Domenici Statement on U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today issued the following statement regarding H.R.7081, the U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act.
Domenici, who has a long involvement in U.S. nuclear power and nuclear nonproliferation issues, voted for Seante passage of the agreement Wednesday evening.
"The bill before us tonight will strengthen the relationship between the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy. The issue at hand is whether America can enter into a nuclear cooperation agreement with India, which is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and thus is not eligible under existing law to cooperate with the U.S. and other NPT states.
"I believe the United States should enter into such an agreement with India. Although it is not an NPT state, India has agreed to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Association. This agreement will improve our ability to monitor and protect against proliferation of nuclear material, and subject India's growing civilian nuclear program to international inspections.
"As a rapidly growing economy, India will see an increased need for electricity over the coming decades. As Indiaand the world--seeks to find ways to increase power generation while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear power will continue to grow. The civilian nuclear agreement with India will allow us to help export U.S. technology and experience to monitor this expansion, and will facilitate a global approach to the challenges of global climate change.
"The United States-India Nuclear Cooperation agreement will expand the use of safeguards on critical nuclear technology and processes in India. It provides us with a rare and unique opportunity to gain transparency with one of the world's foremost nuclear powers, and I hope the Senate will approve it.
"I do not support, however, an amendment offered to the agreement which will also be voted on tonight. In my judgment, the Dorgan-Bingaman amendment is duplicative and could place the entire agreement in jeopardy. I believe that the Administration has been abundantly clear that India will face severe consequences if it tests another nuclear device, and thus this amendment is not necessary.
"I look forward to the passage of this legislation and the swift adoption of the U.S. - Indian Nuclear Cooperation agreement."