Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch

Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch
© Greg Nash

A group of six Democrats is criticizing the Energy Department’s proposed uranium reserve that could feed U.S. nuclear fuel and boost American mining. 

The Biden administration has argued that creating a uranium reserve could bolster its clean energy goals since nuclear energy doesn’t have any emissions. But in their Wednesday letter, the lawmakers warn of potentially adverse impacts on nearby communities and say there’s not a need to increase U.S. extraction. 

“The establishment of a government-funded uranium reserve poses a serious threat to the health of Tribal and environmental justice communities, as well as to the overall environment,” said the letter, which was led by Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyGlasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal Dozens of Democrats call for spending bill to pass 'climate test' Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). 

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“Furthermore, there is no urgent need for domestic uranium. Instead of establishing a uranium reserve, the DOE should focus on the cleanup and remediation of existing toxic waste and conduct extensive outreach with communities affected by current and previous uranium mining operations,” they added. 

The Department last month put out a “request for information” on the uranium reserve. 

“Revitalizing the U.S. nuclear fuel supply infrastructure would support the Administration's goals described in the American Jobs Plan, including addressing the climate crisis, creating American jobs, positioning the U.S. to compete with economic rivals, and supporting national security,” it said. 

The uranium reserve was previously promoted by the Trump administration and funding was appropriated for it in a major government funding bill.