CONTACT: Ranit Schmelzer
Thursday, June 20, 2002
June 19, 2002

Washington, DC -- Senate Republicans today made a second attempt in one week to speed through legislation to send 100,000 radioactive shipments of nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who strongly opposes the legislation and rejected the proposal, made the following statement:

"Senate Republicans have demonstrated how misguided their priorities are by making another attempt to ram through a bill catering to power companies - and to do so while the Senate is considering the Department of Defense authorization bill.

"Passing the defense bill and providing for the well-being of our armed services in the middle of a war is a greater priority than protecting the special interests of the nuclear industry. Americans want Congress to address real domestic problems such as the need for affordable prescription drugs and quality schools, not waste time and money appeasing the nuclear power industry.

"The proponents of the nuclear waste bill know they can bring it up on the Senate floor at any time. The law allowing its expedited consideration was written long ago for the nuclear utilities.

"This bill will not solve anything. It will only create 100,000 new problems in nearly every state in the form of radioactive shipments on highways and railways, creating a multitude of terrorist targets. And it will create a multi-billion-dollar boondoggle on an earthquake fault in Nevada."

A previous attempt by Republicans and the nuclear industry to get Senate consideration of the nuclear waste bill on June 19 was rejected by Senator Daschle and subsequently withdrawn. Today's second attempt by Republicans for a Unanimous Consent agreement was also rejected and withdrawn.

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