In a meeting with Rep. Tauscher’s staff on Monday, we were glad to hear that the House Armed Services Committee on which the representative sits may give little or no funding to the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW), a thinly veiled attempt to create a new generation of nuclear weapons. Her staff also said that it seemed reasonable to support Senator Bingaman’s and Rep. Udall’s call to extend the Department of Energy’s public comment period on Complex Transformation, a proposal to revamp our nuclear weapons infrastructure, an additional 90 days to allow for more discussion on the future of US nuclear weapons.
We met with Rep. Tauscher’s District Director Jennifer Barton and her Deputy Chief of Staff Simon Limage, who called in from Washington, D.C. Also, Outreach Director for Tri-Valley CAREs Jedidjah de Vries and Peace Action West member and Moraga resident Larry Beans joined us to speak about why we oppose nuclear weapons plans like Complex Transformation and the RRW. Our group made a strong case for cutting funding for these programs due to the environmental and security hazards of pursuing nuclear weapons.
We delivered 2,000 petitions to Rep. Tauscher’s office and a DVD with footage of the Livermore public hearings on Complex Transformation where Peace Action West staff, community residents, and leaders of local groups spoke out strongly in favor of nuclear disarmament. Rep. Tauscher will be influential in determining the budget for projects like the RRW because she sits on the House Armed Services Committee and is chairwoman of its Strategic Forces Subcommittee. She also has the Livermore Lab that won a design competition for the RRW in her district.
As a grassroots advocacy organization, we’re devoted to bringing the concerns of voters like you to your representatives in Congress. As part of the national Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World, Peace Action West is gathering petitions to key members of Congress, asking them to make the US safer by opposing the RRW and Complex Transformation. We will continue to build public support for nuclear disarmament and keep in touch with her office. We have until April 10th to send in comments to the Department of Energy opposing Complex Transformation and will continue to collect petitions to Rep. Tauscher throughout the year.