Wyoming and five other uranium-producing states have filed a "friends of the court" brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting domestic uranium companies in their lawsuit against the federal government.
The office of the Wyoming attorney general has proposed the brief on behalf of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.Gov. Mike Sullivan said the brief supports the view that the federal Department of Energy erred in its uranium enrichment policy and in adopting a policy that was not consistent with congressional intent.
"Were I a Supreme Court justice, I would view this appeal by the Department of Energy as frivolous," he said.
The states argue that the Department of Energy is violating Section 161 (v) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1964. The law requires restrictions on enrichment of foreign uranium to preserve the viability of the domestic uranium industry.
The brief supports Western Nuclear Inc. and other domestic uranium producers who were the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit. It asks the Supreme Court to affirm rulings in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a federal district court that the Department of Energy is not living up to the mandates of Section 161 (v).
The brief cites the "dismal story" of the federal policy on uranium-producing areas such as Wyoming's Fremont County and says that Jeffrey City "is fast becoming a modern ghost town" as a result.