July 26, 2006 - STATEMENT OF REP. MARKEY ON THE RULE OF THE INDIA RESOLUTION
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this Rule, and in opposition to the India nuclear deal.
I am opposed to this legislation in its current form, because India does not – and should not -- qualify for full nuclear cooperation under either U.S. or international law, for the following reasons:
• India has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
• India refuses to accept full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards over all of its nuclear facilities.
• India has previously violated international commitments that civilian nuclear energy assistance would only be used for peaceful purposes, when in 1974 it detonated a nuclear explosive device manufactured using plutonium from a Canadian-supplied nuclear (CIRUS) reactor, which was operated using heavy water provided by the United States.
• India has tested 5 more nuclear weapons since that time, has a nuclear arsenal of 60-105 bombs, and is reportedly continuing to produce fissile materials for its growing nuclear arsenal.
As a result, India does not, and should not, qualify for full civil nuclear cooperation under existing U.S. law or under international law. Both U.S. and international law bar most nuclear exports to countries, like India, that are not signatories to the NPT and refuse to accept international safeguards on ALL of their nuclear infrastructure. And that’s the way it should be.
Granting India a special exemption from international and U.S. nuclear nonproliferation laws and guidelines sends the wrong signal at a time when the world is trying to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.
Iran is a signatory to the NPT, and the IAEA Board of Governors has found Iran to be in violation of their IAEA safeguards obligations under the Treaty. This matter is now before the UN Security Council for resolution, and the U.S. will be seeking to convince the other Members of the Security Council to take decisive action in this matter – likely including the imposition of sanctions.
The United States is rightly arguing for strict compliance with the NPT by Iran (a signatory to the Treaty), but at the same time we’re seeking a special exemption from the NPT and the NSG guidelines for India, a country which is not a party to the Treaty. Some people have no problem with this double-standard, but even they have to admit that it undercuts American credibility on nonproliferation internationally. The timing of the proposed nuclear deal could not be worse from the perspective of U.S. efforts to secure UN support for tough action against Iran.
Granting India a special exemption from nonproliferation rules sets a bad precedent which could be used by Russia to grant special exemptions for Iran, or by China to grant special exemptions for Pakistan or North Korea.
Mr. Upton and I went to the Rules Committee yesterday to ask them to make in order a bipartisan amendment to require the President to certify that India is fully and actively cooperating with U.S. efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability, including the uranium enrichment capacity needed to produce a nuclear bomb. The Rules Committee refused to make this amendment in order, and now we can’t have a debate on whether or not this should be a binding condition that the President would have to certify before we go ahead and ship nuclear technology and nuclear fuel to India.
We need to keep in mind that if the U.S. sends India nuclear materials or technology we will be setting a precedent that other nations can invoke when they seek to conclude nuclear cooperation agreements with countries that also refuse to abide by nonproliferation rules.
Pakistan has already said that if India gets the special exemptions the Bush Administration is pushing for, then it wants the same deal. The Pakistan Foreign Ministry has stated that, “Our stand is that Pakistan and India have the same status. They are nuclear weapons states and not signatories to Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT)…We do expect that any concessions and exception granted to India in the context of NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) or any other multilateral arrangement will be applicable to Pakistan also."
China is known to have long had a nuclear supply relationship with Pakistan, and illegal covert Chinese assistance to the Pakistani nuclear weapons program was the principal reason why the 1985 Nuclear Cooperation deal with Beijing did not become effective until more than a decade later. Even now, China continues to have a close relationship with the Pakistani nuclear program, and in May, 2004, China signed a contract to build a second nuclear power reactor in Pakistan, known as “Chashma-2” – which would be exempted from the NSG's requirement for full-scope safeguards.
India does have power shortage problems and more may be on the horizon with its rapidly developing economy. However, providing nuclear assistance will not fix what ails India’s power shortage. Nuclear power accounts for only 2.7% of India’s electricity capacity, while Coal constitutes 67% of India’s electricity generation.
Nuclear commerce will not solve India’s future energy needs. We should be addressing that problem with a joint U.S.-Indian program to develop and deploy clean coal technologies.
