Washington DC – Today, Science, Space, and Technology Committee Vice Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-GA), and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD) issued the following joint statement calling for Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko to step down from his post.
In October, a bipartisan group of four NRC Commissioners sent a letter to the White House pleading for support to address Chairman Jaczko's bullying of senior NRC staff, withholding key information from the Commission, intimidating NRC technical advisors, and treating his fellow Commissioners with disrespect. This ongoing pattern of manipulation and contempt is intolerable from the chairman of an independent regulatory body responsible for ensuring the safety of America’s nuclear reactors.
A Committee Majority Staff Report released earlier this year detailed extensive concerns associated with Chairman Jaczko’s stewardship of the NRC. In particular, Chairman Jaczko unilaterally halted staff efforts to complete the decades-long scientific and technical evaluation of Yucca Mountain, and prevented the release of the Safety Evaluation Report, a critical document necessary to inform Commissioners' decisions regarding the fate of the high level waste repository. Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Issa’s report, ‘A Crisis of Leadership,’ details significant additional disturbing information regarding Chairman Jaczko's management actions and temperament.
These reports make clear that Chairman Jaczko's irresponsible behavior has become a significant detriment to the Commission's ability to function effectively. Accordingly, we call on him to resign immediately. Should Chairman Jaczko refuse to step down, we encourage President Obama to exercise his statutory authority to remove him from his duties."
Vice Chairman Sensenbrenner further stated, “Our energy security is too important to be subjected to this kind of unprofessional conduct and irresponsible management. The NRC needs new leadership that will carry out its mission rather than pander to certain political interests or interject personal disputes into policy-making decisions.”
Rep. Broun added, "These issues are not new. If the Administration had taken action six months ago when I called for Chairman Jaczko’s resignation, management of the nation’s nuclear safety would not be in disarry – a situation caused by Chairman Jaczko’s abusive and destructive actions."
Rep. Harris said, “American energy security is important and nuclear energy is a key part of that. Therefore, given the bipartisan discontent with the performance of this political appointee, it is time for him to step down and be replaced with someone with the skills to run this vital Commission.”