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Senate panel approves Trump EPA, nuke agency nominees

As reported by The Hill:

A Senate committee on Wednesday cleared three Trump administration nominees to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), sending them to the floor for consideration.

The Environment and Public Works Committee approved Annie Caputo and David Wright to serve as members of the NRC on Wednesday. If they are confirmed by the full Senate, the NRC would have a full slate of five members.

Caputo is a senior adviser to Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and a former official at Exelon Corp., which operates more nuclear plants than any other U.S. company. The committee cleared her nomination on a bipartisan 15-6 vote. [This means that four Democratic members of the EPW Committee voted in favor of Caputo's confirmation, while all Republican members did so as well.]

Wright is a former South Carolina Public Service Commission member. The committee approved his nomination on a 12-9 vote. [The Hill's vote count here appears to be in error. Barrasso's own press release actually reported the vote as 11 to 10. This means that all Republican members voted in favor of Wright's confirmation, while all Democratic members voted against. So far, Beyond Nuclear can confirm that Sen. Harris (D-CA) voted against both nominees. The committee clerk has not posted the vote counts, so we cannot list which of the four Democrats voted in favor of Caputo's nomination, above. As soon as the information becomes available, we will post it here.]

Beyond Nuclear issued a media statement on the day of the June 13th EPW Committee confirmation hearing, which was also delivered to EPW Committee members' offices, as well as other U.S. Senate offices. The statement urged members of the committee and the Senate to oppose all three NRC nominations, including Kristine Svinicki for NRC Chairman, and Caputo and Wright for NRC Commissioners.

Beyond Nuclear also sent letters to EPW Committee members, urging no votes against both Caputo's and Wright's confirmation, on the eve of the business meeting vote. Here for example is a copy of Beyond Nuclear's letter to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat-New York).

Caputo's and Wright's nominations now move to the full Senate floor for up or down votes.