NRC nominees advance in Senate - The Political Eye. The prospective new chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission took a step closer Thursday to becoming Senate-confirmed.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved Allison Macfarlane to lead the nuclear safety agency, where she would replace Gregory Jaczko, who announced last month he was resigning after a tumultuous run as chairman. Macfarlane's nomination was sent to the full Senate, which is expected by the end of the month to confirm her. A geologist by profession and an expert on nuclear waste, Macfarlane is associate professor of environmental science at George Mason University. Macfarlane was approved by voice vote among committee members, although Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., asked to be noted as voting yes, and Sen. During Macfarlane's confirmation hearing last week, Sessions said he was concerned about her lack of management experience and wondered how she would handle an agency of more than 4,000 people.
The Thing That Couldn't Die: Yucca Battle Continues in Congress and in the Courts. In the 1958 cult horror classic The Thing That Couldn’t Die, a young lass out water-witching (of all things) discovers a curious and ancient box–one that, whether you follow the conventions of the genre or the entreaties of the film’s internal expert, should obviously remain closed.
But, as these things are wont to go, greed and ambition get the better of a few mere mortals, and the box is breached, revealing the intact–and living! –head of a sorcerer executed hundreds of years earlier. The wayward wizard then uses his telepathic powers to manipulate some of the more foolish, godless humans to unearth the rest of his body so that it might be reunited with the head and realize the full force of its destructive powers. It is hard not to think of this black and white bubbe meise while reviewing the most recent chapters in the battle over the future of the partially excavated, purportedly moribund Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in southwestern Nevada.
But it doesn’t. The Thing That Couldn't Die: Yucca Battle Continues in Congress and in the Courts. Watching Barack Obama deliver his jobs speech Thursday in Holland, MI, I couldn’t help but wonder if the president had read Drew Westen’s critique in last weekend’s New York Times.
Under the headline “What Happened to Obama?” Westen, an Emory University psychology professor and Democratic communications guru of a sort, tried to divine the source of the Obama administration’s trouble. The seeds were sown, Westen explains, in the opening minutes of the presidency, as Obama delivered his inaugural address. As Westen recounts (in words remarkably similar to ones I’ve used in the past), Obama’s speech failed to tell the story of the disaster that had befallen America during the Bush years: That story would have made clear that the president understood that the American people had given Democrats the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress to fix the mess the Republicans and Wall Street had made of the country, and that this would not be a power-sharing arrangement. ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIONS 2012. Current NIRS Actions!
Essential things you can do to help build a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy future. Prevent radioactive waste from entering consumer marketplace. Tell DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz to make existing moratorium permanent, not release radioactive material. Support Japanese woman threatened with prosecution for "crime" of advising people, especially families with children, to leave contaminated areas near Fukushima. Sign petition here. Ask your LOCAL officials to support larger nuclear evacuation zones; better planning. Urgent action. Solar/wind or nukes/coal? Help close the dangerous Indian Point reactors near New York City! Note: NIRS relies on contributions from people who use and/or appreciate our services. Obama names nominee to head nuclear agency - Defense.
Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans Press Release. House GOP scuttles face-off with outgoing nuke agency chief - The Hill's E2-Wire. House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans have shelved a planned showdown this week with outgoing Democratic Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko.
The GOP, citing upcoming Senate action on the embattled Jaczko’s replacement and the re-nomination of Republican NRC member Kristine Svinicki, are postponing the May 31 hearing with all five NRC commissioners. “Given the swift movement on nominations and the apparent wind down of Chairman Jaczko’s current tenure at NRC, we’ve decided to pause until there is more clarity on the chairmanship of the NRC. We welcome the recent signals coming from the White House and Senate that the re-nomination of Kristine Svinicki and the closeout of the Jaczko era will be fast tracked,” said Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and other top Republicans on the panel in a joint statement. 2012 April « limitless life. By Jason Walsh and Kate Gordon Last year threw into stark relief America’s interlinked economic, energy security, and climate crises.
On the economic front Americans called out those lawmakers who work relentlessly to build an economy that works for the wealthy few rather than for all of us, but faced determined resistance from conservatives bent on preserving the status quo. At the same time our nation’s debilitating dependence on fossil fuels and the damages caused by climate disruption became ever more obvious. Yet here too conservative resistance was implacable. Backed by climate-science deniers and opponents of clean energy-generously funded by their industry backers-conservatives ramped up their campaign of disinformation about dirty energy to push their pollution-promoting policy advocacy work in Washington and around the nation.
The result: seemingly insurmountable gridlock. And yet 2011 also was a year of historic clean energy investments. The U.S. But we need to do much more.