On Earth Day, Norton Introduces Nuclear Disarmament Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C.—To commemorate Earth Day, a day dedicated to protecting the planet and its environment, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today introduced the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2015 to require the United States to negotiate an international agreement to disable and dismantle its nuclear weapons by 2022 and to redirect the funds to human and infrastructure needs, such as housing, health care, Social Security and the environment. This year, the bill is particularly timely because of final negotiations underway for a historic nuclear agreement to keep Iran from producing a nuclear weapon.
The bill, which also requires ecologically beneficial activities, including the control of fissile material and nuclear waste and conversion to nuclear-free energy power, would take effect when the President certifies to Congress that all countries possessing nuclear weapons have either eliminated them or begun such elimination under established legal requirements. The Congresswoman has introduced a version of the bill since 1994, after working with the District of Columbia residents who were responsible for the nuclear disarmament ballot initiative passed by D.C. voters in 1993.
“Earth Day has come into its own with the urgency of climate change, which could destroy the earth but was unknown when Earth Day was established in 1970,” Norton said. “At the same time, there is no greater threat to the future of our planet than nuclear war. As the United States seeks to eliminate the nuclear threat from Iran, our country, with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, should lead by example by reducing our already unnecessarily high number of warheads, and move toward realizing a world without nuclear weapons.”