Bush administration expected to sign agreement today

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment and co-chairman of the Bi-Partisan Task Force on Non-Proliferation, wrote to President-elect Barack Obama, urging him not to pursue the nuclear cooperation agreement negotiated by the Bush administration and scheduled to be signed today by the United States and the United Arab Emirates.  The Bush administration has reportedly decided to sign the agreement today, but not submit it to Congress before leaving office.  Submission to Congress is a required step before the agreement can enter into force, leaving President-elect Obama to decide whether to continue the process for implementing this agreement.

"It's time to turn the page on the Bush administration's reckless policy of spreading nuclear technology and materials around the globe," said Rep. Markey.  "Instead, we should take a new direction in nuclear trade policy, which takes into account the critical national security issues at stake and recognizes the potential for international cooperation on renewable energy.  Furthermore, the Middle East is the last place the United States should be seeking the expansion of nuclear technologies.  We need to get serious about halting Iran's nuclear program, not helping its neighbors get in the nuclear club.  In the Middle East, a nuclear energy race could be as perilous as a nuclear arms race.  I hope that President-elect Obama will seize the opportunity to put the brakes on the Bush administration's policy of placing nuclear commerce above commonsense," Rep. Markey concluded.

"With Iran racing ahead on its nuclear development program, a further infusion of nuclear technologies into the region could be dangerously destabilizing," Rep. Markey wrote in the letter.

A copy of Markey's letter can be found here: http://markey.house.gov/docs/nonproliferation/01-15-09_-_ejm_to_obama_-_dont_submit_uae_123.pdf


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January 15, 2009

CONTACT: Daniel Reilly (202) 225-2836