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March 08, 2017

Inhofe Opening Statement for EPW Hearing on Nuclear Innovation and Modernization Act

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee, submitted the following opening statement for the record today at the EPW hearing entitled: Legislative Hearing on S. 512, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA). Inhofe introduced NEIMA during the 114th Congress as chairman of the EPW committee. He joined Sen. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) as an original cosponsor for its reintroduction this Congress.

 Witnesses for the hearing include: Maria Korsnick, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute; Dr. Ashley Finan, policy director for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance; Dr. Tina Back, vice president of Nuclear Technologies and Materials General Atomics; Dr. Edwin Lyman, senior scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security System; and Allison Bawden, acting director for Natural Resources and Environment Government Accountability Office.

 As submitted for the record:

 I have been a strong supporter of nuclear energy since I became chair of the Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee almost 20 years ago. When I first became chair, it had been 10 years since we had an oversight hearing on the NRC and I’m pleased that we’ve been more active on this important issue since.

Nuclear energy is a vital source of clean, safe, and affordable energy that helps power this machine called America.

Last year, I worked with Senators Whitehouse, Booker, and Crapo to introduce the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act. I’m glad to see Chairman Barrasso has taken up this effort and I look forward to working with him and our other cosponsors to move this legislation.

 There isn’t much Sen. Whitehouse and I agree on but we agree about the importance of nuclear energy. This bill is a solid, bipartisan effort to modernize the NRC, and bring increased efficiency and fiscal accountability.

 Other countries like China and Russia are proceeding to develop advanced technologies regardless of what we do here in the U.S.  We cannot forgo advancements in reactor technology or we forgo our economic competitiveness and worldwide influence on nuclear non-proliferation.

 In a time when people question whether Congress still knows how to be bipartisan, this bill is proof that we can find common ground and craft important solutions to benefit the nation.

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