ACTION ALERT: House vote expected next week on Shimkus Bill to Re-Start Yucca Mt.

A vote is finally expected on the controversial H.R. 3053, the NUCLEAR WASTE POLICY ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2017.  This bill is authored by Rep. John Shimkus (D.16 IL.), and has 7 Illinois co-sponsors at present, mostly those with nuclear plants in their districts or close ties to Exelon.  Action on the bill had been postponed due to the recent massacre in Las Vegas.

This bill would provide funds and plans to restart the demonstrably faulty Yucca Mt. project in Nevada; and would also begin the process and funding of “centralized interim storage” (CIS) facilities – allegedly “temporary” high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) storage facilities — operated by private companies (Illinois may be a potential candidate for one, BTW).  Several sites are being targeted in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.  Both the Yucca project and the CIS facilities would result in massive numbers of shipments of spent reactor fuel traversing  the nation’s deficient roads and rails, and possibly waterways.  More detailed information and proposed transport route maps can be found on the NEIS Literature Page, and on the Beyond Nuclear site.

A letter of opposition was sent to Rep. Shimkus earlier this summer, and co-signed by more than 40 national and regional safe-energy and environmental groups including NRDC, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Beyond Nuclear, NIRS and of course, NEIS.  An updated version is in formation, and will be circulated soon to organizations, urging them to co-sign.  Recently, Sierra Club national set up a sign-on page in opposition to H.R.3053.  Sierra Club members are urged to use this page to register your opposition.

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ACTION ALERT! – Stop H.R. 3053 – Shimkus Bill Re-Starts Yucca Mt., build CIS facilities; House vote expected next week

A vote is finally expected on the controversial H.R. 3053, the NUCLEAR WASTE POLICY ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2017.  This bill is authored by Rep. John Shimkus (D.16 IL.), and has 7 Illinois co-sponsors at present, mostly those with nuclear plants in their districts or close ties to Exelon.  Action on the bill had been postponed due to the recent massacre in Las Vegas.

This bill would provide funds and plans to restart the demonstrably faulty Yucca Mt. project in Nevada; and would also begin the process and funding of “centralized interim storage” (CIS) facilities – allegedly “temporary” high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) storage facilities — operated by private companies (Illinois may be a potential candidate for one, BTW).  Several sites are being targeted in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.  Both the Yucca project and the CIS facilities would result in massive numbers of shipments of spent reactor fuel traversing  the nation’s deficient roads and rails, and possibly waterways.  More detailed information and proposed transport route maps can be found on the NEIS Literature Page, and on the Beyond Nuclear site.

A letter of opposition was sent to Rep. Shimkus earlier this summer, and co-signed by more than 40 national and regional safe-energy and environmental groups including NRDC, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Beyond Nuclear, NIRS and of course, NEIS.  An updated version is in formation, and will be circulated soon to organizations, urging them to co-sign.  Recently, Sierra Club national set up a sign-on page in opposition to H.R.3053.  Sierra Club members are urged to use this page to register your opposition.

What You Can Do:
  • Contact your federal representative (Capitol Switchboard is (202)224-3121), urging him/her to oppose H.R.3053, or any legislation that calls for a Yucca Mt. re-start or construction of a CIS facility.
  • Tell your reps to SUPPORT “HOSS”- hardened onsite storage of high-level radioactive wastes as a better alternative.
  • Make sure to add “comments” to any news accounts in print, online, or on radio/TV, urging opposition Yucca and CIS funding and construction, and promoting HOSS instead.

ACTION ALERT! – Stop H.R. 3053 – Shimkus Bill to Re-Start Yucca Mt., build CIS facilities; House vote expected next week;  also Support H.R. 3671 – Tulsi Gabbard’s 100% Renewables Bill

Oppose H.R. 3053:

This bill would provide funds and plans to restart the faulty Yucca Mt. project in Nevada; and would also begin the process and funding of “centralized interim storage” (CIS) facilities operated by private companies.  Several sites are being targeted in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.  Both the Yucca project and the CIS facilities would result in massive numbers of shipments of spent reactor fuel on the nation’s deficient roads and rails.  More detailed information and proposed transport route maps can be found on the NEIS Literature Page, and on the Beyond Nuclear site.

What You Can Do:
  • Contact your federal representative (Capitol Switchboard is (202)224-3121), urging him/her to oppose H.R.3053, or any legislation that calls for a Yucca Mt. re-start or construction of a CIS facility.
  • Tell your reps to SUPPORT “HOSS”- hardened onsite storage of high-level radioactive wastes as a better alternative.
  • Make sure to add “comments” to any news accounts in print, online, or on radio/TV opposing Yucca and CIS funding and construction, and promoting HOSS instead.

 

Support R. 3671 – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s “Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act”:

Recently introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D.-2, HI), this bill:

  • Calls for transition away from fossil fuel sources of energy to 100 percent clean energy by 2035.
  • Has a “just transitions” provision for workers in the fossil fuels industries.
  • Is co-sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-9, IL).
What You Can Do:
  • Contact your federal representative (Capitol Switchboard is (202)224-3121), urging him/her to support H.R.3671.
  • Ask your Rep to introduce an amendment to expand the “just transitions” section to include nuclear plant workers and communities.

