Skip to main content

Time for Nuclear: Gresham Barrett's Energy Plan

webGreshamBarrett52 Representative Gresham Barrett from South Carolina has put forward an energy plan that greatly favors nuclear energy.

The Greenville News' Anna Simon reports:

The legislation will seek to resolve what Barrett called “hindrances” to nuclear development by amending several national energy policies to help with nuclear plant construction, nuclear work force education and the management of spent nuclear fuel. The idea is derived from former South Carolina governor and Secretary of Energy Jim Edwards’ plans to provide more nuclear energy.

And how would Barrett remove those hindrances?

Part of the legislation calls for loan guarantees for technologies that reduce emissions. Regarding construction hindrances, Barrett’s legislation would seek to streamline the licensing process by eliminating mandatory hearings required by the Atomic Energy Act for uncontested issues on every Combined Operating License or Early Site Permit. It would also provide an investment tax credit for new nuclear plant construction and establish a joint Congressional committee on nuclear energy.

And on recycling:

The latter issue will be dealt with in another portion of the legislation, which will call for the creation of a quasi-independent corporation to construct and operate a waste repository.

We pity the "quasi-independent corporation" that tries to do that. Someone really has to solve the NIMBY problem first or it's Yucca mountain all over again.

GovTrack rates Barrett as the most conservative member of the House and he participated in the Republicans' sit-in during the last Congressional recess to try to get Democrats to move on energy issues - well, those the Republicans like, anyway. These factors may make his plan tough to move forward, though there's nothing reported that lays outside mainstream thinking (he hasn't updated his Web site, so we haven't seen the full content of the legislation). Barrett has gathered a bundle of ideas worth taking up; we'll see where it goes from here.

Photo of Gresham Barrett. The Hill ranked Gresham one of the 50 most beautiful people on Capitol Hill, the only elected official in the top 10. Why The Hill would do such a ranking, we have no idea.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…