come together with a coherent policy. and this bill provides a way out and, again, i congratulate the proponents on both sides of the aisle for getting us to that place. waterford, connecticut, is also home to dominion nuclear power plant with a similar situation that, again, is long overdufort change.
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i also just want to know -- overdue for change. i also just want to know groton, connecticut, it is where the nautilus was first launched in 1956. we have as a country been transporting spent nuclear fuel for aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines for decades by land and by sea safely and efficiently and the notion that we can't do this for our civilian nuclear power facilities is frankly just demonstrably untrue. we can do this and this bill provides, as i say, a mechanism for an interim storage that is sensible, that is logical, and is bipartisan and, again, i congratulate proponents and strongly urge a yes vote on this measure later this morning. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. . mr. shimkus: i recognize the gentleman from minnesota, mr. lewis. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one
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minute. mr. lewis: thank you for your leadership on this vital issue. the federal government asks americans to pay roughly $40 billion in taxes and interest with the prom mission the government would operate a national repository. 37 years later, no repository nd my district is hampered with the burden of maintaining 40 spent fuel casks with more on the way. now, while on-site storage is one in a with the burden of secure manner, it is simply not appropriate. in 1991 the united states department of the interior agreed stating, the position of risk upon the prairie island indian community is an unreasonable burden. very safe y prairie island is just one community shouldering this burden. and others red wing expect better. my constituents reminded me by law the repository should have been opened in 1998. stating, but it's not our responsibility to remind
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congress to do its job. they are right. i urge my colleagues to uphold our promise and vote in favor of this bill. with that i yield back to the gentleman from illinois. the chair: the gentleman from illinois reserves his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, i continue to reserve. the chair: reserves. the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: i recognize the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher, for one minute. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. rohrabacher: i rise today 3053 and of h.r. thank chairman shimkus for the great leadership he's provided on this bill on this significant issue. it authorizes the construction of yucca mountain as a nuclear waste storage site which would alleviate the burden of incredible risk that is now borne by communities throughout the country, such as in my district where homes are not from the closed nuclear generating station. that and many other plants throughout the nation have closed their doors in decades.
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yet congress has yet to agree on how to safely store that waste. what's really important, is we must store the waste, but while we develop nuke nuclear energy technologies -- new nuclear energy technologies that are capable of producing less of their own waste and consume the waste. i reminded secretary of energy of that yesterday. in the meantime, until that technology -- it is sinful that we have not developed that technology which we're capable of that could eat this waste. until we do, having safe storage at yucca mountain makes all the sense to me. and is safe for my constituents. thank you, mr. shimkus. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from illinois reserves. gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: i continue to reserve. the chair: reserves. gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: mr. chairman, i recognize for one minute the gentleman from georgia, mr. allen. the chair: the gentleman from
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georgia is recognized for one minute. mr. allen: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 3053, the nuclear waste policy amendments act. as a co-sponsor of this legislation, i understand the importance of enacting critical reforms to our nuclear waste management strategy. reforms that are long overdue. mr. speaker, i have the great honor of representing georgia's 12th congressional district, which is home to every nuclear reactor in our state. we're leading the way in the new nuclear. in my district there are thousands of spent fuel rods being held in spent fuel pools and dry cask storage containers, and the next few years we're going to double the number of nuclear reactors online. h.r. 3053 would help pave wait to quickly establish a permanent geological repository to dispose of the waste that currently sits in 121 communities across america, 12.uding those in georgia
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this process has gone on far too long. and now it is time for congress to act and pass this commonsense legislation. 12. this process i want to thank subcommittee chair shimkus for his work and diligence on this matter. i urge all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle join me in voting yes for this bill. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from illinois reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: i yield two minutes of time to the gentleman from texas, mr. green. the chair: the gentleman from texas, mr. gene green, is recognized for two minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. thank my colleague, our ranking member, for allowing me to speak. i rise in support of h.r. 3053, the nuclear waste policy amendments act of 2017. back in 1982 passed the nuclear waste policy act directing the department of energy and nuclear regulatory commission to open a permanent repository for our nation's spent nuclear fuel. congress is slow, but this is amazing how we haven't dealt
