News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) –Today, Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu urging the Administration to immediately halt all actions to dismantle operations at Yucca Mountain at least until legal action regarding the withdrawal of the application is resolved.   Click here to read a copy of the letter signed by 91 Members of Congress.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Department has overstepped its bounds and has ignored congressional intent without peer review or proper scientific documentation in its actions regarding Yucca Mountain,” the lawmakers noted in the letter.

In 1987, Congress designated Yucca Mountain as the nation’s geological repository for spent nuclear fuel and high level defense waste. Congress has voted to reaffirm this decision several times. 

On March 3, 2010, DOE filed a motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to withdraw its license application for Yucca Mountain.  On June 29, 2010, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board denied DOE’s motion, stating that DOE did not have the authority to unilaterally act to terminate its license application. 

Earlier this year, the State of Washington, the State of South Carolina, and Tri-Cities community leaders filed suit in the D.C. Circuit Court challenging DOE’s ability to withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application.  On June 15, 2010 the Court issued an order setting an expedited schedule for oral arguments, to be held September 23rd, demonstrating a clear desire to hear the merits of the case.

In the letter the lawmakers asked that DOE “recognize the letter and spirit of the law, honor the timeline set by the court and halt all efforts to reprogram funds and terminate contracts located at Yucca Mountain.”

The letter was signed by the following Members of Congress:

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) 4th

Senator   Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Senator   Jim DeMint (R-SC)

Senator   Lamar Alexander (R-KY)

Senator   John McCain (R-AZ)

Senator   James Inhofe (R-OK)

Senator   John Cornyn (R-TX)

Senator   Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX)

Senator   Jim  Bunning (R-KY)

Senator   Mary  Landrieu (D-LA)

Senator   Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Senator   Olympia  Snowe (R-ME)

Senator   Lindsey Graham  (R-SC)

Senator   Christopher Bond (R-MO)

Senator   Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Senator   George LeMieux (R-FL)

Senator   Michael  Enzi (R-WY)

Senator   Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

Senator   James  Risch (R-ID)

Senator   Thad  Cochran (R-MS)

Senator   Mike  Crapo (R-ID)

Senator   John Barrasso (R-WY)

Senator   Susan  Collins (R-ME)

Senator   Sam Brownback (R-KS)

Representative  Norm Dicks (D-WA) 6th

Representative  John M. Jr. Spratt (D-SC) 5th

Representative  James Clyburn (D-SC) 6th

Representative  Eric Cantor (R-VA) 7th

Representative  John Dingell (D-MI) 15th

Representative  Joe Barton (R-TX)- 6th

Representative  Lincoln Davis (D-GA) 4th

Representative  Fred Upton (R-MI) 6th

Representative  Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) 11th

Representative  Mike Pence (R-IN) 6th

Representative  Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) 5th

Representative  David G. Reichert (R-WA) 8th

Representative  Jay Inslee (D-WA) 1st

Representative  Rick Larsen (D-WA) 2nd

Representative  Gresham Barrett (R-SC) 3rd

Representative  Joe Wilson (R-SC) 2nd

Representative  Henry Brown (R-SC) 1st

Representative  Bob Inglis (R-SC) 4th

Representative  Bart Stupak (D-MI) 1st

Representative  Paul Broun (R-GA) 10th

Representative  Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) 13th

Representative  Parker Griffith (R-AL) 5th

Representative  Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) 16th

Representative  Steve Scalise (R-LA) 1st

Representative  John Shadegg (R-AZ) 3rd

Representative  Pete Olson (R-TX) 22nd

Representative  John Linder (R-GA) 7th

Representative  Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL) 10th

Representative  Judy Biggert (R-IL) - 13th

Representative  John Kline (R-MN) 2nd

Representative  Zach Wamp (R-TN) 3rd

Representative  Thomas Rooney (R-FL) 16th

Representative  Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)- 6th

Representative  Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) 2nd

Representative  Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) 9th

Representative  Michael K. Simpson (R-ID) 2nd

Representative  Robert Andrews (D-NJ) -1st

Representative  Brett Guthrie (R-KY) 2nd

Representative  Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) 6th

Representative  Cliff Stearns (R-FL) 6th

Representative  John Sullivan (R-OK) 1st

Representative  Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA) 11th

Representative  Ken Calvert (R-CA) 44th

Representative  John Duncan (R-TN) 2nd

Representative  Donald A. Manzullo (R-IL) 16th

Representative  Edolphus Towns (D-NY) 10th

Representative  Pete Sessions (R-TX) 32nd

Representative  Jo Bonner (R-AL) 1st

Representative  Lee Terry (R-NE) 3rd

Representative  Darrell E. Issa (R-CA) 49th

Representative  Greg Walden (R-OR) 2nd

Representative  Jack Kingston (R-GA) 1st

Representative  Steven C LaTourette (R-OH) 14th

Representative  Ralph Hall (R-TX) 4th

Representative  Harold Rogers (R-KY) 5th

Representative  Joe Courtney (D-CT) 2nd

Representative  Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ) 2nd

Representative  Denny Rehberg (R-MT)

Representative  F. James Jr. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) 5th

Representative  John Shimkus (R-IL) 19th

Representative  Michele Bachmann (R-MN) 6th

Representative  Mike Rogers (R-MI) 8th

Representative  Erik Paulsen (R-MN) 3rd

Representative  Sue Wilkins Myrick (R-NC) 9th

Representative  Frank Wolf (R-VA) 10th

Representative  Ed Whitfield (R-KY) 1st