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Seven Democrats/Independent on U.S. Senate ENR Committee vote against Rick Perry's confirmation as Energy Secretary

As reported in a press release issued by the Honorable Maria Cantwell (Democrat-Washington State), Ranking Member on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee, she was joined by five fellow Democrats (Ron Wyden from Oregon, Al Franken from Minnesota, Mazie Hirono from Hawaii, Tammy Duckworth from Illinois, and Martin Heinrich from New Mexico), and one Independent who caususes with the Democrats (Bernie Sanders from Vermont), in opposing former Texas governor Rick Perry's confirmation as Energy Secretary.

However, all Republicans on the committee voted in favor of Perry's confirmation; they were joined by three Democrats (Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada), and one Independent who caucuses with the Democrats (Angus King of Maine).

Perry's nomination now goes to the floor of the full Senate for a vote on confirmation.

Beyond Nuclear has highlighted Rick Perry's blatant conflict of interest involving Waste Control Specialists, LLC (WCS), a radioactive waste dump in West Texas. WCS was owned by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who died in late 2013; it is still owned by his family. Simmons was a top campaign contributor to Perry's political career. Under Perry's governorship, WCS was approved for every permit it ever sought, growing into one of the biggest so-called "low-level" radioactive waste dumps in the U.S. Now WCS wants to store more than half the commercial high-level radioactive waste in the country. The U.S. Department of Energy would be the sole customer, and would bear full liability if anything goes wrong. Of course, that means taxpayers would pay billions to build and operate the storage site, and would bear ultimate, unlimited liability. If confirmed as Energy Secretary, Rick Perry would sign that contract, obligating U.S. taxpayers to pay billions, and bear unlimited liability.