Blumenthal Expresses Support For Connecticut Native Nominated To Chair Nuclear Regulatory Commission

(Washington, DC) – Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) expressed support for Dr. Allison Macfarlane – President Obama’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) chairwoman nominee – at a U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing. Dr. Macfarlane, a Connecticut native, is a world-renowned geologist. She was born in Hartford and raised in Avon. Currently, she is an associate professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University.

A video of Senator Blumenthal’s comments can be found here:


A full transcript of his comments is below:

Thank you, Madame Chairwoman Boxer and Ranking Member Inhofe. I am very, very honored today to introduce Allison Macfarlane, President Obama’s nominee to be a commission, in fact chairman, of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and I want to thank the Chairwoman and members of the committee for giving me this opportunity.

Dr. Macfarlane is a native of Connecticut. She was born in Hartford, raised in Avon, went to Avon High School, which is an area just a few miles north and west of Hartford, our capital. And I would like to say that’s her most important distinction but actually, as you know, she is a geologist of national, indeed international, stature and I think supremely well-qualified to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at this critical point in its history and our nation’s.

She is a remarkable scholar and leader, and a person of genuine vision and courage, and she has been an associate professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University since 2006, but she has been in a variety of academic positions at Harvard, Stanford, and other universities before the one that she has now. She has also served on the Blue Ribbon Commission, established by the President, a fifteen member commission which produced a report very recently that addresses one of the principle challenges for the NRC in coming years, to develop an integrated nuclear waste facility management program, and make sure that we move from spent pools to dry casks in as many of our nuclear facilities as possible.

This issue is extraordinarily important to Connecticut because of our Connecticut Yankee and our Millstone Plants where some of our fuel is still stored in pools and where we have a substantial amount of nuclear waste, and the interest of Connecticut in this issue is very, very profoundly significant.

Dr. Macfarlane is not only a person of academic and scholarly distinction, but she’s also a person of great collegiality and integrity. And I am very proud to introduce her to this committee, and to support her for this profoundly important position. And I hope that members of the committee, I know they will, will be as impressed as I am by her personal, her professional, and her academic distinctions and her qualifications for this profoundly important position.

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