December 11, 2017

The Podesta Group Lobbied Against Yucca Mountain — And Then Lobbied For Its Biggest Supporter

What (Really) Happened, Day #20

By refusing to take a stance on the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, Hillary Clinton played right into the decades-old narrative that she couldn’t be trusted. The flip-flopping alienated Republicans and Democrats alike.

But she wasn’t the only one in Clinton World who did a 180° on the issue.

The Podesta Group — the ubiquitous lobbying firm run by Tony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta — did the same thing.

According to old lobbying filings, the Podesta brothers were being paid big bucks to oppose Yucca Mountain in the early 2000s. The Nevada Resort Association was paying their firm — then called PodestaMattoon — $240,000-a-pop. The Greenspun Corporation, run by a major Hillary Clinton donor, was doling out $100,000. Harry Reid alleged that the firm would being “complement[ing his] own efforts to twist the arms of Democratic senators” in Congress.

If one thing was clear, it was that the Podesta Group was wholly dedicated to opposing Yucca Mountain. Until . . .

Well, the money dried up . . . and the Podesta brothers found a new client that was willing to provide the firm a $50,000 retainer to lobby on their behalf. That client? The Nuclear Energy Institute, one of Yucca Mountain’s staunchest supporters.