February 22, 2006- President's Push for U.S. Nuke Treaty is "Dangerous"

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation and senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee made the following statement in response to President Bush’s latest push for an exception to U.S. law and international nuclear weapons treaties:

“This Administration’s push to share nuclear technology with India is dangerous and has grave security implications for South Asia and the entire world.  Pakistan has already said that if India gets the special exemptions the Bush Administration is pushing for, then it wants the same deal.  Supplying nuclear fuel to countries that are not party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) de-rails the delicate balance that has been established between nuclear nations and destroys our credibility when insisting that other nations continue to follow this important nonproliferation policy,” said Rep. Markey.  “We cannot break the nuclear rules established in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and demand that everyone else plays by them.”

“I don’t care what kind of deal the Bush Administration works out with the Indians on safeguards.  It is meaningless to have a ‘safeguarded’ civilian nuclear energy program in India if there is an unsafeguarded military nuclear program sitting right alongside it.  Safeguards are intended to ensure that nuclear material and technology are not diverted for weapons purposes.  If India is allowed to have a nuclear program that is half-safeguarded, and half-not, it will be ridiculed as half-baked and would make a mockery of the IAEA and of the Nonproliferation Treaty.

“Such a deal is in neither the U.S.’s interest nor in India’s long-term interest.  Both countries rely principally on coal for electrical generation.  Both will likely continue to rely on coal for most of their power generation for the next 50 years.  We should be partnering on clean coal technology, not on a nuclear power agenda that threatens international security.”

Representative Markey and Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), introduced a bipartisan resolution H. Con. Res. 318 on December 15, 2005 opposing President Bush’s proposed nuclear cooperation with India.  Current law prohibits the sale of nuclear technology to any country such as India which refuses to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, refuses to allow full-scope safeguards under the treaty, and which develops new nuclear weapons and detonates nuclear tests in defiance of the treaty.

For more information on Rep. Markey’s work to address the proliferation of nuclear weapons or a copy of the Resolution, please visit www.house.gov/markey.

February 22, 2006


CONTACT: Tara McGuiness