With all of the money spent and time attending school, you would think that President Obama would have a better understanding of the law. He supposedly was a lawyer, professor teaching law, a Senator and now President. Quite a resume for someone that isn’t able to show any of those traits. Now, the Federal Appeals Court is saying that he is violating more laws.
The Obama administration is now delaying a law that was enacted by Congress “without any legal basis”. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) move to delay a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada.
The Blaze/AP is reporting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, has voted 2-1 in favor of ordering the NRC to finish the licensing process for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) application for a waste disposal site at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain facility.
The Court issued a “sharply worded” opinion that the NRC was “simply flouting the law” when it has allowed the Obama administration to continue plans to close the facility, against a federal law designating Yucca Mountain as the nation’s nuclear waste repository.
“The President may not decline to follow a statutory mandate or prohibition simply because of policy objections,” Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh wrote in a majority opinion. This follows the delay of more Obamacare requirements that were passed into law by Congress.
In Kavanaugh’s opinion, “It is no overstatement to say that our constitutional system of separation of powers would be significantly altered if we were to allow executive and independent agencies to disregard the federal law in the manner asserted in this case by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The commission is simply defying a law enacted by Congress…without any legal basis.”
A spokesperson for the NRC had said Tuesday, that the commission is reviewing the decision but declined to give any further statement.
The decision was applauded by supporters of the facility. The Yucca Mountain facility has been a bone of contention for 30 years. $15 billion has been spent on the facility but has never been completed and there hasn’t been any waste stored there.
Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, said, “Currently we do not have funding.” He said that the Yucca Mountain project is at “a complete stalemate” and doesn’t see that it will be changing anytime soon.
Alan Wilson, A.G. for South Carolina, said, “This decision reaffirms a fundamental truth: The President is not above the law.” The administration “cannot pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore.”
South Carolina and Washington state are among parties of a lawsuit, trying to force the NRC to make a ruling on the facilities application. Both South Carolina and Washington have large nuclear waste sites that would use the facility to dispose of their waste.
In 2011, Harry Reid (D-NV) Senate Majority Leader, pushed the Obama administration to abandon the Yucca Mountain project. Funding for the project has all but been eliminated and the NRC allowed the shutdown to stand, citing “budgetary limitations”. Reid said, “This isn’t even a bump in the road. This without being disrespectful to the court, means nothing,” referring to the Courts decision. He said that it is unlikely that Congress will restore any funding for the project.
Reid has been a long time opponent of the project. He mirrors what was an almost unanimous decision by elected Nevada officials against the facility. The project has been supported by lawmakers in many other states as a crucial part of commercial nuclear operations. Last month 335 House members voted to boost funding for the facility in a larger spending bill on energy and water.
Washington and other states expect the NRC to conduct “a fair and objective processing of the Yucca Mountain licensing application and look forward to a decision on the merits of the application,” Attorney General of Washington, Bob Ferguson said.
He added that, “Our attorneys presented a strong case that the federal government just follow the laws passed by Congress and the court agreed.”
Judge Garland, Chief of the Appeals Court, wrote a dissenting decision, saying that Congress has already spoken on Yucca Mountain by rejecting funding for it. The decision “will indeed direct the Nuclear Regulatory Decision to do a useless thing.”
Although, no one wants nuclear waste in their backyard, It is interesting to note that the judges who backed the Yucca Mountain decision, were appointed by Republican presidents and Garland by a Democrat.