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Thursday, March 17, 2005; Page A26

Yucca Mountain Files May Have Been Altered

Government employees may have falsified documents related to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project in Nevada, the Energy Department revealed yesterday in a development that could jeopardize the project's ability to obtain a federal permit.

The department said that during preparation for a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission a number of e-mails were discovered, dating to 1998 and 2000, in which an employee of the U.S. Geological Survey "indicated that he had fabricated documentation of his work."

Friday's Question:
It was not until the early 20th century that the Senate enacted rules allowing members to end filibusters and unlimited debate. How many votes were required to invoke cloture when the Senate first adopted the rule in 1917?

Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said the department had begun an investigation into the matter.

Senate Rejects Boost In Amtrak Subsidies

An effort in the Senate to increase federal subsidies for the Amtrak passenger rail system failed.

The amendment, offered by Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), would have added $1.04 billion to government financial assistance for the system. It failed on a 52 to 46 vote.

The amendment was co-sponsored by 23 senators, mostly Democrats. Republicans Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.) also voted for it.

In his 2006 budget, President Bush proposed eliminating Amtrak's operating subsidy and setting aside $360 million to run trains along the Northeast Corridor if the railroad ceased operating. In the budget that ends Sept. 30, Amtrak receives $1.2 billion in subsidies and capital investment.

-- From News Services

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