Friday, January 08, 2010

Lindsey Graham: As Bold As The French

We were in the mood for cheese, so of course had to look in on Wisconsin, where the mood is cheddery smooth:

A proposal that would relax Wisconsin's ban on nuclear reactors and mandate increasing use of renewable energy began its journey through the Legislature on Thursday, with Gov. Jim Doyle asserting that it could create more than 15,000 jobs.
Apparently, the legislation to do this has a problem which need not be one:

The bill would require that any nuclear reactor built in the state be designed to serve the needs of Wisconsin electricity customers only. That could violate the federal Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution, said Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon).
 We're not sure that Rep. Montgomery is right here but wonder why such a provision is even included. In any event, we should note that no electricity producer can be "designed" to do this - it's a matter of transmission, not generation and since Wisconsin, like every state, is part of a multi-state grid, we're not even sure it's really practical. But that's what the bill's sponsors want.

The bill includes language that would nullify all of the nuclear power changes if a court finds the "Wisconsin only" provision unconstitutional.
 All in all, very odd - we're noting some curdy clumps in our queso. This bill has just been proposed - let's see where it goes and what arguments emerge.


Steve Milloy of contributes an op-ed to The Washington Times that supports nuclear energy, but is really more an attack on cap-and-trade as a mechanism for controlling carbon emissions. We have no real brief on cap-and-trade vs. a carbon tax vs., well, any other or no mechanism. The world, including the energy sector, will move as it needs to, and how the government decides to apply a push will be subject to review based on its efficacy or lack thereof.

We were more interested in Milloy's rhetoric:

Little discussed is how cap-and-trade is an insidious form of anti-American social engineering.

Cap-and-trade threatens our military preparedness and our national sovereignty.

Seemingly oblivious to how cap-and-trade would force European socialism on America ...

When Neville Chamberlain came back to Britain after negotiating the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler ...
Next time he comes out against (or for) something, Milloy should really consider pulling out the big guns.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sees the value of nuclear energy:

Graham wants to see measures in the bill that make it easier for the nuclear power industry to expand in the United States, and he pointed to South Carolina’s considerable assets in the sector. France gets the majority of its power from nuclear, Graham noted.
“Surely we can be as bold as the French,” he said.
Surely. Graham's participation probably isn't necessary as far as nuclear energy is concerned - many Democrats have turned the corner on that issue - but he adds a valuable voice that may give the legislation a chance at a true bi-partisan profile.

He also said any energy and climate bill he would support must have approval for more domestic drilling rights for oil and natural gas. That would be politically palatable in the Senate, Graham said, and could provide a new revenue stream for states that might have considerable offshore deposits, such as South Carolina.
The bill also should have measures to protect from utility price spikes and could be curtailed if emerging economic powers such as China and India do not strive to curb emissions, he said.
We always respond positively to a broad energy outlook and Graham has one.

Sen. Lindsey Graham.

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