Coal will continue to be India’s major source for generating electricity in the 21st century. India has the world’s 3rd largest coal reserves, but India’s coal is dirty and has a high ash content. Approximately 600,000 children die of acute respiratory infection in India every year. India has an estimated 20 million asthma patients, most of them children. Pilot studies by the U.S. Agency for International Development were able to reduce emissions from 50 year old coal plants by a factor of 50!
India plans to build an additional 213 coal plants by 2012. These plants will provide the bulk of India’s new electricity generation. A realistic, safe, and practical plan for partnership between the United States and India would be a clean coal cooperative, not a nuclear one.
We can ignore the fact that coal will be the major player in India’s electricity sector, just as we chose to ignore India in the Kyoto treaty. Or we can embrace the fact that India will burn coal, and we can partner with India to use their coal in a cleaner, more efficient manner.
Providing nuclear materials and technology to India will only facilitate Indian efforts to continue their nuclear weapons program. Giving India access to the international uranium market (from which they are now barred) will allow India to dedicate all of its domestic supply of uranium for nuclear weapons purposes. Since India refuses to halt fissile material production – even though all NPT weapons states have halted such production – it will be able to increase its annual bomb production from 7 bombs to 40 or 50.
Since the proposed nuclear cooperation agreement would not impose any safeguards requirements on spent nuclear fuel produced in the Indian nuclear program prior to enactment of the agreement, India would also be free to extract enough nuclear material from this spent fuel to produce an additional 1,000 nuclear weapons.
The Bush administration has totally failed to address the negative nuclear nonproliferation consequences of the India nuclear deal. In fact, the Administration has refused to even answer some of the most basic questions about the deal.
For example, in February I wrote Secretary Rice to asking 14 detailed questions that I believe are critical to our consideration of this issue. Among the questions I asked Secretary Rice were:
• How can we be sure that our nuclear trade with India will not assist their weapons program?
• How will this deal affect our ability to block other countries from shipping nuclear materials to non-NPT countries in the future?
• What will happen if India tries to remove facilities from safeguards?
When I met with Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns at the end of March, he told me that a response to my questions would be provided within a few days. Four months later, I still have not received the Department’s responses to my questions. The Department is stonewalling.
In April, I wrote the Energy Department and the CIA to ask them to respond to very serious allegations raised in a report by the respected Institute for Science and International Security. This report revealed the existence of an Indian program to illicitly procure numerous components and parts needed to support its nuclear weapons program. Apparently, as part of this illicit Indian procurement program, the Indian Government provided bidders with highly sensitive details about nuclear technology. This practice raises the risk that companies bidding on Indian nuclear projects were being given access to sensitive weapons-related data that they could in turn sell or transfer to others.
I asked DOE and the CIA to confirm the findings made in this report, and to evaluate its nonproliferation impact. The CIA has never responded. The DOE sent me a one-page letter a few weeks ago offering a briefing, but when my staff called to arrange this briefing, the Department was suddenly unable to schedule any time. The CIA and the Energy Department are stonewalling.
And finally, in June the administration was supposed to submit a semi-annual report to Congress on violations of international proliferation laws, as required by the Iran-Syria Nonproliferation Act. That report has still not been submitted to this House.
Why is this important? Because, in past reports, the State Department has revealed illicit transfers of nuclear and chemical weapons related technology and goods from entities located in India. In fact, since 2003, the United States has filed at least eight nonproliferation sanctions against at least seven Indian entities, including two sanctions in December 2005.
Earlier this week, Representatives Tauscher, Lee and I asked the Bush Administration to submit this overdue report, so that this House could review it before we voted on legislation implementing nuclear cooperation with India. But the administration has not done so. Are there any additional Indian entities mentioned in the latest report? Because of the administration’s stonewalling, we won’t know until after we have voted on this deal.
How can this body reach any conclusion other than that the Bush administration is stonewalling, dissembling, and trying to conceal information from the Congress that might lead the Members to oppose the India Nuclear Deal?
Let’s defeat this Rule today, and let’s vote against this bill. We should not be granting India special exemptions from our nation’s nuclear nonproliferation laws until we know what we are doing, until we have thoroughly assessed the nuclear nonproliferation consequences of proceeding down this path, and put in place the types of conditions needed to prevent any nuclear trade with India from undermining our nation’s nuclear nonproliferation policies.
Vote No on this Rule and Vote NO on the India Nuclear Deal.