The article reports:
…last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia instructed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to stop “flouting the law.” Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh said: “It is no overstatement to say that our constitutional system of separation of powers would be significantly altered if we were to allow executive and independent agencies to disregard federal law in the manner asserted in this case.”
So what is this all about? In 1982, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 stated that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) “shall consider” the Yucca Mountain application to become a repository, and “shall” approve or disapprove the application within three years of its submission. The application was submitted in 2008.
The NRC has no intention of complying with the law–former (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko had previously served on the staff of Nevada Senator Harry Reid and was placed at the NRC to prevent the storage at Yucca Mountain from taking place. He resigned last year.
The NRC is considered part of the executive branch. It has no legal right to disregard a law enacted by Congress.
The article concludes:
This episode is a snapshot of contemporary Washington — small, devious people putting their lawlessness in the service of their parochialism and recklessly sacrificing public safety and constitutional propriety. One can only marvel at the measured patience with which the court has tried to teach the obvious to the willfully obtuse.
Until we elect different people to office in Washington, we can expect more of this.