January 31, 2017

Cortez Masto Statement on Energy Secretary Nominee Rick Perry

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), a member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, voted today in support of former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s nomination to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. Senator Cortez Masto met one-on-one with Governor Perry in her office earlier this month and questioned him at his recent confirmation hearing about issues including Nevada’s vocal opposition to Yucca Mountain, clean-up of the Nevada National Security Site and support for geothermal energy research.

Senator Cortez Masto issued the following statement:

“The Department of Energy plays a critical role in promoting clean energy sources, bolstering scientific research and innovation, securing our energy grid and enhancing our nuclear safety. I have my fair share of concerns about Governor Perry’s past rhetoric on the science of climate change and the overall value of the Department of Energy’s mission. However, I am encouraged by the fact that when he ran for president he stated his support for consent-based siting and spoke against Yucca Mountain, arguing that if Nevadans do not want a nuclear repository, then they should not have it.

“I pressed Governor Perry repeatedly in our private meeting and at his confirmation hearing on the issue of Yucca Mountain, reminding him that Nevada’s residents and elected officials have been clear that we will not accept our state becoming a dumping ground for the rest of the nation’s nuclear waste. While we do not see eye to eye on all issues, I believe Governor Perry understands the importance of this issue and is someone I can work with to ensure Yucca Mountain never sees the light of day. I will also work relentlessly with Governor Sandoval, Senator Heller and other key stakeholders to ensure that our message continues to be heard loud and clear in Washington. After more than 30 years, Yucca Mountain is still nothing more than a hole in the ground that would be unsafe for nuclear storage and a black hole for taxpayers.”