Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010 | 5:57 p.m.
WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy and the White House are at odds over how steep to cut the Yucca Mountain budget for fiscal 2011, according to reports.
Energy Secretary Stephen Chu is balking over the White House plan to slash the budget for the nearly-doomed nuclear waste dump north of Las Vegas, according to reports in Energy Daily and the Wall Street Journal.
Apparently, the White House wants to zero out the $46 million in the Energy Department's request in the president’s new budget due next month.
Chu sent a letter to White House budget director Peter Orszag last month arguing that at least $25 million was needed to close out the Yucca Mountain office, including for the retention of “critical knowledge and data.”
Obama has pledged to stop the Yucca Mountain project, and severely cut last year’s budget for the proposed waste facility. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said Obama will zero out funding in 2011.