Energy chief: Don't 'linger' over Yucca decision

Energy Secretary Steven Chu pledged Tuesday to proceed with the termination of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository despite mounting resistance in Congress.

"We believe we do have the legal authority to do this," Chu said following his keynote address at a conference held by the Energy Information Administration and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. "There are members of Congress who don't, so we've agreed to have our lawyers get together with their lawyers to hash that out."

Earlier this year, Chu appointed a commission to explore alternatives to the Yucca Mountain facility. He has insisted that the commission's mandate is to reconsider all aspects of the "back-end fuel question," not just relocate the waste repository elsewhere. But some lawmakers are wary of the decision because states might not approve new power plants without a permanent solution to waste storage.

Chu reiterated Tuesday morning that his plans to abort the Yucca Mountain facility will not be derailed by congressional resistance.

"We are taking steps to end [Yucca Mountain] because... we see no point in it. It's spending a lot of money," he said. "It's very important that we not linger around this decision. It's been made, and we want to go forward and move into the future."

When asked about a price on carbon, Chu conceded that the Obama administration must take the state of the economy into account as they chart a way forward on energy. "I think one has to be very, very careful about putting this price on while we're still in a deep recession," he said.

But the instability of the economy should not be exaggerated, he added. "Look, the signs are very good, the GDP in the last two quarters has increased for the first time, the unemployment figures have stabilized and are beginning to come back," Chu said. "We have to make sure that the unemployment figures go down over the next coming quarters. That's the most important thing and what the administration's focused on."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.