Monday, July 06, 2009

Tom Perriello Adds Nuclear to the Mix

s-PERRIELLO-large We’ve been accused of not noting nuclear-favoring Democrats lately and that’s fair enough. We take them as they come, and it’s certainly true that Republicans find nuclear a good fit with their virtually all-inclusive energy approach. Thus, they say more about it.

Many Democrats, by contrast, seem a bit stuck between old guard environmentalists – although a fair few of them are coming around -and a desire to see renewable energy sources take off, giving viable mature industries short shrift. But we think more Democrats than not support nuclear energy and if they would work it into their messaging more, we’d be more than happy to spotlight them.

So meet Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.). Coming from the same area as Mecklenburg, which we spotlighted last week, Perriello has an editorial in the Appomattox News is which he aims to clarify his energy policies. He mentions some of the companies from last week’s story:

We are already seeing companies like Mod-u-Kraf homes become a national leader in energy efficient homes. Windy Oaks and Red Birch Energy are leading the way on bio-refineries. Several companies are leading the way on advanced battery manufacturing so that all those new hybrid batteries can be made right here in the USA.

Ah, Red Birch, our old friend. Here’s where Perriello mentions nuclear:

The clean energy economy can be the next growth industry, creating millions of new jobs. Some of the biggest winners should be agricultural areas that can produce biofuels, and areas like Region 2000 that are connected to the nuclear industry, as well as former manufacturing hubs that can support the new advanced manufacturing of efficiency technology.

Well, all right, coming from a farming district, Perriello is going to be most excited about bio-fuels. We get that. Region 2000 is an economic development initiative that covers the counties ringing Lynchburg; AREVA is part of its Technology Council. So the reference to nuclear is a trifle mediated. But it’s there and Perriello adopts a general attitude that shows a willingness to change with the times. For example, whither king tobacco?

To really meet the nation’s need for energy independence, we need to tap all of the energy sources that exist in the region. Bio-refineries and bio-power plants can be strategically located throughout the region using feedstocks grown by local farmers, many of whom are looking for a crop to replace tobacco as a sustainable source of income.

Whither? Wither – in favor of bio-fuel.

We liked Perriello’s article for the way it directly answers to his constituents. That can be underestimated, but it’s important, and adding nuclear into the mix is even better. Perriello has gotten hit by the Republicans for supporting the climate change bill – see here for more – but his energy outlook should, if anything, be appealing to them.

You wouldn’t know it from this picture, but Perriello has an exceptionally winning smile – the utility of which for a politician should not be underestimated – but here looks as though he’s on the way to his dentist.

1 comment:

Joffan said...

Nice find Mark. I actually kind-of like the way nuclear is not made a big deal of here, just one of the clean energies. Transition is never easy.

And thanks for listening :-D