Legislation that would create a new entity to establish a permanent facility for high-level radioactive waste--like that which is stored temporarily at three sites on the California coast--was introduced Aug. 1. The bill--S. 3469 by Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee chair Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)--affects California stockpiles of waste that have been mounting since the 1960s. Bingaman noted that while he does not expect the bill to pass this year, he wants to use the measure to start discussions that lead to a permanent repository for nuclear waste. Bingaman is retiring from the Senate at the end of this year. The legislation moves the authority to establish a permanent repository from the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to a new entity that would be known as the Nuclear Waste Administration, governed by an oversight board. The federal facility that had been planned at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was terminated in March 2010. California utilities, as well as other radioactive waste producers, were set to ship spent fuel and other radioactive detritus to Yucca Mountain at completion. When it became clear that the site was stalled on both scientific and political grounds, California utilities built dry casks to temporarily store mounting waste on the sites of nuclear facilities while waiting for more permanent storage. The legislation follows recommendations from the President\u2019s Blue Ribbon Commission on Yucca Mountain. One of the members of that commission, Allison Macfarlane, is now NRC chair. She supports geologic storage for waste, but opposed the Yucca Mountain site. In other legislation, The House Energy & Commerce Committee Aug. 1 passed on a 29-19 vote the No More Solyndras Act. The measure, HR 6213, could affect California\u2019s future renewables development by pulling government backing on non-fossil projects. The legislation blocks Department of Energy loan guarantees from being granted this year. It also adds a layer of new review for loan applications that were submitted prior to 2012. \u201cWe must improve and preserve the integrity of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program rather than hinder our nation\u2019s ability to develop innovative energy infrastructure projects,\u201d insisted Rhone Resch, Solar Energy Industries Association president. He added that the loan program \u201cis providing crucial financing to support the construction of 11 utility-scale solar power plants in the Southwest that will produce 2,700 MW.\u201d Republicans vilified the loan guarantee program after Fremont-based Solyndra collapsed in August 2011 after receiving loan guarantees of $535 million from the federal government. In part their anger was directed at renewable energy in general, plus in part at the administration\u2019s direction for promising taxpayer support. Last week, the committee\u2019s Subcommittee on Energy & Power approved the No More Solyndras Act. The July 25 vote on H. R. 6213 was split down the party line--except for Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) who voted against it, along with Democrats.