Letter to Sens. Boxer and Inhofe

October 14, 2009
Senator Barbara Boxer
Chair, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
410 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6175
Senator James Inhofe
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
456 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6175
Dear Chairwoman Boxer and Ranking Member Inhofe:
At 5:03 p.m. on Friday, October 9, 2009, at the start of the three-day Columbus Day weekend, the White House announced a nomination to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). President Obama's nomination of William D. Magwood to the post of Commissioner on the NRC should not be relegated to the shadows, but should be examined in the full light of public and congressional scrutiny.
Mr. Magwood's nomination violates the spirit of President Obama's "Ethics Commitment by Executive Branch Personnel Executive Order" (Ethics Executive Order). Since his retirement from government service in 2005, Mr. Magwood has been actively involved in efforts to advance nuclear industry business opportunities domestically and abroad. He founded Advanced Energy Strategies which provides "expert advice and analysis of U.S. and international energy policy activities; nuclear industry developments and prospects; and supporting business development efforts." Mr. Magwood has also been an investor in and President of Secure Energy North America Corporation, a company that is "working with industry and investors to develop novel approaches to finance new nuclear power stations in the United States." Prior to his government service, Mr. Magwood also managed nuclear policy programs at the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade association.
Additionally, if Mr. Magwood were to be confirmed, it would undermine the oversight and regulatory function of the NRC. In 1974, the Atomic Energy Commission was abolished and split into two agencies because its dual missions of promotion and regulation of nuclear power was recognized as an inherent conflict of interest. As a result, the Department of Energy (DOE) was given the role of promoting nuclear power, while the NRC was created to regulate, inspect, and enforce regulations of the nuclear power industry. For 11 years, while with the federal government, Mr. Magwood was a strong proponent of nuclear power. First, he served as the
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