Will examine conflicts by law firm hired to complete license application
December 12, 2007
Washington, DC – One week ago today, Nevada's congressional delegation sent a letter to Gregory Friedman, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Energy, requesting an investigation into the $109 million contract awarded to the law firm Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius to represent the Energy Department. Today, the congressional delegation was notified that the Inspector General will officially investigate the contract.
“I'm pleased the IG is investigating this because it’s blatantly irresponsible for the Department of Energy to hire a law firm with ties to Yucca Mountain proponents for a supposed impartial role in the licensing process,” said Ensign. “DOE should stop trying to rush this through, and as a nation we need to start considering new options because Yucca Mountain will never be built.”
“Given the red flags raised by this contract there is no question that the IG’s office is absolutely right to examine whether or not there is a conflict of interest that should ultimately disqualify Morgan, Lewis,” said Congresswoman Berkley. “The Bush administration is working overtime to see that Nevada is turned into a toxic radioactive waste dump, but we will continue to fight every one of their attempts to bend the rules or ignore the law in hopes of finally achieving that goal. The Nevada delegation looks forward to the findings of the IG, which could very well turn out to be déjà vu all over again.”
"The contract with Morgan Lewis is a lucrative deal which could potentially cost taxpayers millions of additional dollars. I am encouraged that the IG will investigate the potential conflicts of interest before committing more money to this financial
albatross," said Porter.
“The Energy Departments’ use of taxpayer money to hire a law firm with ties to the nuclear industry is clearly inappropriate. DOE has made one mistake after another over the course of their oversight of the Yucca Mountain project. Hopefully the IG’s willingness to investigate this contract will result in the correction of their most recent mistake,” said Heller.
To see a copy of the original letter the Nevada Congressional Delegation sent to Inspector General Friedman, click here
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