WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Senate voted to unanimously confirm Robert Feitel to be inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Senate voted 87 to 0 to confirm Feitel.
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks just before the Senate voted.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Clean and constant nuclear energy is one of the key pillars of America’s energy security.
“Nuclear power plants supply twenty percent of our nation’s electricity and more than fifty percent of our clean energy.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the independent federal agency that regulates these power plants to protect public health and safety.
“It’s a very important job.
“These independent regulatory structures, and this specific one, has successfully benefitted the American people for decades by ensuring the safe operation of our nuclear reactors.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspector general is responsible for detecting and preventing waste, fraud, and abuse, as well as mismanagement at the commission.
“President Trump has nominated Mr. Robert Feitel to serve as inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“He did that last October.
“Mr. Feitel was reported out of the Environment and Public Works Committee by unanimous vote in December.
“Today, the Senate will vote to confirm him.
“Mr. Feitel is well qualified.
“He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this important position.
“Mr. Feitel has spent more than twenty-five years as an attorney at the Department of Justice and at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“During his long federal career, Mr. Feitel received numerous special achievement awards for his excellent service.
“Mr. Feitel will be the first new inspector general at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in over twenty-five years.
“His nomination comes at a pivotal time for both the nuclear industry and the commission.
“Some utilities are seeking to operate their nuclear plants for twenty more years, while others are shutting down.
“They’re shutting their reactors before their licenses even expire.
“The commission is also preparing to license new nuclear technologies that will be essential to our clean energy future.
“This time of unprecedented activity requires a fully staffed and a fully functional agency.
“The commission needs an inspector general to promote efficiency and effectiveness at the commission.
“Mr. Feitel is that individual.
“Mr. Feitel is a man of character, whose commitment to upholding justice makes him an ideal candidate for the position.
“I encourage the entire Senate to vote today to confirm Mr. Robert Feitel to serve as the inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”