FEB 09, 2016

Attorney General Wilson's Statement on MOX Lawsuit


(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released the following statement regarding a lawsuit filed in federal district court today against the United States Department of Energy regarding the MOX facility in Aiken County.

Today, a lawsuit was filed in federal district court against the United States Department of Energy to require the federal government to obey the rule of law.

"In September 2015, we sent a letter to Secretary Moniz stating that we expected the Department of Energy to follow through with its promises, otherwise we would be seeking legal action. That letter was completely ignored.   

"The Federal Government has a responsibility to follow through with its promises. The Department of Energy has continually shown disregard for its obligations under federal law to the nation, the State of South Carolina and frankly the rule of law. The federal government is not free to flout the law. This behavior will not be tolerated. We are committed to using every legal avenue possible to ensure compliance.

"We will continue to work with the Governor’s Office, our federal delegation in Washington and other state officials in a multi-pronged effort to protect South Carolinians.”

The Attorney General’s Office has been working to protect the MOX facility for more than two years. In March 2014, the AG’s office took legal action against the federal government when President Obama announced plans to halt construction on the site. Luckily, an agreement was reached when the Department of Energy promised to continue funding the project through the end of the fiscal year.

Following that agreement, the Department of Energy has continued to seek ways to terminate the MOX project. This prompted a letter sent in September 2015 from the Attorney General’s Office to Secretary Moniz. (That letter can be viewed here.) That letter stated intent to bring legal action, if the Department of Energy did not comply with its obligations.

These actions have forced the state to file today’s lawsuit in order to protect thousands of jobs in South Carolina. This suit requires the federal government to halt any further shipments of plutonium into South Carolina and provide the statutory economic and impact assistance to the state.

This isn’t the first time the state has had to consider and pursue all legal avenues available. In 2011, the state fought to ensure completion of the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository and was successful.

A full copy of the complaint can be viewed here.


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