The Obama administration will eliminate funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is happy about it.
Reid reported the good news to Nevadans Sunday in a statement on his website, announcing that the president had kept his word and will back away from the much-studied Yucca site. Obama had pledged not to develop it during the 2008 campaign, and Reid celebrated last year when the Obama administration decided, as it released its budget blueprint, to look for other options. Now, Reid is celebrating again, as President Obama's new budget proposal, being released today, won't include any funding for the dump.
It's a victory for Reid, who faces a tough reelection race back home, as Nevadans vociferously oppose the dump.
Here's the statement from Reid's website:
WASHINGTON, DC -- Following ongoing conversations with President Obama, Nevada Senator Harry Reid is happy to announce that the Administration will eliminate all funding for the Yucca Mountain Project and will withdraw the Energy Department's license application for the proposed dump.
Specifically, when President Obama unveils his budget on Monday, it will state:
"The Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management will be merged into the Office of Nuclear Energy. As part of the merger, funding for the proposed Yucca Mountain project will be eliminated and the Department will take steps to withdraw the license application in the near future. This reflects the Administration's commitment to pursuing a responsible, long-term strategy through the appointment of a high-level Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future."
"This is great news because it not only prevents Nevada from becoming the nation's nuclear dumping ground, it also protects hundreds of communities through which the waste would have had to travel in order to get to Yucca," Reid said. "President Obama is keeping his word to Nevada and I thank him for working with me as we try to find a safer solution for dealing with the nation's nuclear waste."