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with this. over three decades later, america's still without a repository, leaving tens of thousands of nuclear waste vulnerable to acts of terror or other catastrophes f you say you are for all of the above for power generation, then you need to vote for this bill. because if we're really going to use nuclear power, about 20% in texas, we need a place to put that waste. not just on the sites where we produce it. there was a decision made in the 1980's it would be out in yucca mountain. and that wasn't our decision, but that's there. it's federal property. that's where we exploded atomic bombs during the testing. nobody is going to build condos on that property. i was out there with the chairman of the committee. until the day we find full storage -- interim storage to ensure 70,000 tons of spent fuel sitting at our nation's nuclear plants are safe from
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harm at an interim storage facility, there is one proposed in west texas that the folks out there want it. i ask my colleagues to support this bill so we can finally move the ball forward on safely storing our nation's spent nuclear fuel. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized -- reserves his time of the mr. shimkus: i recognize the gentleman from south carolina, mr. sanford. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. sanford: i thank you. i rise in support of this bill. i want to single out chairman shimkus for his tireless work. he stood up in conference after conference after conference insisting we move forward. this bill has been a long time coming. this is about a national solution to a a national problem. each of the states could come up with their own navys, armies. we tried that once in south carolina, didn't work out so well. but it's important that we, again, have a national solution
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to a national issue. that's certainly the case with nuclear waste. this is about moving past politics to policy. this thing has been held up for years based on politics. and i don't begrudge anybody in nevada for pushing and using every tool in the tool kit holding it off. this is moving topolicy. this is about not building a mountain waste in south carolina and a whole lot of interrim sites across this country. we have a fault line at the savannah river site. and there are similar security concerns with the plethora of different sites we have across this country, consolidating makes sense from a security standpoint. timely, -- finally, this is about giving people what they paid for. $40 billion nationally. over $1 billion in south carolina paid by ratepayers. i thank the chairman for acting on this bill. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, i'll
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continue to reserve. the chair: reserve. gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield for one minute the gentlelady from georgia, mrs. handel. the chair: the gentlelady from georgia is recognized for one minute. mrs. handel: thank you, mr. speaker. to my colleague from illinois, representative shimkus, thank you so much for your steadfast leadership on this very important issue. rise today as well to lend my support to h.r. 3053, the nuclear waste policy act amendment. mr. speaker, america lacks the necessary geologic repository for important nuclear power resources. because of this, spent nuclear fuel currently sits idle in over 100 communities across 39 states. this deficiency has cost electricity ratepayers over $40 billion with little to nothing to show for the exposhant cost. h.r. 3053 makes long overdue reforms to the nuclear waste fund and facilitates a formal licensing process for the repository at yucca mountain. it provides a commonsense, bipartisan interim solution for the safe storage of nuclear waste.
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most importantly, h.r. 3053 ensures that the safe, efficient form of energy can continue to expand and be utilized in the united states such as georgia's plant vogel. h.r. 3053 is much needed legislation that will finally ensure the safe disposal of nuclear waste in this country. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i yield to my good friend from texas, mr. barton, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from is recognized for two minutes. mr. barton: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. barton: thank you. i can't think of a more unrewarding, difficult, fruitless issue to be asked to be the leader on than trying to
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find a solution is recognized f minutes. mr. barton: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks to high level nuclear waste. can you imagine if, when you get elected to congress, called into the speaker's office, minority leader's office, and said i know you're young and bright and everything, but we want you to take the lead on something that we haven't been able to solve in 30 years. well, that's what john shimkus, congressman tonko have been tasked to do. there is not a more unpleasant issue in the 30-something years i have been in the house than this issue. having said that, it's probably one of the most important issues to solve. we have at one time over 100 operating nuclear reactors. they generate electricity every day. d they use, eventually consume, their nuclear fuel rods. and when they have been used
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up, you can't put them on the curb in the trash to pick them up. mr. tongueine mr. shimkus have worked not just this -- mr. tonko and mr. shimkus have worked not just in this congress, but last congress, in the case of mr. shimkus, he's worked probably the last seven congresses to solve this. we have bipartisan bill today. i predict it will get in the neighborhood of 260 to maybe 300 votes. it solves the problem. and the key in, in my opinion, to what they have done, is they have allowed for an interim storage facility in a state that approves it beforehand. you are going to have states compete to accept this high level nuclear waste on an make a path and forward to finish the licensing process, or make a negative determination in nevada at yucca mountain. make a path i think the interim -- 30
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additional seconds? mr. shimkus: recognize the gentleman for another 30 seconds. mr. barton: you are going to have a way to begin, if this bill becomes law, to get the waste that's now stored on site , deactivated, some cases nuclear power plants, consolidated at the interim storage, make a decision on it's yea, or nay, if begin that process. this is a very good effort. it should pass the house, and the president should sign it. and we will finally after almost 40 years begin to solve high-level nuclear waste issue in america. thank both the leaders on this bill. i hope we get a yes vote. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume.
