The former Florida governor and CASE Coalition member shares his thoughts:
"Change" seems to be the operative word this election season. It's on the lips of political contenders and on the minds of the voters. But politics isn't the only arena where change is in the air. Change is happening in the world of energy as well, specifically when it comes to nuclear energy.
There are now 104 nuclear power reactors in the United States that are safely producing 20 percent of the nation's electricity - notably, without producing any of the harmful greenhouse gases some believe to be a major factor in climate change. Americans are beginning to recognize that nuclear energy caters to both our lifestyle and our greening mentality. And it offers the most proven means for our country to achieve much needed energy security.
American are demanding changes in energy production and the utilities are listening - there are 31 new nuclear power plants on the drawing board to be built over the next 15 to 20 years. Three of those are proposed for Florida.
It's good news for Florida. In 2006, Florida's five nuclear power reactors prevented the emission of 54,800 tons of sulfur dioxide; 39,000 tones of nitrogen oxide; and 22 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Avoiding nitrogen oxide at this level is the equivalent of taking 2 million passenger cars off the road.
That's a change for the better and it comes at the right time.
By 2030 the South Atlantic Grid is expected to require 26 percent more energy than it produced in 2006. And nationally, the numbers are even higher. As a country, we will need 40 percent more electricity to power our way of life by 2030.
It is time to shine a little light on this critical sea change, which has produced energy's comeback kid - nuclear power. It has my vote.