Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Catch the House Hearing on Nuclear Loan Guarantees Today at 2 PM EST

If you are in a lull at work or have time this afternoon, click here around 2 PM Eastern time to watch an oversight hearing titled “Nuclear Power’s Federal Loan Guarantees: The Next Multi-Billion Dollar Bailout?” The chair of the subcommittee that is holding the hearing is Mr. Kucinich from Ohio.

NEI’s Leslie Kass will be testifying on the first panel along with former NRC commissioner Peter Bradford, IEER’s Arjun Makhijani, and Heritage Foundation’s Jack Spencer. Panel two includes a few familiar names as well: Mark Cooper and Richard Caperton among others.

Pretty much everyone from all sides will be speaking at this hearing. The Q&A should be quite interesting, especially from the Chairman …

Update 2:15: Well, it looks like we won't be able to watch the webcast after all. We were told that it's not working today and the committee will archive the video for viewing later this week.

Update 4/21, 8:00 am: NEI's Donn Salvosa who was at the hearing said that it was lightly attended with only six of the 15 subcommittee members making an appearance. Below was Donn's observations:

Rep. Kucinich at most times was the only member present on the Democrat side along with Rep. Jordan on the Republican side.

Most of the witnesses on the panel expressed their skepticism on providing loan guarantees for nuclear. Leslie Kass represented NEI and discussed the benefits that loan guarantees for nuclear can provide which includes reducing the cost of capital that lowers the costs to consumers, job creation and increasing demand on manufacturing.

The question period focused on several issues. Kucinich focused on the economics of financing new reactors and expressed concern over the proprietary nature of the credit subsidy fee which most of the panelists agreed should be public.

Rep. Jordan questioned panelists on whether they opposed subsidies for other sources in addition to nuclear. Most of the witnesses agreed that subsidies for other sources including wind and solar should not be given out.

At the end of the hearing, Rep. Kucinich announced plans to hold 1 or 2 more additional hearings on this issue.
Interesting how most of the witnesses agreed that renewables shouldn't receive incentives as well...

Update 4/21, 3:40 pm: You can find Leslie Kass' detailed testimony here.

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