Congress ' Most Influential Policy Blunder

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Aside from the decision to assign the project to the DOE in the first place, Congress’ most influential policy blunder was picking the Yucca Mountain site and leaving no back ups or alternatives through the NWPAA. It was done before the DOE had even finished evaluating all of its potential sites as Congress had tasked it through the original NWPA. This decision by Congress is what ultimately led to reports of falsified scientific documents as the DOE was essentially forced by the NWPAA to make due with any issues they found at Yucca or face losing the entire federal nuclear repository project. Had the DOE been both capable of and allowed to finish its own siting of the repository it would have likely kept the decision open until scientific…show more content…
In reality what the EPA had done was set a site-specific performance standard, based on what qualifications they knew would be compatible with Yucca instead of setting a general performance standard based on safety and science (Ewing & Hippel, 2009). This superficial performance standard was in part responsible for the shut down of Yucca Mountain as its authenticity and scientific accuracy came into question along with the report of falsified documents. The decision in the NWPAA to pick Yucca Mountain without any real selection process created one of the biggest altercations between groups and organizations interested in this policy. By picking a site in Nevada, a state with no nuclear reactors and a strong majority opinion against the construction of a repository, Congress pitted the entire state against the federal government and other states. Nevada residents are so opposed to the completion of the facility, polled at 76% in 2007 (Las Vegas Review-Journal), that it has become a requirement of anyone hoping to hold federal office in the state to feel the same sentiment. Because of this governors, senators, and representatives from Nevada all view the permanent closing of Yucca as a priority and adamantly oppose motions that would see the facility operational. Congressmen from Nevada try
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