In Yucca Mountain Approval, Senators Bow to Nuclear Industry; Fight Will Continue
Statement of Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook

Contact: Angela Bradbery (202) 588-7741 or Lisa Gue (202) 454-5130
July 9, 2002

Today's decision by the U.S. Senate to give a green light to the potentially disastrous Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump is disappointing, but we are pleased that more senators than ever - 39 - voted against it.

Still, this outcome was not unexpected, given that the nuclear industry spent millions of dollars to buy ads, contribute to politicians' campaigns and hire lobbyists to twist arms. In fact, senators and senatorial candidates took more than $5 million from the nuclear power industry in political action committee contributions from 1997 through February 2002. This vote was paid for, and records likely will show more contributions poured into campaign coffers in recent weeks. With today's vote, lawmakers have not only succumbed to industry influence but have again failed to check the Bush administration's inappropriate coziness with the energy industries.

Ahead of us are regulatory, legislative and legal battles. We hope common sense will prevail, because there are plenty of issues to be addressed:

We applaud the efforts and leadership of Sens. Tom Daschle, Harry Reid and others. We hope they will continue to lead the fight against what is, and always will be, a terrible idea.

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