WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), issued the following statement on the release of the Trump administration’s report titled “Strategy to Restore American Nuclear Energy Leadership.” Currently, there is no active uranium production in all of North America for the first time since World War II. 

“The administration’s long anticipated report calls for bold and immediate action to revive and strengthen American uranium production,” said Barrasso. “Providing immediate, impactful relief is critical or we will lose America’s ability to produce uranium. I am pushing the administration to do it. The report confirms Russia weaponized its energy supplies to undercut uranium miners in Wyoming and across the country. As a result, America is on the brink of finding itself completely reliant on foreign countries. That is dangerous. The coronavirus pandemic has clearly demonstrated why America should not rely on other nations to supply critical materials. That includes uranium.”

Background Information

On March 4, 2020, EPW held a hearing to discuss the administration’s priorities for America’s nuclear industry. 

On March 3, 2020, Barrasso pressed Department of Energy Secretary Brouillette to provide immediate relief for uranium producers and release the overdue Nuclear Fuel Working Group report.   

On Sept. 30, 2019, Barrasso and a group of Republican Senators sent a letter to National Economic Council Director and NFWG Co-Chairman Larry Kudlow, calling for NFWG to take bold action and immediate to help America’s uranium producers. Read the letter here

On July 13, 2019, President Trump established the NFWG following his final decision regarding the Section 232 investigation. The NFWG was tasked with giving recommendations to the president on to reinvigorate domestic nuclear fuel production. 

On Jan. 16, 2018, American uranium producers Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy jointly submitted a petition for relief, under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, to the Commerce Department to investigate the effects of uranium imports, from foreign state-owned firms, on America’s national security. Barrasso led congressional efforts pressing for the investigation

On Feb. 8, 2018, Barrasso authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled, “America’s Self-Imposed Uranium Shortage,” where he called on the Trump administration to take action against foreign state-owned uranium producers importing into the United States.

In the piece, Barrasso wrote, “The administration should also take action against state-owned and state-subsidized producers in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. These nations are unfairly flooding the U.S. with cheap uranium, as they are interested in gaining political leverage over the U.S. Two American uranium producers recently petitioned the Commerce Department to investigate these abuses. The Trump administration should expedite this investigation and take steps to make sure our uranium producers can compete on a level playing field.” 

On March 21, 2018, at a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works oversight hearing of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Barrasso called for the Commerce Department to begin an investigation into uranium imports. Barrasso also questioned NRC Chair Kristine Svinicki on the importance of uranium production to America’s national security. 

On July 12, 2018, at a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, Barrasso called on the administration to initiate a section 232 investigation into uranium imports. Testifying before the committee was Manisha Singh, assistant secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs.