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To the editor: American Energy Act would be important step

To the editor:

In the coming weeks, Congress will be reviewing a national energy tax known as "cap and trade," legislation proposed by the President that will attempt to raise federal revenue and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This irresponsible proposal will drive up the price of everyday goods, strain the economy, reduce jobs, and impose a significant cost increase on every Minnesotan who dares to turn on a light.

Last week, I joined many House Republicans in introducing the "American Energy Act," sweeping energy reform based on an all-of-the-above solution for America's energy independence. This legislation, of which I am a co-sponsor, offers more affordable energy, more well paying jobs, energy independence, and a cleaner environment - in ways that do not raise costs for you and your family.

Of particular interest to Hastings community residents, the American Energy Act provides a long-term solution for spent nuclear fuel.

The legislation allows the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to finish its review of the Yucca Mountain repository without political interference and repeals its 70,000 metric ton limitation, letting science and technology dictate how much the repository can safely hold. The bill also provides for recycling of spent nuclear fuel, thereby decreasing the demand for storage space at Yucca Mountain and amounts accumulating at sites across the country, including the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. The NRC would have two years to establish a process to license such recycling facilities.

Storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in an isolated, militarily secure location, in a facility designed for permanent storage, may not be the ideal solution, but it is better than leaving it where it sits, near our communities and families. The American Energy Act would be an important step toward one day removing the nuclear waste from southeastern Minnesota once and for all.

John Kline