Sen. Bingaman proposes nuclear waste management bill

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Bingaman said in a statement Wednesday that he and ranking member Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — VA reform bill heads to Trump's desk Senators introduce bill to measure progress in opioid fight MORE (R-Alaska), and Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Abortion rights group plans M campaign to flip the House Senate health committee to hold hearing on Trump drug pricing plan Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — VA reform bill heads to Trump's desk MORE (R-Tenn.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFormer US attorneys urge support for Trump nominee The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Republicans see some daylight in midterm polling Senate panel clears bill to bolster probes of foreign investment deals MORE (D-Calif.) had failed to agree on legislative language for the bill. But the New Mexico senator said he hoped the proposal would serve as a table-setter for a September hearing on nuclear waste management.

“Nonetheless, we agreed that I should introduce legislation and that the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources should hold a hearing in September," Bingaman said. "My hope is to obtain testimony on it and to build a legislative record that might serve as the foundation for further consideration and ultimate enactment in the next Congress."

The President's Blue Ribbon Commission recommended developing interim storage sites to hold the waste accumulating at nuclear power reactors; restarting efforts to build one or more permanent disposal sites; and establishing a new independent federal body to assume oversight duties from the Energy Department.

Obama and Republican lawmakers have been at odds over the issue, especially after the administration’s decision to abandon the long-planned and long-delayed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

Congress had identified Yucca Mountain as its preferred site for spent nuclear fuel in 1987, but amid opposition from Nevada lawmakers, spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules MORE (D-Nev.), the White House abandoned the project in 2009. Republicans allege that the decision was motivated by politics and not science.

Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu established the commission in 2009 to recommend a path forward on the nation's nuclear waste storage plans.

About 65,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel is stored at 75 nuclear reactors around the nation.