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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No more razzle-dazzle -- The courts stop the shakedown of the nuclear-power industry -- Editorial, The Washington Times

The courts stop the shakedown of the nuclear-power industry 

President Obama's deal-making skills usually shortchange America. He puts the world at risk by coddling an Iran loving the bomb; he requires Americans to purchase health care they don't want from a website that doesn't work. Now the administration is compelling utility companies to pay for a nuclear-waste storage site they can't use, and never will.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last week ordered the Energy Department to stop charging nuclear-power firms $750 million in annual fees to pay for the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in the wilderness of Nevada. Though more than $12 billion has been spent building the site, the administration has decided not to use it, in deference to the senior senator from Las Vegas and his decree of "not in my backyard." The court said the administration had failed to present a convincing argument for further collection of the fees, and attempting to use "the old razzle-dazzle" obscures the fact that the government has no plan to spend the money.

Laurence H. Silberman, the senior judge, wrote that the government "cannot renounce Yucca Mountain and then reasonably use its costs as a proxy" for continued collection of fees for the Nuclear Waste Fund.  After 30 years of fees and interest, the fund is brimming with nearly $30 billion, while the storage site, an enormous hole in a desert mountainside, remains empty. "The government was hoist on its own petard," Judge Silberman said.

The appeals court had ruled in August that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been in breach of federal law for its refusal to complete a final review of the Yucca Mountain site. Like a naughty child fearing a scolding, the commission restarted the review process the day before the court slapped down the Energy Department for its dodgy fee-collection scheme.

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