Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today rejected calls from House Republican leaders for a return of spending on Yucca Mountain at the same time as they are pushing funding cuts that could cost Nevada 600 construction jobs at a new solar plant in Tonopah, and could mean the loss of 6,000 jobs statewide.
"At the same time they are calling for more spending on efforts to dump nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Republicans are pushing for harmful cuts that will end loan guarantees for a new solar plant near Tonopah. The result will be the loss of 600 jobs at a time when the State is already battling double-digit unemployment. Construction of this new solar plant will not only provide hundreds of paychecks to Nevada workers, it will also supply enough clean, renewable energy to power 75,000 homes. But without the loan guarantees that are now on the Republican chopping block, the bright future for this solar project will grow extremely dim," said Berkley.
Loan guarantees needed for the solar plant's construction have been targeted for elimination by House Republican leadership, a move Berkley is fighting to block.
"Tapping Nevada's renewable energy resources will help boost America's energy security and diversify our State's economy, and that is why I am fighting to stop cuts in funding for solar projects in Nevada and nationwide. As a Nevada Representative, I cannot imagine voting against jobs or more solar energy, let alone a project that will supply both at a time when each is desperately needed."
Berkley noted that while Republicans are calling for cuts in renewable energy investments, Speaker of the House John Boehner and others in the Majority have criticized the end of Yucca Mountain and are pushing for the nuclear waste dump in Nevada over the objections of the State and its residents and businesses.
"Nevada's future is clean energy, not Yucca Mountain. Yet Republicans want to eliminate funding for solar and other renewable resources, while calling for $100 billion to be dumped down a hole in the desert 90 minutes from Las Vegas," Berkley said.
Rather than taking action to bring immediate gas price relief or investing in renewable energy to spur innovation and create jobs, the House Majority budget slashes federal investments in clean energy. A new analysis of the GOP budget shows that the cuts included could mean an overall loss of 6,000 jobs in Nevada, including those in the renewable energy sector.
"If these misguided cuts are not stopped, it could cost the Silver State 6,000 lost jobs at a time when the unemployment rate remains in double-digits and Nevadans all across our state are struggling to find work," said Berkley.