Obama's other energy disaster

Barron's reports on another energy disaster--one engineered by Obama at our expense to help the flagging fortunes of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada:

OUR ASS-KICKING PRESIDENT should take careful aim at his own derrière. He's triggered a less publicized environmental mess with costs that rival BP's deep-water oil spill. The difference is that taxpayers-not some energy company-will foot the bill. The legal costs alone could top $50 billion. And if Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada loses his tough re-election bid come November, then, to borrow a phrase from an Oval Office operative, it will be money down the toilet.

This mess began last year when Obama cut off funding for a legally mandated nuclear-waste depository beneath Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The project has been opposed for years by Reid, who helped rally Nevada to Obama's side in 2008. The president obviously would like to help his ally.


Construction costs on the depository project already have topped $10 billion

Obama's funding decision has created a huge waste-disposal headache for the nuclear industry, which now keeps old, highly radioactive fuel rods on site in temporary storage containers. Years ago, DOE signed contracts with the utilities to take the waste off their hands and store it at Yucca Mountain. Breach of contract suits filed by 72 utilities seek $50 billion in damages.

Clarice Feldman

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