Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who is ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources committee gave a speech on the Senate floor the other day:
Let’s start with nuclear energy. During his remarks two weeks ago, the President indicated his support for a “new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.” And to the Administration’s credit, it followed through on that one in the budget request.
That’s pretty good – even though Alaska has no nuclear energy plants, Murkowski has always been in favor of its use. She does note some frustrations, though.
As I’ve said before, allowing the Department of Energy to guarantee more loans for nuclear plants is a step in the right direction. But I’d remind you – it’s been a year now, and this Administration has yet to help finance a single nuclear project.
Of course, we also need to make sure America is producing the raw materials used to generate nuclear energy. Here, again, the Administration took a step backward last year by withdrawing roughly 1 million acres of uranium-rich lands in Arizona. As a result, our nation has lost access to some of its highest-grade uranium reserves.
These inconsistent policy issues aside, though, Murkowski is generally content with the administration’s approach to nuclear energy.
Murkowski’s contentedness ends when she gets to gas and oil, which are very important to her home state. We’ll let you discover that part for yourself.
Obama had a rope line conversation with 1Sky’s Gillian Caldwell about advanced coal power plants (she doesn’t like them) that gave a clearer sense of the President’s views of renewable and non-renewable energy sources than anything we’ve seen before:
Caldwell: It’s got to be renewable energy. No more clean coal.
Obama: No, no, no… I disagree with you. I disagree with you. I'm going to defend… We are not going to get all our energy from wind and solar in the next 20 years…
Caldwell: Can't the market do it? Can't the market make the investment?
Obama: They can’t do it. The technology’s not there. I’ve got a nuclear physicist as my Department of Energy who cares more about climate change than anything and he will tell you you can’t get it done just through that – so you’ve got to have a transition period and do all this other stuff. Don’t be stubborn about it!
See the whole thing here.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)