LAS VEGAS – The American Gaming Association (AGA) and the Las Vegas business community today called on members of the U.S. House of Representatives to reject a proposal designed to revive licensing activities for Yucca Mountain as the nation’s nuclear waste repository. H.R. 3053, the “Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017,” is scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives this week.
In their letter to congressional leaders, the business leaders wrote, “Safety and security remain a top priority for all Americans and any problems with the transport of more than 110,000 metric tons of nuclear waste to the site throughout the country, or issues with its storage there, would bring potentially devastating consequences to the local, state and national communities. Moreover, with taxes on Nevada’s tourism industry providing 42 percent of the state general fund, even a modest decline in visitors’ perception about the region could have severe negative implications for the state’s economy and future growth.”
“Some in Congress and the federal government continue to advance the short-sighted notion that the entirety of the nation’s nuclear waste should be transported over hundreds of miles through the heart of the country to a site a short drive from the Las Vegas city limits, and its 2.1 million residents and employees,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “It is particularly disappointing that Congress would use federal power to attempt to compel Nevada to house nuclear waste over the objections of the bipartisan congressional delegation, the Governor, businesses, and citizens across the Silver State.”
The letter was signed by:
- Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association;
- Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association;
- Mary Beth Sewald, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce;
- Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority;
- James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International;
- Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill U.S.;
- Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming Corporation;
- Mark P. Frissora, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment;
- Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation; and
- Timothy J. Wilmott, CEO of Penn National Gaming.
To view a copy of the full letter, click here.
Yucca Mountain is located 90 miles from Las Vegas, which welcomed nearly 43 million visitors last year. Las Vegas is once again on pace to meet or break that number with over 10 million visitors already accounted for in 2018. The area is one of the fastest growing in the U.S., with a population that now exceeds 2.1 million people according to an estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In April of 2017, AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment and the Economy, expressing opposition to any attempt to restart the repository licensing process.
About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.