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i'm not closing yet. we're waiting for the whip. the chair: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i want to highlight a couple issues that's been raised. in my brief opening statement i reminded folks, i see my colleague from chicagoland on e floor, chicago gets 55 million visitors a year. in chicagoland there's 10,000 metric tons. that's in the community. that is where there are condose . and -- condos, and it's right there. this proposed long-term repository is 90 miles away from las vegas. it's a mountain in a desert. if it gets approved, final adjudication.
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what's held up final adjudication? politics on the appropriations. i think this bill will help solve because once we get a good vote, my colleagues, i don't think we voted on an authorization bill on this issue on an authorization bill since 2002. that's when the state of nevada objected per the law. they were allowed to do that. we had a chance then to override that veto, because as mark sanford said, this is a national problem that demands a national solution. so the law laid out an opportunity to hear the complaints from the state of nevada and i -- and say yes or no. they said no. the law laid out the opportunity for the national legislative body and the president of the united states to decide to accept or reject that.
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. i think this chamber vote was about 350 to reject the state of nevada's opposition. the senate rejected it on a voice vote. so we've been through this numerous times. we know where the majority of representatives are. we know where the majority of senators will be. we just got to move. we've got to address this national problem with a national solution. another issue that was just touched on by chairman walden, we spent a lot of time on spent nuclear fuel. this is ratepayers also helping pay for our defense waste obligations. the nuclear weapons and winning the cold war created stockpiles f nuclearaste, toxic slug in
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areas in four states. primarily washington state. also south carolina. ratepayers are going to help safely dispose of that. o when you take the national defense problem and the spent -- ar fuel problem, the we're moving forward in that direction. the nevadans are not uniformerly opposed to the repository. in fact, nine of the surrounding counties have passed resolutions to move forward. at least with the adjudication. and as my colleagues from nevada know, i've been to that state quite a few times and talked to many, many people on this issue. with that i reser the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized and the gentleman from new york does have 3 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. tonko: well, thank you, mr. speaker. we have no other speakers, and
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am prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman from new york is prepared to close. the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: i'm prepared to close also. the chair: so the gentleman from new york is recognized for the remainder of the time. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. it's rare we consider a perfect bill. this is not the bill mr. pallone or i would have written on our own, and i do not think it's a bill that mr. shimkus would have wanted on his own either but that's the nature of compromise. i, again, want to thank mr. shimkus and his staff for their willingness to work with us to address a number of our concerns with the initial bill. and i want to acknowledge the hard work done by rick kessler, other members of the energy and commerce committee minority staff that worked so diligently on this legislation. i truly understand the concerns raised by my colleagues in opposition. especially those from the nevada delegation. and i sympathize with many of their arguments.
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but the reality is our nation has a substantial amount of nuclear waste, and we as a nation need a plan to address it. we are dealing with the constraints of legislation passed some 30 years ago, and within those constraints, i believe this bill is a step in the right direction to address our nation's nuclear waste issues. so with that, mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the cha: the gentleman from new york yields back his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized, and the gentleman from illinois has one minute remaining. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i'll be quick. first, i want to also thank the staff on both sides for their work. this is the way legislaon is supposed to move. you have hearings. in energy and commerce we really forced a subcommittee hearing, markup, subcommittee mark, full committee mark. then, we go through the process. our staff has done a tremendous
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job. i also want to thank ranking meer pallone and ranking member tonko for their friendship and their actually good negotiating skills as they have told me many times they have changed that bill through their diligence and that has got us here to a better product. i'll end up on three quick points. we raised them before. we can transport this safely. we've done it for decades. every day taxpayers are paying from all 50 states in the judgment fund because of our failure to meet our legal obligations. i think it's almost $800 million a year that we pay because we're breaking the law. independent scientific analysis of the yucca mountain repository found the site to safely dispose of nuclear waste for one million years.
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mr. heller: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. mr. heller: mr. president, i rise today to reiterate my strong opposition to the house of representatives' effort to restart licensing activities at yucca mountain and in particular the nuclear waste policy amendment act, which passed the house just a few hours ago. this bill, which is a complete and total waste of taxpayers' dollars, is dead on arrival in the united states senate. not only will i place a hold on the bill now that has passed the house, i will also object to the motion to proceed to the bill. and this vote today proves my point -- that i am

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