Sunday, March 16, 2008

McCain, Clinton and Obama on Nuclear Power

The Wall Street Journal's blog provided some insights on where the three presidential candidates stand on nuclear power.

McCain:

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, policy director for Sen. McCain, said nukes can’t be left out. ‘The Senate Majority leader is the problem—we have Yucca Mountain [storage facility], we have the technology. I can’t see why we don’t take advantage of that,” he said.
Clinton:
Gene Sperling, chief economic adviser for Sen. Clinton and a veteran of the other Clinton White House, made it clear that New York’s junior senator “does not embrace nuclear power,” for a host of reasons ranging from Yucca Mountain’s uncertain storage to worries over nuclear proliferation. She doesn’t want to take nuclear power—which accounts for 20% of U.S. electricity—“off the table,” she just doesn’t want to see any more of the stuff until it dies of natural causes, he said.
Obama:
Jason Grumet, Sen. Obama’s energy adviser, appeared to leave the door cracked open—at first. “We have to overcome the problem, which is that renewable energy alone won’t do it,” he said. But, ticking off nuclear’s worries on his fingers—like safety, storage, and proliferation—he rushed to disavow “current nuclear” technology.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Re: Gene Sperling's comment on behalf of Sen. Clinton, she is smart enough to know that waiting for spent nuclear fuel to "die of natural causes" is not an answer, but Sperling seems not to.
Why do I suspect that her comments (pledge?) to shut down Yucca were intended just for Nevada voters?

Stephen said...

Clinton is the most anti-nuclear of the bunch and supports investing billions in dead-end wind/solar projects. She has never said a good thing about nuclear energy.

The only reason it's not "off the table" is politics. Politicians know never to be caught making a binding statement on something like that.

nuqlar said...

I knew that Clinton was not nuclear friendly based on her Yucca Mountain stance. I knew that McCain was nuclear friendly. I had thought that Obama was smart enough and moderate enough not to kick nuclear off the table. But it appears that I was wrong.

Growing up in Michigan, I saw too many UAW members vote based on who the union endorsed without regard to the issues. And the union would endorse whichever candidate promised to put more money in the pockets of the workers. On one hand I feel like those UAW members because I am a nuclear engineer and I don't want to see my job become obsolete. On the other hand, I convince myself that voting for nuclear power is *not* just a vote for my job. It is a vote for the best energy option.

When looking at other issues besides energy policy, however, sometimes my argument rings a little hollow.