We can’t wait: With less than 60 days left in NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki’s term, committee leaders press president on formal re-nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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), urged President Obama to formally re-nominate NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki for another term.

Two weeks ago, on April 19, 2012, White House spokesman Jay Carney stated that the president “will re-nominate Ms. Svinicki. He doesn’t want to have a break in service in June when her current term expires.” Another White House official said to “expect the official nomination to happen in the coming days,” but the White House still has yet to formally send her re-nomination to the Senate for confirmation. The last round of presidential nominations sent to the Senate was one week ago on April 26 – Svinicki was not one of them. Commissioner Svinicki’s term ends on June 30, 2012.

Upton, Whitfield, and Shimkus made the following statement: “It’s been two weeks since the White House declared NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki would be re-nominated, and yet no formal appointment has been made. Although Commissioner Svinicki’s term expires in less than two months on June 30, there is a surprising lack of urgency coming from the White House.

“Unfortunately, as President Obama dawdles, the shameful attacks against a courageous whistleblower have only escalated. Commissioner Svinicki’s credentials are unparalleled, she is conscientious and deliberate, and we are safer for her service.

“The clock is ticking on Kristine Svinicki’s term at this most critical time for the NRC. As the Commission works to improve safety in the wake of Fukushima and license new plants for the first time in over 30 years, it is imperative for the NRC to operate at full strength, benefitting from the expertise of all five commissioners. We cannot afford to play politics with nuclear safety. It’s well past time for President Obama to make her re-nomination official, and for Harry Reid and the Senate to follow expeditiously with her confirmation.”