U.S. Sen. David Vitter, top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today made the following statement regarding Chairman Barbara Boxer's decision to break committee precedent and not hold a hearing on a controversial Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) nominee, Jeff Baran. Baran is scheduled to testify at an unrelated nuclear oversight hearing tomorrow, December 3, 2014, and Vitter requested that Boxer allow Committee Members three minutes of questions regarding his nomination. Boxer turned down the request for three minutes of questions.

"The safety and success of our nuclear future depends on the members of NRC to be highly qualified, independent, and thoughtful," Vitter said. "Clearly, it is irresponsible to extend Jeff Baran's term considering how he lacks the necessary scientific experience and education - especially without a full Committee hearing to consider his nomination for a full term. Let's not forget that he visited his first nuclear facility just a few short months ago."

On November 18, EPW Republicans requested a full committee meeting to consider the nomination of Jeff Baran to serve the remainder of NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane's term, which ends on June 30, 2018. Click here to read their letter. Boxer has denied that request, and today denied even three minutes of questioning of Baran.