Representative Peter DeFazio

Progressive rhetoric but supports clearcuts, more highways and nuclear power

The DeFazio campaign owes an apology to Art Robinson. for claiming in 2010 that only Robinson would bring us more clearcuts and nukes.

DeFazio's so-called forest "trust" would privatize much of our BLM federal forests, a gift to timber barons who turned their forests into tree farms. Privatization of public resources used to be solely a Republican goal; now, it's bipartisan.

In 2011 DeFazio praised the "NuScale" company in Corvallis, which is seeking an Obama administration grant to build prototype modular nuclear power reactors (45 megawatts). Future generations won't care about Democrats and Republicans, but they will curse us for the nuclear waste we leave for them. See for DeFazio's promotion of NuScale.

I gave up on DeFazio years ago when he told a Town Hall meeting that the US invasion of Iraq was "legal" because Congress endorsed it. I guess he never heard of the Nuremberg trials. DeFazio is a reason I support term limits.

I'm disappointed that Corvallis City Councilor Mike Beilstein won't be on our ballot this time as the Green candidate for Congress. From his website

"Resource limits will not allow us to return to the economy we knew before 2008. .... the earth cannot continue giving resources at an ever increasing rate. The work of national leaders should be to start imagining how we can meet human needs in an era of diminishing resources."

My vote will be None of the Above, an honorable choice.

Mark Robinowitz

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"The most intolerable reactor of all may be one which comes successfully to the end of its planned life having produced mountains of radioactive waste for which there is no disposal safe from earthquake damage or sabotage."
-- A. Stanley Thompson (1914 - 2005), scientist, citizen of Eugene for many years

'The investment announced today will help rebuild the US manufacturing base,' said Congressman Peter DeFazio, (D-OR). 'Most importantly, this investment will create high paying, high tech Oregon jobs that can't be exported and help keep the US competitive in international markets. This is good news for Corvallis, Oregon State University, and the state of Oregon.'

NuScale Power, LLC and Fluor Corporation Team Up

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The investment by Fluor Corporation in NuScale Power, announced today in Washington, D.C., is a major leap forward in NuScale's effort to bring its scalable, small modular reactor to market by the end of the decade, asserted Paul Lorenzini, NuScale's chief executive officer.

'Fluor's financial and technical involvement at this point in the development of our technology will ensure that we maintain a leadership position in the nation's effort to provide the next generation of nuclear power plants; plants that are elegantly simple, avoid large capital outlays, and offer significantly enhanced safety,' Lorenzini said.

Fluor Group President John Hopkins said that in addition to agreeing to invest in excess of $ 30 million in NuScale, his company's depth of experience in the nuclear industry will provide a solid platform for NuScale to advance its design through licensing to commercialization.

'Fluor's world class engineering, procurement and construction capabilities in the nuclear industry coupled with NuScale's technology and innovation will provide the assurances and expertise that utilities and other customers will demand as they look to diversify into safer, more reliable nuclear generation,' Hopkins said.

Lorenzini said NuScale's scalable, naturally cooled nuclear power plant design addresses most of the concerns, past and present, about the safety and reliability of nuclear plants. Because the plant comprises 45 megawatt modules that can be clustered in a facility as large as 540 megawatts, utilities can custom fit their plants to expected load. And because each module is cooled by natural circulation of water, the design is far safer than competing nuclear technologies in that it eliminates the accident scenarios involving pumps and pipes.

'We have designed a plant that targets current domestic and international need for base load generation and responds to renewed concerns about safety following the events in Japan,' said Lorenzini. 'After extensive due diligence, Fluor agreed and took a majority stake in the company. We couldn't be more pleased that Fluor recognized the advantages of our design and chose NuScale as a partner in this emerging market.'

'This collaboration is vital to utilities that are exploring nuclear energy as an option to diversify their future generation portfolio,' said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO, MidAmerican Energy Company, based in Des Moines, Iowa. 'The collaborative effort between Fluor and NuScale is another strong signal that small modular reactor technology will be a viable alternative for the next generation of nuclear energy deployment.'

MidAmerican Energy is one of 11 major utilities in the U.S. and Canada serving on NuScale Power's customer advisory board. The board is conferring with NuScale on ways the company's technology can best meet the needs of electric utilities in an increasingly dynamic energy environment.

'The investment announced today will help rebuild the US manufacturing base,' said Congressman Peter DeFazio, (D-OR). 'Most importantly, this investment will create high paying, high tech Oregon jobs that can't be exported and help keep the US competitive in international markets. This is good news for Corvallis, Oregon State University, and the state of Oregon.'

'I'm very pleased to hear about this new investment from Fluor. NuScale Power is one of the most innovative energy companies in Oregon who, in a short time, has generated world-wide attention,' said Congressman Kurt Schrader, (D-OR). 'Their presence and growth is a win for our state, Benton County and the greater Oregon State community.'

