90°F
weather icon Clear

Attack on Yucca funding foiled in House

WASHINGTON — A bid by Nevada lawmakers to attack funding for the Yucca Mountain Project was snuffed out Tuesday in the U.S. House.

In the latest test of sentiment over the controversial Nevada nuclear waste site, an amendment to transfer $25 million away from the project in an energy spending bill was killed 335-81.

The result was almost identical to a 326-81 vote last year in favor of Yucca Mountain, which had been the focus of government nuclear waste disposal until the project was shelved by President Barack Obama.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., proposed to shift the funding into physics research that is developing accelerator technology to reduce the toxicity of nuclear waste, which Heck touted as a “21st century solution” for the highly radioactive material.

By comparison, “sticking our country’s highly radioactive nuclear waste in a hole in the ground is a 20th century solution,” he said, referring to storage tunnels that would be carved within the Nevada mountain ridge.

Heck was backed by Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who said the energy bill “mandated more wasteful spending in a defunct project.”

Leaders of the House Appropriations Committee were having none of it.

Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said there already was sufficient money in the bill for physics research.

Besides, he said, “We are going to need some money to reopen Yucca Mountain,” which the Obama administration shelved in 2009 at the insistence of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and to the chagrin of lawmakers from nuclear plant states wanting to remove highly radioactive waste from reactor sites.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, the top Democrat on the energy and water subcommittee, said that with more than $10 billion already spent, “at a minimum” it should be determined whether the Yucca site is safe and can be licensed.

The Heck amendment “takes us in the wrong direction,” she said.

Support remains strong for the repository in the House, which has allocated funding each year to revive the project only to have it zeroed out in the Senate. A $30.4 billion energy spending bill being debated this week includes $20 million to resume Yucca Mountain licensing and $5 million for Nevada counties.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Nye County residents honored as Nevada heroes

Throughout the disruption and chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been everyday citizens doing incredible work to help their communities through these difficult times, giving countless hours and endless energy in the mission to keep people safe, healthy and connected and Nevada Health Response is striving to ensure those actions do not go unnoticed.

PVYA goes virtual for 2020

Pahrump Valley Youth Activities was nearly forced to forego its 2020 Summer Camp due to the COVID-19 pandemic but through a partnership with the NyE Communities Coalition, the beloved annual event has been saved and will now take place virtually, helping keep both participants and staff safe and healthy.

Nye County Commission meetings and certain offices reopen to public

On Tuesday, June 2, the Nye County Commission held its first meeting with in-person public attendance since early March, when the governor declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak and issued an emergency directive banning gatherings of more than 10 people.

Optimizing your freezer saves time and money

Freezing food saves time by reducing grocery store runs and money when you purchase sale items in quantity. Make the most of your investment by using your freezer to its full potential.

Pahrump’s Leslie Street freshly paved, county to tackle finish work

Leslie Street in the Pahrump Valley has a fresh new coat of asphalt, with paving of the 1-mile stretch between Irene Street and Basin Avenue concluding as of June 1. There is, however, still some finishing work to be done before the project is complete, tasks that, just as the prep work conducted before the paving was laid, will be handled by Nye County Public Works crews.

Three die in Inyo County crash

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services crews responded to several fatal vehicle crashes last weekend.

Ford warns against utility imposter scams

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford on Friday advised Nevadans to watch out for utility imposter phone scams as local businesses reopen.

Sisolak approves plan for tests, labs, contact tracing

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Monday, June 1 announced the approval of a comprehensive community-based testing, laboratory analysis and contact tracing plan to support efforts to reopen Nevada’s economy.

Study shows record high rates of food insecurity

One in three children will experience food insecurity this year because of the COVID-19, according to the annual Map the Meal Gap study released Tuesday by Three Square Food Bank.