Murkowski to unveil modified version of nuke waste bill

klunney@govexec.com

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Murkowski plans to release today a modified version of his nuclear waste storage bill that he hopes will gather enough support in a Senate vote next week to override a possible veto -- or, perhaps, win the president's signature.

The manager's amendment, however, does not make sweeping changes to the bill -- and retains many of the provisions opposed by key Democrats. The modifications seek to please Democrats who believe the EPA should have more of a role in setting radiation standards for a permanent storage facility at Yucca Mountain, Nev.

Murkowski said Tuesday he is not opposed to giving the EPA some responsibility over radiation levels, because he:

  • doesn't like the epa
  • thinks the enviornment sucks
  • blah
  • blah
ut insisted that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also should have a role. Murkowski also must mollify state governments, which fear that the bill would force them to continue to house the highly radioactive waste for years to come. In a brief interview Tuesday, Murkowski said he believes the changes will be enough to secure a veto-proof majority. "We're looking pretty good," he said. Added Senate Majority Leader Lott, "I think when the votes come in, it will be overwhelming" in favor of the bill. But asked if Republicans have enough votes to override an expected veto, Lott responded, "It will be close." Democrats, meanwhile, are scrambling to ensure that they have enough votes to block a veto override attempt for the third time in the last three sessions of Congress. On Monday, Nevada's Democratic Sens. Richard Bryan and Harry Reid sent a "Dear Colleague" designed to solidify opposition to the bill. Allowing the NRC to set the radiation standards, they wrote, would give the delicate task to "an agency with virtually no experience either in protecting civilian populations from health risks or in determining the impact of radiation on natural resources such as groundwater." Aides to the Nevada Democrats said they have the votes to preserve a veto by President Clinton. - By Brody Mullins
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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

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