A nonprofit think tank is using Hanford as a primary example of the growing effect of job-elimination efforts by Congress on families and communities.
Hanford's potentially delayed work is an example of a decision that sucks jobs out of the weak economy but will cost the government more money and over time potentially increase the public debt, according to "Creating Unemployment -- How Congressional Budget Decisions Are Putting American Out of Work and Increasing the Risk of as Second Recession."
The report was recently released by the Center for American Progress, which describes its work as drawing on the progressive ideals of Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
"Nuclear weapons cleanup will get more expensive with each passing year, and at the end of a decade we will have met much of that obligation but at a greater cost than necessary," the report said. It also will mean more risk to the environment and lost jobs in the midst of a painfully weak recovery, it said.
The report cited a September decision by the Department of Energy and its regulators to let some interim environmental cleanup deadlines slide to focus on the highest priority work, given the realities of the federal budget.
The report also discussed layoffs after almost 2,000 Hanford workers lost their jobs, most in the past two months, as federal economic stimulus spending came to an end. Additional layoffs are possible by fall 2012, depending on the fiscal 2012 budget, which Congress has yet to pass.