After turning down an invitation to the White House a week ago, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is asking President Donald Trump for a meeting to discuss the Department of Energy’s clandestine shipment of weapons-grade plutonium to Nevada, and the fate of Yucca Mountain.
“As governor, I am committed to ensuring the safety of Nevada’s citizens and the protection of the state’s unique environment and economy from the extraordinary risks posed by Yucca Mountain,” Sisolak wrote to Trump. “On behalf of Nevada’s over three million residents, I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you these matters of critical importance to my state.”
The letter comes after a back and forth between Sisolak and the administration, after Sisolak refused to attend White House events last weekend with other governors. The Trump administration told KOLO-TV the president was willing to discuss the plutonium shipments with Sisolak.
“It’s just difficult for me to go and break bread with someone that you can’t trust,” Sisolak responded. “If I can’t count on getting accurate information, what’s the sense in making the pitch to them, and having the discussion? I thought we were in the midst of discussions and negotiating in good faith, and that proved not to be the case.”
“The people of Nevada will not be taken advantage of, and fancy political receptions will not make our concerns go away. I hope the president and his administration are sincere about their willingness to address this issue, and I and look forward to hearing from the Trump administration about when we can meet,” Sisolak told KOLO.
State officials say they learned in late January of the Department of Energy’s shipment of half a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to Nevada.
Sisolak’s office did not respond to requests for comment about whether the governor now trusts the president.
The White House also did not immediately respond to questions from the Current.
On Thursday, Nevada’s delegates to the House of Representatives, Susie Lee, Steven Horsford and Dina Titus, sent a letter to Trump urging him not to include additional funding for the Yucca Mountain licensing process in his 2020 budget.
“Just last Fall, when you came to Nevada, you were asked about Yucca Mountain and said at the time, “’I think you should do things where people want them to happen, so I would be very inclined to be against it,’” Nevada’s congressional representatives wrote to the president.