In the past few years there’s been a lot of nice sounding rhetoric about eliminating nuclear weapons uttered by President Obama and various senior statesmen. Unfortunately, the rhetoric doesn’t match the reality. At the time of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 President’s Budget Request submitted to Congress in February 2011, the Administration anticipated spending approximately $88 billion for bombs and warheads and supporting infrastructure and about $125 billion for delivery systems over a ten year period. Independent estimates of total U.S. spending for nuclear weapons and related programs place the number even higher, at $31 billion or more annually. In FY 2013, the U.S. will spend more, in inflation-adjusted dollars, on nuclear bombs and warheads than it did during the average Cold War year. In this era of budget austerity, the President’s request of $7.87 billion for FY 2014 is 13 percent above the FY 2013 final enacted level including the sequester.
Call for Nuclear Sanity! Soon, Rep. Ed Markey will reintroduce the Smarter Approaches to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act in the House of Representatives to cut nuclear weapons spending. Right now, he is looking for co-sponsors. Call your Representative via the switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to find out if s/he is a SANE Act co-sponsor yet. While it doesn’t go as far as we’d like, Markey’s bill represents a big step in the right direction. If passed, it will save $100 billion over the coming decade by curtailing more than a dozen dangerous and proliferation-provocative nuclear weapons programs, including the B61-12 Life Extension Program, the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12, and the MOX plant at the Savannah River Site.
— submitted by Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation and Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs. Jackie convenes the UFPJ Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security working group