Fluor obtained a majority position in NuScale when it bought outstanding shares held in receivership after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took actions that led to the indictment of an earlier investor.

About NuScale Power NuScale Power has designed a nuclear steam supply system and nuclear power plant that offers the benefits of nuclear power but takes away the issues presented by installing large capacity. The NuScale design is for a modular, scalable Light Water Reactor (LWR) nuclear power plant system. A nuclear power plant using NuScale's technology is comprised of individual NSSS modules. Each produces 45 megawatts with its own combined containment vessel and reactor system, and its own designated turbine-generator set.

A power plant can include as many as 12 NuScale integral PWR modules to produce as much as 540 megawatts. NuScale power plants are scalable - additional modules are added as customer demand for electricity increases. These multi-module plants are highly reliable - one unit can be taken out of service for refueling or maintenance, or a new unit added, without affecting the operation of the others.

For more information visit


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note that Texas Transportation Institute, cited by DeFazio, is one of the most aggressive promoters of highway building
and Texas is by far the biggest state for highway construction (more than California or Florida)

the RG has changed their weblinks from a few years ago, I don't think this is searchable on their site any more (it might be?)

DeFazio in many places has claimed all he is doing to repairing the roads, but the bulk of the funds are actually for expansion.
High Priority Corridors specified by Congress, includes widening I-5 from Canada to Mexico
Peak Traffic and Transportation Triage:
a legal strategy to cancel trillion dollar highway plans and prepare for post peak travel

register guard op-ed from DeFazio promoting highway expansion:
War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Expanding Roads Reduces Pollution

Feds must lead way on roads

By Peter DeFazio

Published: February 25, 2008 12:00AM

In her Feb. 7 guest viewpoint, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters pushes the Bush administration’s belief that we should freeze federal infrastructure investment and that our massive congestion problems can be solved simply by tolling, rationing and privatizing our surface transportation system.

However, beginning in 1784 with George Washington and later the Gallatin Report on Roads and Canals in 1808, this country has believed in a strong role for the federal government in the construction and maintenance of our roads and highways.

The original interstate highway was chartered by Washington just one year after the Revolutionary War. He saw that American settlers were trapped and recognized the need to unite the new nation by opening a “smooth way” through the Appalachian Mountains to enable the settlers’ produce “to pass to our markets before the trade may get into another channel.”

For 200 years, lawmakers have shared the belief that the federal government had a significant responsibility to maintain a surface transportation system that unites our citizens, facilitates commerce and ensures that America is competitive in the global marketplace.

That consensus prevailed until the administration of George W. Bush. For the first time in our nation’s history we have a secretary of transportation who wants to phase out federal investment.

Last month, the bipartisan National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which includes eight Republicans and four Democrats, issued its report on the status of the surface transportation system. After two years of hearings, the commission’s final report identified the significant surface transportation investment gap we are facing.

We are seeing dramatically increased congestion. We are seeing bridges collapse. We are not even maintaining the investments made by the Eisenhower generation in the nation’s interstate system.

The report says we should invest between $225 billion and $340 billion annually in all modes of transportation. We currently invest $85 billion. Furthermore, according to the Texas Transportation Institute, in 2005 congestion causes the average peak-period traveler to spend an extra 38 hours of travel time and consume an additional 26 gallons of fuel. The cost amounts to $710 per traveler.

A recent study also found that 26 percent of the nation’s major metropolitan roads have pavements in poor condition, resulting in rough rides and costing the average urban motorist $383 annually in additional vehicle operating costs — time and money that we should spend with our families, not stuck in traffic.

The resulting clogged highways harm the economy, add to local air pollution and global warming, and make U.S. businesses less competitive internationally. In an environment where just-in-time delivery is paramount, our businesses are at a disadvantage when they can’t predict how long it will take their trucks to travel to their destinations.

It is imperative that the federal government lead the way in investment in our infrastructure. Without substantial commitment on the federal level, our transportation infrastructure will continue to fragment and deteriorate to a Third World status. Without the needed investment, we will experience more tragedies such as the Minnesota bridge collapse, traffic congestion will grow and transportation bottlenecks will cripple our economy.

The commission report has received strong bipartisan support in Congress. Unfortunately, the opposition to its findings comes from a small ideological minority, led by Secretary Peters. This minority believes that massive transportation problems can be simply solved by rationing access with congestion pricing and tolls, and by privatizing our highways.

In certain areas, tolling, congestion pricing and public-private partnerships, when done properly to protect the public interest, can contribute a small amount to fixing our congestion problem. But continuing to insist these initiatives can fix 100 percent of the problem is just a total denial of reality and an astounding disservice to the future of our economy.


Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, represents Oregon’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. DeFazio is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.


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