52°F
weather icon Clear

Move to strip Yucca Mountain funds fails

WASHINGTON — An amendment backed by Nevada Democrats that would have stripped money for the proposed Yucca Mountain project from a spending bill for the U.S. Department of Energy died in the House on Thursday.

The spending bill, which includes appropriations for military construction and other federal departments, contains $267 million to restart the licensing process to open the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository in Nye County, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

An amendment to strip that spending from the bill died on a voice vote.

The amendment was filed by Rep. Ruben Kihuen and supported by U.S. Rep. Dina Titus and U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, all Nevada Democrats.

A Senate spending bill approved last month does not include funding for Yucca Mountain.

Differences in the two bills must be reconciled by a House-Senate conference committee.

Commissioner responds

On Friday, Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen issued a statement.

“After a lot of press by some representatives of the state of Nevada that they would propose an amendment to delete funding for the license proceeding over the proposed nuclear waste repository, the amendment was voted down by a simple voice vote on the House floor last night and full funding was approved this morning,” he said.

“As usual, there was lots of noise from the state but no substance,” he said.

“Perhaps that is because the state leaders realize their position has no basis in fact or science. Despite what some scaremongers have said, the funding will be used to restart the licensing process to determine if Yucca Mountain meets the safety standards.

“This process will give the state of Nevada a chance to prove its contention that the repository is unsafe,” Schinhofen said. “To repeat, while there is an overwhelming consensus by every reputable government and non-government funded scientist that the repository at Yucca Mountain can be built and operated safely, Congress is providing funding to allow the state of Nevada one more opportunity to make its case.”

Schinhofen said: “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the leadership of the state would reject the offer to have the fate of Yucca Mountain be decided on the facts and the science. I am also disappointed that the leaders of the state are so willing to ignore the wishes of the nine local counties that voted to hear the science, and instead spend taxpayer money on out-of-state law firms to delay the inevitable.”

“If the state would work with Nye County and the other affected counties we could concentrate on safety, transportation routes that avoid Las Vegas and provide jobs and other benefits to the people in Nevada,” Schinhofen stated.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Health Expert: Spread of the Coronavirus not as virulent in the US

The spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 69,000 people globally and led to more than 1,600 deaths, may not be as impactful in the U.S. as it has been in China, where the virus is thought to have originated. Over a dozen people have tested positive in the U.S. as of mid-February, according to the World Health Organization.

Hearts for the homeless

Ashlin Banning, just 8 years old, is trying her best to make a difference with the homeless here in the valley.

Nevada state employee harassment claims increase 50%

Despite a task force created to address the problem of workplace sexual harassment, the number of claims filed by state employees has increased by more than 50 percent.

Nevada Census grants available to fund materials, outreach

The Nevada Complete Count Committee is now rolling out its 2020 census administrative support and partnership grant applications, aimed at helping provide cash to organizations and entities working on the 2020 census.

Troublesome tumbleweeds create chaos

Pahrump resident Betty Robison was blown away when she peered out the window of her East Mt. Charleston Drive home last week.

In Season: Start seeds now for a spring and summer harvest

This is an exciting time of year for the vegetable gardener. Seeds started over the next few weeks will be providing you with a bounty in just a few short months. Seed starting is easier than you may think if you follow a few simple steps.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, Feb. 12 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $8 million.

Nevada panel approves more money to protect governor

The Interim Finance Committee approved an additional $15,500 to cover additional costs related to protecting Gov. Steve Sisolak, who travels more frequently than his predecessor.