U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

12/02/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/02/2020 10:30

Committee Approves Nuclear Infrastructure Legislation at Business Meeting

Click hereto watch Chairman Barrasso's remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a committee business meeting.

At the business meeting, the committee advanced a substitute amendment to S. 4897, American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020, and 8 General Services Administration resolutions.

To watch the full business meeting, click here.

Senator Barrasso's remarks:

'Today, we will consider the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020 and eight General Services Administration resolutions.

'Last month, I introduced the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act with Senators Whitehouse, Crapo, and Booker.

'I want to thank all of them for their efforts to craft this important legislation.

'I also want to thank Ranking Member Carper for working with all of us to draft a substitute amendment that I believe will improve the bill.

'I also want to thank Senator Capito, who cosponsored the bill as well.

'The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act will promote U.S. international leadership, preserve America's nuclear fuel supply chain, prevent more carbon emissions from entering our atmosphere, and it will protect our economic, our energy, and our national security.

'Advanced nuclear technologies will be safer, smaller, and more flexible.

'These designs will provide additional reliable, clean electricity in addition to the nuclear power that is available today.

'The bill supports pioneers who are developing new ways to generate nuclear power.

'It also supports innovators who are exploring new ways to use it.

'We can further reduce our emissions and strengthen our security by incentivizing new technologies that allow for nuclear power to be used beyond the electricity sector.

'Deploying new nuclear reactors will provide enormous environmental benefits.

'Innovation - not government regulations and taxes - is the best way to address climate change.

'American uranium should fuel America's nuclear reactors.

'Wyoming is the leading uranium producer in the United States.

'But American producers continue to be threatened by our foreign adversaries.

'Russia and its allies have unfairly flooded the global uranium market with cheap nuclear fuel.

'This hurts our businesses and it costs jobs.

'The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act establishes a national uranium reserve.

'The reserve will ensure that America is not dependent on our rivals for our nuclear fuel.

'Two years ago, this committee worked to pass the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act with overwhelming bipartisan support.

'I introduced the bill with Senators Whitehouse, Inhofe, Booker, Capito, Manchin, Crapo, and Fischer.

'A bipartisan group of 11 additional members, including Senators Carper, Rounds, and Duckworth also joined as cosponsors.

'That bill laid the foundation for the development of safety rules that govern new advanced nuclear technologies.

'It also increased transparency and predictability in how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recovers its funding.

'President Trump signed the bill into law in January 2019.

'The Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to implement the law.

'While we move forward with today's bill, our committee will continue to oversee how our previous bipartisan legislation is implemented.

'Again, I want to thank the members of this committee for working with me to introduce and improve the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act.

'I am going to continue to work with them as we move this legislation forward.

'Lastly, we will consider eight resolutions to approve General Services Administration prospectuses.

'These will enable federal agencies to update buildings to ensure safety and consolidate space, resulting in increased efficiency and fiscal responsibility.'

Senator Barrasso also thanked Ranking Member Carper for his partnership:

Click hereto watch Chairman Barrasso thank Ranking Member Carper.

'I want to thank you for these wonderful years working with you as a partner.

'We have introduced, written, improved, passed, and implemented laws together.

'We have done it in a cooperative, bipartisan way. I could not have had a better partner.

'I remember calling you when it looked like I was going to be chairman of the committee and asked if you were going to be the ranking member.

'We had a long discussion and said we would work together.

'We would be honest with each other, open with each other, and work to improve our environment, the public works of this country.

'With you as a partner, we've been able to do that. For the benefit of all, we've done it in a bipartisan way.

'We haven't agreed on everything, but we've always followed that Mike Enzi rule - let's leave out the stuff we don't agree on, adopt the things that we do - which is how we got 21 people to unanimously vote for water infrastructure, highway infrastructure.

'We made sure every member was heard. It's been wonderful to work with you.'

Background Information:

On November 16, 2020, Barrasso and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced bipartisan legislation to revitalize the United States' nuclear infrastructure. S. 4897, the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020, will promote U.S. international leadership, preserve America's nuclear fuel supply chain, prevent more carbon emissions from entering our atmosphere, and protect our economic, energy, and national security.

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