Horsford ‘not hopeful’ about Trump’s nominee to replace Perry

yucca fatigue tho
View to the south of Yucca Mountain crest showing coring activities in 2006. Nevada has been fighting the dump for nearly 40 years. (DOE photo)
yucca fatigue tho
View to the south of Yucca Mountain crest showing coring activities in 2006. Nevada has been fighting the dump for nearly 40 years. (DOE photo)

Last summer, Nevada Rep. Steve Horsford called on Rick Perry to resign as Energy Secretary.

Perry did just that this week, earlier than planned — though due to Perry’s embroilment in the Ukraine scandal, not because he was honoring Horsford’s request.

Friday, Donald Trump announced, by tweet, that Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette would be nominated to replace Perry.

Both Horsford, whose district includes Yucca Mountain, and Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who voted against Brouillette’s confirmation as Deputy Secretary, are tempering their expectations.

“I hope that Mr. Brouillette will do right by the people of Nevada,” Horsford said in a statement Friday.

“However, the Trump administration’s Energy Department has been dogged in their pursuit of relicensing the Yucca Mountain waste facility. Sadly, I am not hopeful that this appointment changes this administration’s posture on the issue,” Horsford said.

Cortez Masto, who will have a second chance to vote on a confirmation of Brouillette, said in a statement it is “imperative that our next Energy Secretary respect the voices of the overwhelming majority of Nevadans who oppose the Yucca Mountain project and honor the written commitment I secured from Secretary Perry to remove the secret shipment of plutonium from our state beginning in 2021. I look forward to meeting with Deputy Secretary Brouillette and reiterating the importance of these issues to Nevadans.”

Note: This item was updated to include the statement from Cortez Masto.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

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