Markey: New NRC Policy Restricts Congressional Oversight, Undermines Transparency

Group of Senators join in call for reversal of illconsidered policy that prevents members from receiving sensitive information related to nuclear safety and security


Washington (November 20, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.) was today joined by nine other Senators in a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) calling for it to reverse its recent policy that would bar members of Congress from receiving documents that would support its oversight authority. A September alteration in NRC policy would limit document requests to only the Chairperson or Ranking Member of one of NRC's Congressional oversight committees or subcommittees, preventing individual Senators and members of Congress from requesting information if, for example, there is a nuclear power plant with safety issues in their states or Congressional districts. The previous policy allowed any member of committees and subcommittees with jurisdiction to receive information necessary to carry out its legislative and oversight responsibilities, while members not on those committees could get information about their states. Upon her confirmation in June, Chairman Allison MacFarlane said she would "remain committed to transparency" as the new leader of the NRC.  


"This change in policy is clearly inconsistent with your stated commitment, is contrary to principles of government accountability, and in conflict with Congress's constitutionallyauthorized oversight authorities," write the Senators in the letter to NRC Chief Macfarlane. 


A copy of the letter to NRC can be found HERE


Other signatories on the letter include Senators Menendez, Leahy, Wyden, Sanders, Warren, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, Baldwin and Whitehouse.