NRC commissioners to appear before panel

The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy and the Subcommittee on Energy and Power have scheduled a joint hearing on Thursday, May 31, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The title of the hearing is “NRC Policy and Governance Oversight.”

All five commissioners of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are expected to testify.

Members will question outgoing Chairman Gregory Jaczko and his fellow commissioners about the conduct of certain Commission actions and policy decisions under his leadership. In recent weeks, the committee has launched a series of inquiries into the Commission’s governance, chilled work environment, and recent votes.

“We have been actively monitoring the NRC during these tumultuous times and will continue our oversight. With these latest developments along with numerous outstanding issues, we look forward to hearing directly from all of the NRC commissioners,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) in a statement yesterday responding to Jaczko’s announcement that he is stepping down as NRC Chairman.

Since the start of the 112th Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee has been actively conducting oversight of the NRC, with a focus on Chairman Jaczko’s influence on Commission decision-making. Last year, the committee opened an investigation into Chairman Jazcko’s controversial decision to shut down the NRC’s independent review of the Yucca Mountain license application.

The NRC Inspector General released a report on this decision last summer detailing evidence that Chairman Jaczko had abused his legal authority and withheld critical information from his fellow Commissioners. The release of a second Inspector General report is expected soon.