The Heritage Foundation’s Stuart Butler offered up some nuclear prescriptions to the new administration in yesterday’s Washington Times:
First, Washington should create a level playing field for energy ideas. That means no longer artificially favoring one new energy source over another and instead creating a strong, market-oriented approach to energy so that the best sources can expand. It's time to say no to lobbyist-driven subsidies and phase out existing ones.
Second, Congress and the administration must commit to respecting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s authority to review the permit application to construct the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository in Nevada.
Third, we need to cut the red tape now slowing plant construction. The arduous, four-year nuclear-plant permitting process should be replaced with a new two-year fast-track process for experienced applicants who meet reasonable siting and investment requirements.
We don’t disagree with any of it specifically, though we’re reasonably sure Butler knows that banning lobbyist-driven subsidies needs 536 members of Congress to sign on to it – and since all of them would deny being thus influenced, they see no need to stop it. (It’s a wee bit of a red herring anyway; lobbyist activity flows from many sides of an issue, though admittedly, some lobbyists are much more effective than others.)
You may have noticed the call for a “strong, market-oriented approach” and thought to yourself, Ahh, that Heritage Foundation. But Heritage has in the past been more likely to throw government under a bus and back up over it, so this represents something new – a recognition that government and industry are in the energy business together. Heritage favors the industry side, the Center for American Progress the government side. That’s just how it goes in the wide world of partisan big thinkers.
We can’t let Butler go – but do read his whole article; it’s pretty good – without tweaking him a bit:
Anyone old enough to remember the 1979 movie "China Syndrome," about the deadly cover-up of a nuclear accident, knows Jane Fonda and other liberals would have a fit at the idea of more nuclear energy.
Ahh, that Heritage Foundation. The red meat’s getting a little gray and mealy there. Even kids of my generation remember Miss Fonda more as an exercise guru. We think Heritage would do itself a big favor by recognizing that nuclear energy isn’t quite the liberal danger flag it used to be. Even anti-nuclear environmental activists are beginning to look like dead-enders. Heritage’s ideas are good enough that there’s really no need to throw slop to the hard core.
One of the Heritage Foundation’s initiatives. We have a feeling if you ask Heritage a question, Jane Fonda might well be part of the answer.