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Nixon and Franken on Nuclear Energy

20090126_al_franken_33 Hard not to be pleased by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to support a new unit at the state’s Callaway nuclear plant, announced a couple of months ago. But at his state of the state address, he went much, much further:

Every business in Missouri needs reliable, affordable energy to grow and prosper.

And every Missouri family needs reliable, affordable energy to heat and cool their homes.

In November, I announced a historic agreement that will transform the economy of our state - creating thousands of jobs and benefitting millions of Missouri consumers of electric power.

That agreement put the wheels in motion for the construction of a second, state-of-the-art nuclear power plant in Callaway County.

Missouri has some of the lowest electric rates in the nation. That's attractive to businesses and families. But as our energy needs grow, we need to be looking now for new sources of clean, abundant and affordable power.

Building a second nuclear plant will create thousands of good-paying jobs for all our construction trades: iron and sheet metal workers; carpenters and cement masons; boilermakers and bricklayers; plumbers and pipefitters; teamsters and laborers; electrical workers and operating engineers.

They built Callaway One. And they will build Callaway Two.

As we move ahead on Callaway Two, we must make sure that we protect the interests of Missouri ratepayers - and their pocketbooks . That is why my budget includes more funding for a strong office of public counsel.

Building the next generation of nuclear power plants. Advancing the frontiers of biotechnology. The 21st Century economy is knowledge-based, and the best jobs will belong to those with the best education.

Wow. Keep an eye on NEI’s YouTube channel. If we can grab this speech, we will.

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And if that didn’t impress you, I bet this will:

A discussion with former Vice President Al Gore caused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (D) to change his opinion on nuclear power.

During a meeting with the Post-Bulletin editorial board last week, Franken said that during the 2008 campaign his position was that there needed to be a solution to nuclear waste storage before nuclear power expanded. That's changed.

Franken said he asked Gore about the issue. Gore told him he believes that advances in technology can keep up with increased use of nuclear power and lead to better ways to monitor and store the waste.

A little more:

Franken went on to say this "represents something of a change for me." He said there are certainly pros and cons to the nuclear issue, but he believes expanding nuclear power will help solve global warming.

"Nuclear has to be a part of the solution to that," he said.

Uh, double wow?

Al Franken in his Washington office.

Comments

Rick Maltese said…
This is important news. For Al Gore to support nuclear after appearing like a "renewable only" guru is a breakthrough. I never knew Franken's position but glad he's now on board.
Anonymous said…
Can global warming be "solved?" The wooly mammoths didn't have much luck at solving it... but then again they lacked the number crunching and hockey-stick graph production capabilities that we have now...
SteveK9 said…
Maybe Al Gore will eventually embrace the idea that it isn't waste, and that we will 'burn' the spent fuel in the decades (centuries?) to come. Al is influential on this and it is a good sign that he isn't nearly as inflexible as the anti-nuclear zealots (which I never considered him to be).
A century from now, people are going to be surprised and perplexed by the thought that something as extremely valuable as spent fuel was once viewed by many of their ancestors as waste:-)
Brian Mays said…
Other memorable quotes from Al Franken.

On solving global warming:

"It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the entire world."

On his acceptance of nuclear as part of the solution:

"... and that's ... okay."

On the issue of nuclear waste:

"Trace it, face it, and erase it."

Seriously though, Senator Franken had to go to Al Gore to find out what is opinion of nuclear power should be? Really?!

That's what I call confidence in one's convictions.

These days, it's becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between Sen. Franken and his Stuart Smalley character from Saturday Night Live.
gunter said…
LOL. Franken is such a comedian and you should know better than take him serious. Is the laugh on Al, too?

Particularly, this "epiphany" line. You probably didnt listen to him on Air America, he's been totally pro-nuke.

Any guesses on where Franken is bankin' these days?

Probably not NuScale.

Originally billed as the antidote to nuclear power's ever present throbbing financial headache, NuScale just shut down its throw-away nuclear battery project because of a cash crunch brought on by the Securities Exchange Commission filing an action against its lead investor, The Michael Kenwood Group. Hmmmm?
Anonymous said…
Air America - LOL. Are they even still on the air? Maybe the government should have made more people listen to them, similar to making them buy health insurance. You mean the airwaves aren't "Fair?" Sounds like a good reason for more legislation, maybe even listener subsidies!
Frank said…
I wonder how many people checked to see whether the date is April 1st when they saw Franken's quote... I wonder whether this is Franken's new "permanent" position.

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