Maine Representative Bob Walker is concerned about his state's energy future, so he introduced legislation in that state' House of Representatives to create a nuclear energy study group to prepare to build new nuclear power plants.
Unfortunately, the effort was defeated:
A roll call vote this week, which divided along party lines, approved a motion to “indefinitely postpone” the Walker amendment, effectively killing it.Until it was decommissioned in 1997, Maine Yankee produced 45% of the state'e electricity -- a shortfall that has been made up by building new natural gas-fired generating capacity that comes part and parcel with rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Rep. Walker submitted the legislation to amend LD 1851, a bill to establish the State of Maine as a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a 10-state agreement designed to reduce emission of carbon dioxide by electricity generating plants. That bill has been passed by the Legislature.
The Walker amendment would have created the Maine Nuclear Power Council to explore the need for carbon-free alternatives for power generation.
The council, consisting of seven members, would have been responsible for examining ways to reduce Maine’s reliance on fossil fuels to produce electricity, while lowering the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
It also would have coordinated the planning for potential construction of a nuclear power facility, including location research and environmental impact. The council would have reported annually to the legislative committee with jurisdiction over energy matters.
“Sooner or later, we will need nuclear power to meet the energy needs of Maine and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said the first-term legislator from Lincolnville. “Our major power plants run on fossil fuels — oil and natural gas. Not only are these finite resources that will eventually run out, but they pump CO2 into the atmosphere.”
Please note that a similar legislative task force in Wisconsin just completed proposed legislation to lift that state's moratorium against new nuclear build.