Thursday, November 13, 2008

One for the Money in Wisconsin

commonstock There's been a veritable flood of good press on nuclear energy coming out of Wisconsin. The goal, of course, is to get the state's ban on new plants overturned. Now, a few good editorials don't make a Spring or even bring the swallows back to Capistrano, but we were interested to see this pickup of a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal editorial:

We also think that it's time to lift the state's moratorium on talking about additional nuclear energy. Dr. Patrick Moore of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, CASEnergy, made a good case in Madison last week for nuclear power.

His basic argument is that although wind can provide some relief (and solar, far less) from the greenhouse gas emissions of coal plants, neither can provide the base load power provided by coal. Nuclear can, and at least it should be on the table. As should renewables, biomass and conservation.

Actually, the moritorium is about new plants; Wisconsinites can yak it up about nuclear energy all they want - which is what this editorial is doing.

The editorial is mostly about the Public Service Commission's rejection of a coal/biomass plant and, though it doesn't directly say so, one suspects that this plant, like a lot of coal plants, is facing hard times in a changing energy environment. While the editorial credits Alliant Energy for trying to do something viable with coal, it moves on to the lines above.

It is a notable couple of paragraphs: first, because nuclear energy is brought in as a secondary point of the piece, almost casually, as if this were a settled issue and it should be evident how Alliant should proceed. (It really isn't, but let's let that pass for the moment.) Defending nuclear is unnecessary is instead presented as a way forward. Second, this editorial has been picked up by a stock trading site, and the take-way to that site's readers is that nuclear might be something to take a look at when you visit your broker or study stocks. We can't disagree with that. Third, er, yay Patick Moore!

A little slice of capitalism for you. Get it while it's still hot.

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