8:56 PM EDT
Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ 11th

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I strongly support, Mr. Chairman, the Shimkus-Inslee amendment.

This administration's Yucca Mountain policy has been, at best, irresponsible with the taxpayers' time and treasure. Most Members in this room have voted many times in support of this project. For years, we supported it as the law of the land, and ensured that the scientific review process continued so we could understand how good the site was.

Despite more than the $15 billion already spent on the site or the more than $16 billion in potential fines that the taxpayer is facing because the administration has not fulfilled its responsibility to take spent fuel off the hands of so many utilities, this administration has persisted in a backroom political deal to shut down the project. Yet, despite the administration's best efforts to hide from the public the inconvenient facts, we now know that the science does support Yucca Mountain as

a long-term geological repository. The NRC's review, which was virtually complete when the administration pulled the plug, apparently shows that the site can safely store the fuel for thousands and thousands of years if that is necessary.

Even in the face of this, the administration hasn't changed its position. We can only keep the pressure on and trust that good policy and good science will eventually overcome bad politics. We need to finish the Yucca Mountain license application so that we as a Nation can take into account all of the facts as we determine the future of nuclear energy in this country.

I want to thank the gentlemen, both Mr. Inslee and Mr. Shimkus--members of the authorizing committee.

I had an opportunity, as an observer, to attend Mr. Shimkus' subcommittee. May I say I was impressed by how the gentleman from Illinois questioned the NRC commissioners, and particularly the chairman, on some of the very questions the gentleman from Illinois and other Members have raised.

I want to commend you for your vigor and for your astuteness and for coming to the floor with this very important amendment.

I would be happy to yield, unless he cares to have his own time, to the ranking member, the gentleman from Indiana.