ACTION ALERT!

If you believe in safe energy and a less-nuclear world, we ask you to take immediate action on two urgent issues described below.

Actions in Springfield  threaten to take away some of the hard-won renewable energy gains of the last year, as the proposed Gov. Rauner budget calls for “sweeping” dedicated renewable energy funds as part of his proposed budget balancing fix.

In Washington D.C. Rep. John Shimkus’ (R. IL-15) again proposes re-starting the flawed Yucca Mt. site in Nevada for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLRW); and promote unnecessary private “centralized interim storage” (CIS) radwaste facilities in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico – over strong local objection.  While it’s tempting to want to get HLRW out of communities like Zion ASAP, prematurely sending it to flawed or unnecessary facilities like these is both dangerous and uneconomic; and increases the risks from transportation accidents in communities that have nothing to do with nuclear power and waste currently, while senselessly contaminating additional new sites around the nation that will ultimately have to be cleaned up.  This is simply dumb energy policy, designed to “unconstipate” the dying nuclear power industry at ratepayer and taxpayer expense.

 Please take these action steps listed below to oppose these dangerous and RE/EE-threatening plans.  You can find the “active links” for this Alert posted on the NEIS website homepage at www.neis.org

STOP THE RAUNER SWEEPS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY FUNDS:

This in from our friends and colleagues at the Illinois Environmental Council:

Governor Rauner has called state legislators into special session from June 21 to June 30 to address the state’s budget crisis.  The Governor has endorsed the Senate Republican budget plan that would “sweep” hundreds of millions of dollars from clean energy and conservation funds.

We need to oppose this newly introduced budget for several important reasons:

Clean Energy Programs Would Be Devastated.

Last December, legislators with the Governor’s support passed the Future Energy Jobs Act.  A critical piece of this law was the designation of approximately $185 million remaining in the state’s Renewable Energy Resources Fund (RERF) to be used for the Illinois Solar for All Program.  Legislators committed that the RERF dollars would be used to ensure that new solar development would occur in economically disadvantaged communities and a training pipeline would be set up to provide solar  jobs in these areas.  The Senate GOP proposal (SB 2217) would sweep every dollar from this program.  Incredibly, less than a year after creating the Illinois Solar for All Program, the legislature would take the RERF funds and end the program.

IEC and the organizations we represent understand that Illinois is facing a serious budget crisis and the legislature must move decisively to solve this problem.  However, a budget solution should be sustainable. Relying on one-time fund transfers is not sustainable and sets the state up for another year of deficit spending.  By using fund sweeps, the state would be “robbing Peter to pay Paul” – funding some programs by devastating others.

Take action here to ask legislators to pass a budget the protects the Future Energy Jobs Act and leaves special funds alone! ( to get the contact info for your state legislators, go to

http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx ).

STOP THE SHIMKUS HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE CON-JOB

Contact your U.S. Representative ASAP! Oppose the Mobile Chernobyl U.S. House bill before the full House Energy & Commerce Committee

Last week, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), succeeded in rushing his “Screw Nevada” Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump legislation through the Environment and Economy Subcommittee he chairs.  Now the bill moves on to the full U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Full committee markup is currently expected to take place Wed., June 28th.

If passed there, it would then move on to the full House floor for consideration. If ultimately passed into law, H.R.3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017, would launch unprecedented thousands of truck, train, and/or barge shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel, through 45 states, bound for Nevada. These shipments would pass through the heart of many major cities. They would pass through 370 of the 435 congressional districts in the U.S.!

Each shipment represents a potential Mobile Chernobyl, Floating Fukushima, or Dirty Bomb on Wheels risk, whether due to severe accident or intentional attack. Even “routine” or “incident-free” shipments have been called “Mobile X-ray machines that can’t be turned off,” given the hazardous gamma radiation they would emit, and expose persons to, who get too close (as by living along the shipping route, getting stuck next to a shipment in traffic, etc.).

Please take action and contact your U.S. Representative via the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 225-3121, or look up your U.S. Representative’s direct office phone number, fax number, web form/email, and/or snail mail (enter your ZIP and click <GO> in upper right corner, then follow the links to your Representative’s website, and contact info. posted there). Urge your U.S. Representative to block this dangerous legislation, by voting against it and urging their U.S. House colleagues to do the same.

The bill would also expedite the opening of centralized interim storage sites for radioactive waste in Texas and/or New Mexico, multiplying Mobile Chernobyl risks. And Energy Secretary Rick Perry just dropped a bombshell proposal this week, at a U.S. House hearing, to also do interim storage at the Nevada Nuclear Weapons Test Site, before ultimately burying the wastes at Yucca, all against the state’s will, without its consent. For more background information and actions, see our Yucca Mountain website section.