Wednesday, June 08, 2005

NPR Looks At McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act

Last night, National Public Radio's Living on Earth show included a 6-minute segment on the inclusion of incentives for constructions of advanced nuclear power technology as one of the options to reduce greenhouse gases in the new McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship legislation.

The show included a strong endorsement of nuclear energy from Senator John McCain and a lengthy discussion on why many environmentalists and environmental organizations are reconsidering long-held positions against nuclear energy. Interviews include James Lovelock, Fred Krupp of Environmental Defense, and representatives of unyielding nuclear opponents Greenpeace and US PIRG. Here's an excerpt from the transcript:

HOST STEVE CURWOOD: So far, the federal government has rejected mandatory limits on the emissions of greenhouse gases. But two prominent Senators are trying to change that. Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Joe Lieberman of Connecticut want their colleagues to take another look at a modest cap on carbon emissions. Their Climate Stewardship Act gained a respectable 43 votes the last time the Senate considered it. This time around Senators McCain and Lieberman hope to pick up votes by adding subsidies for climate friendly energy technology—including nuclear power. Living on Earth's Jeff Young reports that addition has sharply divided advocates for limits on global warming gases.

NPR’s JEFF YOUNG: Two years ago the Climate Stewardship Act drew enthusiastic support from environmentalists. The bill called for the nation's first cap on greenhouse gases from power plants and an emissions trading system to let the market soften the economic blow.

This year the bill is back—the support is not. That's because its new version would put hundreds of millions of dollars toward the design and development of three new nuclear power reactors along with other technologies like solar and low-emission coal plants. The act's primary sponsor, Senator John McCain, never made a secret of his support for nuclear energy. Here's what he told Living on Earth in September.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I feel very strongly about nuclear power and you can't be serious--you can't be serious--about reducing the effect of greenhouse gas emissions unless you factor nuclear power into the equation.
For more on other environmentalists who support expanded use of nuclear energy, click here.

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Robert Schwartz said...

You cann't talk somebody out of a position they did not adopt rationally in the first place. The anti-nuke kooks are such because they hate western civilization and the United States and want to see them destroyed.

Anonymous said...

How does being against nuclear power (and nuclear weapons, which need nuclear reactors and plants to function) being against the US and western civilization? Global Warming is a GLOBAL issue - not restricted only to hemispheres. Renewable energies such as solar, wind, micro-hydro, and biomass can easily compensate and are environmentally and economically more sound than nuclear plants. Factor in all the mining for a limited resource - uranium, and it's a no brainer! Also, what do you do with all the nuclear waste? Do you want us to bury it in your backyard?

Anonymous said...

Renewable energies CANNOT "easily compensate" unless you deploy them in ridiculously massive scales, massive expense, and massive environmental impact.

I'd rather mine a little uranium than ton after ton of coal.

Conservation really won't matter, especially with the exploding needs of 2 billion+ Indians and Chinese.

More electricity is the answer. Less electricity is against modern civilization-- Western or otherwise.