"Let there be no doubt. Let there be no mistake. Let there be no mischaracterization: I'm a strong advocate for the development of more nuclear energy in Arizona," [Gov. Jan] Brewer told the conference of elected officials and business leaders at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. "Nuclear power is at the cornerstone of our clean-energy future."
That's about as definitive as it gets. And why is Gov. Brewer convinced nuclear is the way to go?
But Brewer stressed its value as a consistent energy source with stable costs and no greenhouse-gas emissions. There are about 3,000 employees at Palo Verde.Her enthusiasm was duly noted.
"She was passionate about it. She was almost strident. I said, 'Wow,' " said Martin Shultz, vice president of intergovernmental affairs for Pinnacle West Capital Corp., parent of Arizona Public Service, which operates Palo Verde.
Now, let's point out that Brewer also supports renewables and the article notes her success with tax credits encouraging solar panel production - solar energy seems a natural for Arizona, after all.
Even more promising in terms of job production are renewable energies, for which Brewer believes the state is well-suited with its wealth of sunshine, available workforce and corporate-tax incentives.Taken together, all we can say about Gov. Brewer's energy outlook is, um, Wow!
We looked around for editorial response in the state and found this in The Yuma Sun:
Still, nuclear power can be a safe and efficient way to generate power. The advantages it brings mean it needs to be at the top of the list when considering alternatives to our current reliance on fossil fuels. The governor is right to be enthusiastic about nuclear power.Still early, but so far, Gov. Brewer seems to be on to something.
We mentioned the other day that AREVA has pacted with Fresno Nuclear Energy Group to develop a plant in California, despite the state's standing ban on new construction. That means, for starters, that there is a certainty on the part of business that the ban will fall.
Although California has had a moratorium on the construction of nuclear reactors for about 30 years, Hutson said the state’s political atmosphere probably will be right for ending the moratorium by the time the Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants a license to build the facility.Hutson is John Hutson, president of Fresno Nuclear Energy Group.
We'll explore this development in more detail in future posts. For further reading, see here, here, and here.
We were struck by the economic straits Fresno finds itself in:
Right now, some counties in the Fresno area have unemployment above 40 percent, and the region has more food stamp recipients than any other region in the nation, he said.We like Hutson's view and do think this effort will do nothing but help the area, but it is clearly in deeper distress than any one company can hope to solve. We didn't get any indication that the state is midwifing this effort, but we certainly hope it is in other areas if not specifically in the energy sphere.
A nuclear plant would bring thousands of jobs to the region during construction and create 300 permanent, high-paying jobs, [Hutson] said. Also, it would help power desalination facilities, giving the region’s farms more usable water, and provide electricity needed for other companies to move to the region, he said.
We poked around to see what was happening but didn't run into much that was productive - the state has notably messy politics and huge budget problems. We did get a better view of what is expected for the Fresno area:
[F]or the Central Valley, especially north of the Fresno area, the grind will continue for months yet to come, fueled by the shutdown of the Toyota assembly plant in Newark, the smoldering foreclosure residue of the mortgage meltdown and the never-ending state budget mess, says a report that was scheduled for release Wednesday from researchers at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.Many more efforts like those of AREVA and the Fresno Nuclear Energy Group couldn't come soon enough.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. We didn't do an in-depth hunt, but we couldn't find a single picture with her frowning or looking anything but cheerful.