Energy Secretary nominee Granholm comments on Yucca Mountain

January 28, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

Granholm. Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Jennifer Granholm, President Joe Biden’s nominee for energy secretary, told a Congressional panel that the administration disapproves of Yucca Mountain as the country’s nuclear waste repository, preferring a consent-based strategy as proposed by President Barack Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.

“The administration opposes the use of Yucca Mountain for the storage of nuclear waste,” Granholm told Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nev.), during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on January 27.

Granholm, a Democrat, served two terms as Michigan governor from 2003 to 2011. According to reports, Granholm was twice considered a candidate to be energy secretary under President Obama, but ultimately was not picked.

Blue Ribbon approach: In response to questions by Sen. Angus King (I., Maine) regarding U.S. spent nuclear fuel, Granholm said, “It is clearly a very sticky situation and we have to maybe look at what the Blue Ribbon Commission did on this, which was to engage with some consensus strategies that will allow us to determine where that waste will go.”

Consent-based siting: During the hearing, Cortez Masto said that Nevada’s entire congressional delegation plans to reintroduce legislation on a consent-based siting process, as recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission, to include Nevada. Asked if she would support such legislation, Granholm said, “Absolutely.”

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