The federal government often implements stringent regulations without fully considering the unintended consequences those regulations have on working Americans. Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it wants to end funding for the sole U.S. uranium enrichment facility, located in Piketon, Ohio. Why haven’t you heard much about this? The administration is attempting to defund the plant under the radar of public scrutiny. The Department of Energy has provided little in the way of explaining this questionable decision.
What you may not have heard is that this decision could potentially put 230 Ohioans out of work and siphon $28 million dollars in annual wages out of the economy in southern Ohio. On a broader note, the Piketon facility is the only plant in the United States with the capability to provide enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants using U.S. technology. This decision would shut down a critical part of the nation’s nuclear power infrastructure, something which the administration has been reluctant to comment about. If the United States no longer has the capability to enrich uranium, we have no way of competing with foreign sources in this marketplace. By choosing to not fund the Piketon plant the Department of Energy would be putting Ohioans out of work and threatening our domestic energy security.
Also, perhaps more importantly, defunding the Piketon plant raises serious national security concerns. Nonproliferation agreements require countries that have nuclear capability to use domestic enriched uranium for purposes of national security. This decision stifles our national defense capabilities.
Despite having full support from the Ohio delegation, which led Congress to approve the funding needed to keep the Piketon plant open, the Department of Energy will not disperse the funds. We ask the Department of Energy to properly use the allocated funds to keep the facility running and prevent the plant from having to cease operations. A decision to cease operations at the facility could be made as early as next week. We urge you to contact your congressman or senator as well as the White House Office of Budget and Management and tell them that you support full funding for the Piketon facility, as well as a secure nation. Below is contact information to call:
Senator Rob Portman: 202-224-3353
Senator Sherrod Brown: 202-224-2315
Rep. Brad Wenstrup: 202-225-3164
Rep. Steve Stivers: 202-225-2015
Rep. Joyce Beatty: 202-225-4324
Rep. Pat Tiberi: 202-225-5355
Rep. Bill Johnson: 202-225-5705
Office of Budget and Management: 202-395-3080