Monday, February 01, 2010

The "Nuclear Power" Noise

The President mentioned nukes, favorably, in his STFU speech. But John McCain and Lindsey Graham, both nominally Republicans, are likely to derail any nuke development, even if the President was not speaking with forked tongue.

The play, after all, is to pass "Cap-and-Tax."

During the campaign, Obama said he would support nuclear power with caveats. He was concerned about how to deal with radioactive waste and how much federal money was needed to support construction costs. Those concerns remain; some say they’ve gotten worse.

The spent-fuel repository has been shut down. So 'waste' remains an issue. So does financing, and "new technologies" such as reprocessing.

Why? Obama.

His administration has pledged to close Yucca Mountain, the planned multibillion-dollar burial ground in the Nevada desert for high-level radioactive waste. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has been criticized for his slow rollout of $18.5 billion in loan guarantees to spur investment in new nuclear power plants, and the administration killed a Bush-era proposal to reprocess nuclear fuel.

Some of that--specifically, financing--will be addressed in the new budget. The one with a $1.4Trillion deficit.

Enter "Cap-and-Tax."

[Sen Lindsey] Graham, in an Associated Press interview, said Obama’s speech was an opening that he hoped to take advantage of to court more GOP support. But he said some pro-nuclear Republicans, while pleased with the president’s remarks, are nervous about the other part of the bill — a plan to limit heat-trapping pollution, which will raise energy costs.

“The president did a great job putting nuclear on the table in a robust way, as well as offshore drilling for oil and natural gas,” said Graham. “I hope Republicans understand we have a once in lifetime chance, but in return we have to come up with emissions standards.

Well, Lindsey, closing the industrial Midwest doesn't ring my chimes.

McCain is also screwing around with this:

...McCain criticized Obama’s stance on nuclear power during the 2008 campaign, but has backed efforts to reduce global warming.

McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said that while the senator was encouraged, the administration needs to address reprocessing and disposal if nuclear power is to be a viable option.

Nukes provide 20% of the power--which is 70% of US power that is "green." What's the holdup?

1 comment:

neomom said...

It is truly unfortunate that Graham isn't up for election this year. His constituents are not pleased with him.