Trump seeks to revive Yucca after saying he was ‘very inclined to be against it’

Whitehouse.gov
"its a disgrace that we have to put up with it"
Whitehouse.gov

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s latest budget plan would spend $116 million to revive the nuclear storage program at Yucca Mountain.

The administration’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal released Monday marks Trump’s latest effort to restart licensing at the site, prompting pushback from Nevada lawmakers.

“By proposing that even more money be wasted on Yucca Mountain, Donald Trump has broken the promise he made to Nevadans during his recent visit to Elko,” said Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.).

Trump said of Yucca during an October visit to the Silver State, “I think you should do things where people want them to happen, so I would be very inclined to be against it,” Trump told KRNV-News 4, based in Reno, the Washington Post reported. “We will be looking at it very seriously over the next few weeks, and I agree with the people of Nevada.”

Still, Trump has proposed to spend millions of dollars on reviving the repository each year of his presidency, and Nevada’s lawmakers have fought back.

“Every dollar this Administration proposes to put towards the revitalization of Yucca Mountain is another dollar down a rat hole because this unsafe, unsound project should never see the light of day,” Titus said. “I will work with Governor Sisolak and my colleagues in the Nevada delegation to prevent the federal government from shoving this nuclear power company boondoggle down our throat.”

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) pledged to use his spot on the House Budget Committee to “stop the President’s proposed assault on programs that maintain the health and safety of Nevada families.”

Trump’s $4.75 trillion budget request proposes increased spending on military programs, but recommends massive cuts to domestic programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. It also requests $8.6 billion in funding for a wall along the southern U.S. border.

Horsford called that proposal a waste of money on “an ineffective and unnecessary border wall.”

He added, “To add insult to injury, the President is proposing to waste more than $116 million on Yucca Mountain’s ongoing threat to the safety of Nevada families, and to our state’s $40 billion tourism industry.”

Gov. Steve Sisolak , who with the delegation has been battling the administration over plutonium shipments to Nevada, called Trump’s Yucca funding proposal “yet another example of the federal government ignoring the will of Nevadans by attempting to shove even more unwanted toxic material down our throats.”

Robin Bravender
Robin Bravender is the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for The Newsroom, a network of state-based non-profit news outlets that includes Nevada Current.

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