Tuesday, November 25, 2008

President Obama on Nuclear Energy

President Obama Nuclear EnergyOver at The Huffington Post, Greenpeace's Jim Riccio offers up some red meat in his provocatively titled guest post, President Obama and Nuclear Power's Spin Campaign. Riccio accuses NEI of mischaracterizing President-elect Obama's support for nuclear power and dismisses the work done by the industry association as "propagandist."

Back in July, at the start of the presidential campaign, another claim of mischaracterization was made; this time by the nonpartisan Factcheck.org in their article, A False Accusation About Energy.

We’ve been through this. Obama has not said a flat-out "no" to nuclear, as the ad claims. Instead he has said he is in favor of nuclear energy if it is clean and safe, saying in his energy plan that "it is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power from the table."
In October, The New York Times, in its presidential candidate Check Point series, had this to say,
...And contrary to what Mr. McCain has been saying on the campaign trail, where he proposes the construction of 45 nuclear plants by 2030, Barack Obama does not “oppose the use of nuclear power.”

Both men endorse nuclear energy, although to differing degrees, as part of their strategy to wean the United States from its dependence on foreign oil
More recently, in an interview on Charlie Rose, the senior U.S. Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, described the legislative landscape in an Obama Administration
Charlie Rose: What else will we see in terms of legislation in the House and Senate?
Chuck Schumer: You will see a really serious energy policy that will wean us away from fossil fuels.
Charlie Rose: Okay, but tell me what that means. What is going to wean us away?
Chuck Schumer: It means, it's going to mean changing the tax laws. We developed...
Charlie Rose: Incentives to...
Chuck Schumer: All kinds of alternative energies. All kinds. I would say with President Obama, nuclear energy is on the table. Okay? People don't realize that. It's in his platform.
Charlie Rose: Add to nuclear energy?
Chuck Schumer: Mmm hmmm. Mmm hmmm. [Affirmative]. With Senator Obama, all kinds of... now, we'll have an electric car. Production. Work. Travels the same distance in five or six years. Okay?
A question: would Jim Riccio characterize the Annenberg Center (Factcheck.org), the New York Times, and Senator Chuck Schumer "propagandists" as well?


Pete said...

Riccio described in the Huffington piece that Berkshire Hathaway's MidAmerican Energy withdrew from a nuclear project last year. However, Riccio failed to mention that MidAmerican is in the process of purchasing Constellation Energy, which already has nuclear plants and plans to build several more through the Unistar consortium. It is smarter for MidAmerican to enter the nuclear power market with management that already understands the industry. The Constellation merger will provide that expertise. They recently submitted a COL application for a new plant at Nine Mile Point in New York.

Rod Adams said...

The project that Berkshire Hathaway halted did not make economic sense. It was being planned for Idaho, the the lowest price market for electricity in the US.

The Constellation purchase makes infinitely more sense from a financial perspective, especially since Buffett gets access to much larger, more lucrative markets, with a proven management and operations team all at a fire sale price.