Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Inhofe Praises NRC Commissioners for Courageous Testimony
Calls Chairman Jaczko's Actions Reprehensible
Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, praised the courage of the four Commissioners of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) who testified at yesterday's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing and today's Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing to address serious concerns with NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko.
"I commend the four Commissioners for their courage to come before Congress, in the midst of numerous, baseless attacks, to address Mr. Jaczko's crisis of leadership, which is clearly undermining the crucial mission of the NRC," Senator Inhofe said. "As the late NRC Commissioner Ed McGaffigan reminded us, those who work at the NRC are routinely demonized by groups opposed to nuclear power, and, as he said, 'you can afford such enemies, but you cannot afford to compromise your honor.' What we have seen over the past few days is a concerted attempt to demonize four public servants whose only crime is to conduct themselves with honor; to seek assistance, as a last resort, from the White House to address problems they had not been able to resolve on their own.
"On the other hand, today's hearing demonstrated that despite pledges to the contrary, Mr. Jaczko continues to use his office to undermine his fellow Commissioners and the NRC as a whole. On the eve of yesterday's oversight hearing in the House, an official spokesman of NRC's Office of Public Affairs, who reports directly to Chairman Jaczko, suggested to numerous reporters that they read a report by Representative Markey that denigrates the four Commissioners, attacks the agency's credibility, and erodes public confidence. To make matters worse, he has yet to admit any wrongdoing or offer his colleagues an apology. Mr. Jaczko's actions are reprehensible.
"I stand by the four Commissioners, who have put NRC's mission of safety ahead of all else, and admire their courage and integrity."