To give a sense of the impact of Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-Tenn.)insistence on nuclear energy, as noted below, consider the response of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in our Twitter feed to your right. Here’s the whole quote – it ran longer than 140 characters:
You are suggesting a command and control: We order you to build 100 nuclear power plants. $700 billion cost to the ratepayers. No tax credits for them whatsoever. And you come up with other ideas, some of which I support, but costly to taxpayers. All I’m saying is, it is our belief that, if we do this right, we’re going to have those plants built – more plants than you want – and believe me, I’m not the biggest fan of nuclear energy. I believe it has to be part of the solution.
Boxer offers enough pushback to establish bona fides, but she yields to reality in the end.
Boxer also seems to have picked up on Sen. Tom Udall’s (D-N.M.) comment last week:
You put a price on carbon, what you end up doing is sending a very strong signal in the marketplace that carbon dioxide emissions, that these kinds of emissions, are to be reduced in the future and that you move in the direction of technologies [in] which you do not create carbon dioxide – nuclear is one of those.
So if it seems that some Democrats are backing into nuclear energy, it still gets them to the same place that Alexander came to frontally.
We’ll take it.
We would not have caught this without Twitter, incidentally, because it happened at an Agriculture-related hearing, which we don’t follow (not much nuclear there), and it’s not the kind of thing that would turn up in a news story – we snagged the whole quote from the webcast. Granted, it’s a stray comment and we miss a lot of those each day, but it’s a good one. We’ll take our tools as they come.