An advocacy group is focusing attention on campaign contributions given by the nuclear power industry to Iowa’s U-S Senators. A vote could come in the U-S Senate by the end of June on sending waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants to a storage site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The advocacy group Public Citizen has looked up how much money the nuclear power industry’s given to members of Congress since 1997. Policy analyst Lisa Gue says voters should wonder why the nuclear industry gives money to certain lawmakers, who might be good “investments.” But Gue admits there is no proof campaign contributions have influenced the votes of lawmakers in Washington.A final vote like this, on approving Yucca Mountain as the repository, has never happened. Public Citizen opposes the choice of that storage location for nuclear waste, and wants people to think about political-action money going to senators who will vote on it.She says the information will let voters hold senators responsible, and hopes they’ll tell the lawmakers not to approve shipping waste through 45 states including Iowa on its way to the dump. It isn’t easy to see a party-line in the pattern of nuclear contributions: nuclear industry PACs have given 32-thousand dollars since 1997 to Republican Charles Grassley, nearly 20-thousand to Democrat Tom Harkin, and 66-hundred to Harkin’s challenger, Republican Congressman Greg Ganske.
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