News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after her amendment to direct the Secretary of Energy to continue the Yucca Mountain licensing process was voted down in the full Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 13-16.

“I am disappointed that the Obama Administration’s misguided decision to unilaterally remove Yucca Mountain from consideration as a national nuclear repository was not reversed with today’s vote. Over the past 30 years, billions in taxpayer dollars, numerous independent studies, and key Congressional votes have all gone to support Yucca Mountain as the nation’s best option for a nuclear repository. Turning our back on that work and further delaying our legal and moral obligation to clean up nuclear waste is a serious mistake.

“Our shared responsibility for cleaning up nuclear waste is not a political or partisan issue. It’s about sound science, effective policy, and fulfilling the federal government’s obligation to build a national nuclear waste repository. And since 2002, when I voted to designate Yucca Mountain as a final storage place for high-level nuclear waste, those have been the only factors that guide my work on this process.

“As we move forward, I know that this will continue to be an uphill battle in Congress and that this will ultimately be decided by the courts. But I also know that with two-thirds of the nation’s high-level nuclear waste piling up in my state, we don’t have the time or luxury of scrapping decades of planning for legitimate storage options.

“I will continue to stand up to ensure that every option for a final nuclear repository is considered, not because it’s easy, but because it’s the right thing to do.”