US Climate Change Bill Promotes Nuclear Industry
Written by Atheo | Aletho News | October 05, 2009
“A new era for the nuclear industry”
Obama energy adviser Carol Browner announces mandates
that will result in a new generation of nuclear power plants.
Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
The new Democratic climate change bill , introduced in the Senate by Barbara Boxer and John Kerry, contains more advantages for nuclear power than even the legislation which passed in the House of Representatives last June. Included are waste management, financing and loan guarantee arrangements, regulatory risk insurance, as well as R&D and training programs. Joseph Lieberman is understood to be preparing the fine print for the bill which is presently “short on details”. The bill however does describe a “new era for the nuclear industry.” Other vital findings include:
(6) even if every nuclear plant is granted a 20-year extension, all currently operating nuclear plants will be retired by 2055;
(7) long lead times for nuclear power plant construction indicate that action to stimulate the nuclear power industry should not be delayed;
(8) the high upfront capital costs of nuclear plant construction remain a substantial obstacle, despite theoretical potential for significant cost reduction;
The push for a new generation of nuclear power plants finds bi-partisan support, Democrat Barbara Boxer has said that a higher cost for carbon–which would make coal-fired plants less attractive and nuclear plants more attractive–would do the trick [in making nuclear power competitive], while Republican Lamar Alexander has said “let’s start building a hundred nuclear power plants.” Ever one to make extreme positions seem moderate, John McCain says the Democrats’ bill falls far short, and he wants more incentives for building new nuclear plants, beyond aid the industry already gets and the advantages for nuclear under a cap and trade plan.
Unlike their political leaders the public is increasingly skeptical about the need for “climate” legislation. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported that 30 percent of the public considered global warming to be one of the top priorities for governmental action, placing it 19th out of the 19 options surveyed in the January 2009 survey. Barack Obama’s top energy adviser, Carol Browner does not see a high likelihood of legislation being passed this year. Undeterred by popular will the EPA said on September 30, that it will require newly built or modified industrial facilities that produce more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year to use “best available [carbon] control technologies and energy efficiency measures.” Thus directly mandating the costlier nuclear energy whether the Congress passes a climate change bill or not. An increased cost to ultimately be borne by rate payers. The expense of nuclear energy could be viewed as another military related financial drain on America since a vibrant civilian nuclear industry is vital for the ongoing development of new nuclear weapons.
Requirements for energy sources that are actually renewable will amount to little more than shallow symbolism as their costs will remain higher yet than that of nuclear. Under the House bill wind and solar will see some mandated growth but still make up a tiny fraction of US energy generation. The lack of interest in renewable energy is made clear by the recent slashing of the already minuscule funding for wave and tidal energy research.
Marvin Fertel, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry lobby, justifies the claim on public largess solely on the imperative of reducing Co2, the weaker “energy independence” rationale being absent from his response to the bill:
“The U.S. nuclear energy industry supports the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 in a way that minimizes negative impact on the economy and consumers of electricity. We appreciate the fact that Senators Kerry and Boxer recognize that nuclear energy is a critical component of any strategy to reduce carbon emissions. The nuclear energy industry appreciates their efforts, along with those of Senator Carper, to articulate the strategic value of nuclear energy in this global challenge.”
As with other major pieces of legislation under consideration by the current Congress, the financial industry is a central actor, venture capitalists “are ready to pour multibillions of dollars into clean energy” if Congress passes “some kind of bill that talks about energy independence and climate change,” Boxer said.
- June 13, 2009
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From the Archives
By Reham Alhelsi • April 18, 2009
Every year, on April 17, Palestinians commemorate the Palestinian Political Prisoners Day. On 17.4.1974 the first Palestinian political prisoner, Mahmoud Baker Hijazi, was released from Israeli prisons in the first prisoner exchange deal with Israel. That same year, the Palestinian National Council declared the 17th of April a day of solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, to be commemorated every year. In Occupied Palestine prison and imprisonment are as common as sunrise and sunset. There is almost no family that had not been subjected to Israeli imprisonment one way or the other. Palestinians are being detained on a daily basis, making them the most imprisoned people on earth. It is difficult to estimate their number, but several sources put the number of Palestinians detained or imprisoned by Israel since 1967 at over 750,000 Palestinians, making 20% of the total Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories, and approximately 40% of the total Palestinian male population. With the outbreak of the 2nd Intifada in September 2000 until September 2008 some 65,000 men, 750 women and 7,500 children were arrested by Israel. According to the ICRC, in October 2008 there were 10,500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Addammeer puts the number at 9,493, 750 of which are administrative detainees, 349 aged 18 and under, and 75 are females. Among those detained are political figures and some 47 Palestinians parliamentarians. … continue
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This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
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