It is laughable to think that some members of Congress have the audacity to complain about another government body being plagued by bullies, angry tirades or dysfunction. (Don’t they have mirrors?) Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the committee’s top Democrat, said it best: “Congress isn’t functioning very well at all. So I don’t want to sit here and tell you how to conduct your business.”
However, hypocrisy wasn’t going to stop his colleagues, some of whom demanded Jaczko apologize and some of whom called for Jaczko’s resignation.
There is no allegation that Jaczko has done anything illegal so, has Jaczko stifled work and put the safety of Americans at risk because of a poor management style? No.
This year alone the commission has held 48 meetings, 14 planning sessions and made dozens of official decisions. That doesn’t sound like commissioners are getting shoved aside or left in the dark.
Jaczko has dared to act independently, he has been attacked by the industry, by members of Congress and by his colleagues.
The striking point for all of this goes back to the meltdown of the nuclear power plant in Japan earlier this year. Jaczko took control of his agency, as he is allowed to do, and called for a task force study of how to improve safety in American nuclear power plants.
The other commissioners have balked at Jaczko’s push for safety, showing themselves to be petulant and contrary, and that’s the real problem at the NRC.
If anyone is endangering the public, it’s not Jaczko. He may need to put some polish on his management skills, but there is no need for change in the chairmanship. He has stood up for the public by trying to ensure the safety of the nation’s reactors. His colleagues, meanwhile, have been in a snit and should be ashamed. They should apologize and start following Jaczko’s lead.
By Staff on 12 December 2011 for Enformable - (http://enformable.com/2011/12/jaczko-faces-battle-but-accusers-end-up-with-mud-on-the-face)
Let’s apply the usual Washington rules — nothing is what it seems and the motives of the accusers are often questionable — to a dust-up at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The four commissioners who wrote the letter, two Democrats and two Republicans, said Jazcko, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has “intimidated and bullied” senior staff, leading to a “chilled” work environment. They also charge that he has acted with “intemperance” and “disrespect” toward other commissioners.
Rep. Shelly Berkley says the four NRC members targeting Jaczko are simply trying to “turn our state into a radioactive wasteland,” while Sen. Dean Heller complained that the commissioners “should be focusing on the safety of the American public, not internal politics.”
The Nevada delegation should oppose efforts to get rid of Jaczko, and they should call the White House and tell Obama to do the same.
The nuclear industry knows he won’t carry its water, so industry allies are trying to force him out.
According to one NRC observer, Jaczko is pushing hard for policies that will prevent blackouts at nuclear plants; much of the catastrophe at Fukushima can be pegged to power failures after the earthquake and tsunami there.
To begin with, if these incivility issues were cause for termination in Washington, half the government would be left unstaffed. More to the point, the lack of specificity of the charges is revealing.
Indeed, according to the government’s Office of Personnel Management, which surveys federal employees, the NRC is one of the best places to work in the federal government, which would seem to contradict the commissioners’ case.
Harry Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman issued a statement of support for Jaczko, saying he has “focused the NRC on its core mission: nuclear safety.”
The statement continued: “It is sad to see those who would place the interests of a single industry over the safety of the American people wage a politically-motivated witch hunt against a man with a proven track record of making sure nuclear power is produced as responsibly as possible.”.