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President Clinton Keeps His Promise

April 25, 2000

Statement of Amy Shollenberger, Senior Policy Analyst, Public Citizen?s Critical Mass Energy Project, on the President?s Veto of Nuclear Waste Bill:
President Clinton Keeps His Promise

Good afternoon. My name is Amy Shollenberger, and I am a policy analyst for the Critical Mass Energy Project of Public Citizen, a non-profit research, lobbying and litigation organization founded in 1971 by Ralph Nader. Public Citizen advocates for consumer protection and for government and corporate accountability, and is supported by more than 150,000 members throughout the United States.

I am thrilled to be here today to celebrate the president?s imminent veto of S. 1287, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2000, which is scheduled to happen later this evening. This legislation is irresponsible and unnecessary, and we thank President Clinton for his decision to stand strong against the nuclear industry?s attempts to push this bill through the legislative process.

Of course, we also want to recognize the hard work and dedication of Nevada?s congressional delegation: Senators Reid and Bryan, and Representatives Berkeley and Gibbons. Their work behind the scenes and on the Senate and House floors helped to secure the 34 Senate and 167 House votes that will guarantee that President Clinton?s veto will be sustained. Finally, we would like to thank each and every member of Congress who voted against this bill, and who plan to vote against it again if it returns to the legislative floors.

This irresponsible legislation would allow for temporary storage of nuclear waste as early as 2006 ? launching the largest nuclear waste shipping campaign in the history of the world ? with waste travelling through 43 states for 25 years, past the homes and workplaces of 50 million Americans. We must not allow this needless endangerment of so many Americans, and we must not allow the nuclear industry to continue to produce its deadly waste. This industry promised us energy that was too cheap to meter, but instead, it has produced a mountain of waste that is too expensive to clean up. Now the industry is expecting consumers and taxpayers to pay the price of cleaning up this nuclear nightmare by jeopardizing the health of their children and grandchildren.

We must insist that the nuclear industry take responsibility for the legacy of toxic garbage that it has produced. We must insist that our lawmakers reexamine our energy policy and recalculate the true cost of nuclear power. Finally, we must ensure that this all-important veto is sustained when the legislation goes back to the Senate.

Thank you once again to President Clinton, to the Nevada delegation and to all of you who have fought so hard to stop radioactive waste from rolling along our roads and rails.