Bureaucrat of the Week: Gregory Jaczko
by Donna Schoenkopf
A little background on today's Bureaucrat of the Week.
Gregory Jaczko went to Cornell University and majored in physics and philosophy, then got a doctorate in theoretical particle physics. He's no dummy.
He then became Rep. Edward Markey's science guy. I love Edward Markey. I have a picture of Edward and me together at a Democratic Convention in California in the 1980s. Nobody is better than Edward Markey on the environment and that means Gregory Jaczko is a real swell guy.
So Mr. Jaczko went on to various positions in the government on environmental issues, specializing in nuclear power. He eventually became Senator Harry Reid's science policy advisor.
You know Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader from NEVADA, where the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Depository was on its way to becoming a reality. Have you been keeping up with that? We anti-nuke folks are opposed to Yucca Mountain. A couple of objections to this dark and awful idea:
It lies on 39 earthquake fault lines. Nuclear waste takes, I dunno, an eternity to become inert. There are 7 young volcanoes on the site. There is an aquifer below the site, just waiting for some million year long contamination.
Yeah. Yucca Mountain was about the stupidest idea I've seen in a long, long time.
So time went by and Barack Obama was elected President of the United States of America and put Gregory Jaczko in as Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
An aside here:
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission used to be the Atomic Energy Commission. The name got changed because the folks who were commissioners at the AEC were said to be in the back pockets of the nuclear industry. It was so scandalous that the agency was abandoned, but reconstituted as the NRC because somebody had to watch those corporations. They can be very, very underhanded, you know. All to make a buck.
So, my hero, Barack Obama, put the kibosh on Yucca Mountain and put Gregory Jaczko in as Chair of the Commission.
Finally, a guy who cared about the environment. Nice.
But not so fast.
The brand new Tea Party Republicans were elected in 2010 and roared into Washington and passed a horrible bill which essentially wiped out all the environmental gains Obama's Democrats had made, including the Yucca Mountain deal. It's sitting in Limbo as we speak.
So. . .Fukushima happened.
And all that that implies.
And, the other four yoyos on the Commission must have tried some shenanigans because Gregory Jaczko, always having been known as a Real Nice Guy, was accused of Bad Manners when he was trying to make a point about being very, very careful in the light of what has happened at Fukushima.
The yoyos complained to Darryl Issa (head of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and has been itching to make his evil mark on Washington) and there was a hearing and Gregory Jaczko was really, really punched around and made to look like a maniac. I watched it on CSPAN.
So I just want to say:
THANK YOU, GREGORY JACZKO, FOR STANDING UP FOR OUR MOTHER EARTH AND RAISING YOUR VOICE FOR JUSTICE AND TRUTH!!!!! AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR COURAGE AND YOUR SENSE OF JUSTICE!!!
And you earn my Bureaucrat of the Week Award.
I love you, Gregory Jaczko.