WASHINGTON, April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ClearPath Action Fund, a 501(c)4 working to accelerate conservative clean energy solutions lead by conservative philanthropist Jay Faison, today voiced it support for an effort led by Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and 30 other Members seeking to rightsize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 2017 budget request through efficiency gains and advancement of off-budget spending for advanced reactor licensing research. The full text of the letter sent to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee is included below:
April 5, 2016
Chairman Hal Rogers U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Washington, DC 20515
Ranking Member Nita Lowey U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Washington, DC 20515
Chairman Mike Simpson Energy and Water Development Subcommittee U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Washington, DC 20515
Ranking Member Marcy Kaptur Energy and Water Development Subcommittee U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Washington, DC 20515
On behalf of ClearPath Action, a 501(c)4 organization working to accelerate conservative clean energy solutions, I want to let you know of our support for Representative Flores and 30 of his colleagues' letter about rightsizing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 2017 budget.
The NRC's Project AIM initiative demonstrates that the Commission recognizes its current budget and staffing levels are larger than necessary to provide for safe, efficient regulation of 100 reactors. Since 90% of all NRC spending is funded by industry, NRC excesses are directly constraining the competitiveness of America's largest clean energy source. However the Commission's FY2017 budget request does not reflect the full extent of potential improvements.
Based on NRC Chairman Burns' testimony before the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, Project AIM could save $36 million over the next 12 months. Combined with the $5 million savings from existing overhead reduction targets and $25 million in carryover funds from the previous year, a total of $66 million in additional savings could be realized in FY2017. Thus, an appropriate budget level would be in the range of $916 million.
I also strongly support the Commission's request for $5 million in off-budget spending for advanced reactor licensing research. Our reactor licensing process must move to an efficient, risk-based process that does not discriminate based on fuel type. Non-light-water and small modular reactor technology are essential to achieving a clean energy future. Funding for advanced reactor research must be off-budget so companies operating traditional reactors are not charged for unrelated research activities. Government funding was essential for the development of the NRC's initial licensing guidelines and will also be essential for the nascent advanced reactor industry.
A reduction of NRC budget authority to $916 million that includes $5 million off-budget for advanced reactor research moves the NRC in the right direction of efficient, safe, and forward-looking regulation of the industry. The NRC is the international gold standard of nuclear safety, and it has the potential to be the gold standard for efficiency as well.
Jay Faison President
ClearPath Action Fund for Conservative Clean Energy, Inc. 300 New Jersey St, NW, #907 Washington, DC 20001
CC: Representative Bill Flores Senators Lamar Alexander, Dianne Feinstein