Friday, February 06, 2009

Lively Debate on Nuclear Energy Between Dr. Patrick Moore and Harvey Wasserman at Democracy Now!

This is probably one of the most entertaining debates on nuclear energy I've seen in a long time!

By the way, their debate about $50 billion of loan volume in the Senate's "stimulus" package goes to "projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and employ new or significantly improved technologies as compared to technologies in service in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued." The actual appropriations for the $50B in loan volume is $500 million because the Congressional Budget Office scores the cost of the program at one percent of loan volume. But like I said in a previous post, if the program works as designed and no projects default, then none of this money is needed.

Also in the Senate's "stimulus" package but not mentioned in the debate is $95 billion in loan volume earmarked solely for commercially proven renewable energy projects and the transmission lines necessary to bring that renewable energy to market. What's interesting about this loan volume is that the appropriated amount is $9.5 billion. The CBO scored the costs of these loans at ten percent of loan volume. Confused yet?

Let me see if I can make it more simple. Only $500 million would be spent by the government to provide $50 billion in loan volume for the loan guarantee program. Contrast this with $9.5 billion that would be spent by the government to provide $95 billion in loan volume going solely to renewable energy projects and transmission lines.

I'm working on getting some links from the CBO that explain how they score it (their website is extremely slow right now) but this is how NEI's Government Affairs group explained what's going on. I guess Otto von Bismarck was right: The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they'll sleep at night.


Rod Adams said...

I also enjoyed the debate. In fact, I enjoyed it enough to mash it up for episode 126 of the Atomic Show Podcast. I tried to enliven it even more with interspersed commentary - I would be interested in getting your reactions if any.

It was pleasing to hear Patrick's response to Amy Goodman's question about what to do with the waste - the words sounded really familiar and quite a bit different from the industry line of just a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

How can these guys like Wasserman sleep at night? The gall it takes to say the French utility system works because they are Nazis is unbelievable...

Karen Street said...

What is CBO's explanation?

David Bradish said...

Karen, thanks for the reminder. Please check out my latest post on loan guarantees in the "stimulus" bill.