Last week we pointed to a story about how Maine State Rep. Bob Walker was proposing legislation to create a state Nuclear Power Council. In today's edition of the Waldo County Citizen, Walker makes the case for his proposal in greater detail:
Why should Maine encourage the construction of nuclear energy plants? Demand for electricity will escalate as our population expands and energy-hungry manufacturing industries grow. We need cheaper energy if our economy is going to stay competitive here and abroad. Wind and solar power are important sources to be developed, but overall they cannot make more than minor contributions.For more on Walker, click here.
Energy conservation is fine, but we could never conserve enough to meet expected future demands.
Nuclear power also is environmentally friendly and critical to national security. Nuclear plants have zero emissions of greenhouses gases. Today, nuclear energy supplies 16 percent of the world’s electricity, avoiding the emission of 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year.
And imagine the benefits of freeing ourselves from dependence on oil from Middle East hotspots.
The process of licensing and building a new nuclear power plant averages nearly a decade. Nuclear power not only can supply lots of cheap energy that our economy desperately needs to compete, it can meet an ever-growing demand for power production with an environmentally friendly, emission-free method of energy production.
The continued growth in electricity demand and tightening reserve margins should not only frighten but provide an opportunity.
I believe the Legislature, as a deliberative body, instead of always being concerned with simply the present, needs to be forward-looking and acting on such important matters. I hope I can convince my colleagues of the need and importance of nuclear energy come January in Augusta.