Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: Yucca Mountain Vote Wrong for Nevada and for the Environment

May 8, 2002

House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued the following statement this afternoon, after the House voted 306 to 117 to approve H.J. Res. 87,
Yucca Mountain Repository Site Approval Act, which overrode the veto of Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn and endorsed the use of Yucca Mountain in Nevada for storage of the nation's high-level nuclear waste. A strong opponent of the resolution, Pelosi noted that nearly 90 percent of the opposition came from Democrats, and that a majority of Democrats voted against it.

Nearly every day, the President and the Republican leadership claim that they want to keep the federal government out of people’s lives and empower states with the flexibility to govern themselves. Yet today the House voted to override the veto of a Republican governor and go against the expressed wishes of the people of Nevada.

The President has broken his promise to the people of Nevada. Before his election, he promised that the decision whether to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain would be based on sound science. The science is not sound.

The General Accounting Office has identified more than 250 significant technical issues that still need to be resolved before going ahead with Yucca Mountain. And transporting the waste puts many more communities at risk of accidents and terrorist attacks.

Nor does Yucca Mountain solve our long-term waste storage problem. By the time the repository opens, we will have enough waste to fill it up, and we will have to start over again, looking for another site. We need to choose a different path. We need to develop clean, renewable energy sources that do not produce lethal waste that will endure for hundreds of thousands of years.

I am proud that a majority of my Democratic colleagues decided today to associate themselves with the aspirations of a state and to protect the environment of our country by voting against this resolution.