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US Climate Bill turning into a pro-nuclear excuse?

Nuking the Climate Bill

CounterPunch By HARVEY WASSERMAN 16 Oct 09

Is the Climate Bill morphing into an excuse to promote fossil fuels and new nuclear power plants?

Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) recent promotion of a pro-nuke/pro-drilling/pro-coal agenda in the name of Climate Protection has been highlighted in a New York Times op ed co-authored with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC). The piece brands nuke power “our single largest contributor of emissions-free power.” It advocates abolishing “cumbersome regulations” so utilities can “secure financing for more plants.” And it wants “serious investment” to “find solutions to our nuclear waste problem.”

The Senate Bill as now drafted also includes a “Clean Energy Development Administration” that could deliver virtually unlimited federal cash to build new reactors and fund other mega-polluters. ……….What thin green substance survives could be limited to a few showpiece handouts for renewables and efficiency, with cap-and-trade as the centerpiece………………Taxes on carbon and other forms of “ancillary” pollution would help if they assess radioactive emissions (from coal as well as nukes), destruction of our oceans,lakes and rivers, removal of mountain tops, creation of nuclear waste, and so on. Merely axing the subsidies to King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes & Gas) and rendering a level playing field for true green energy sources to fairly compete with the old fossil/nukes would take us a long way up the road to Solartopia. A feed-in tariff that rewards renewables for the pollution they avoid would also help. Without all that, the Climate Bill’s outright negatives could be huge. Atomic reactors can do little or nothing to bring down carbon emissions…..

But Democrats are desperate for SOMETHING to show at December’s Copenhagen Climate Conference. The question is: how much will they give fossil/nuke Republicans to get a bill—ANY bill—with the world “Climate” attached?

The anti-nuclear movement has three times defeated proposed $50 billion loan guarantees for new nuclear plants. The environmental community still understands that solving the climate crisis requires the ultimate phase-out of fossil fuels. “A carbon-free, nuclear-free energy future is within the Senate’s reach,” says Michael Mariotte of the Nuclear Information & Resource Service. “The approach laid out by Kerry and Graham would lead to a climate bill in name only.” NIRS is organizing a national call-in this week (http://nukefree.org/news/callyoursenatorsoctober15). A nationwide series of demonstrations for the environment will take place October 24.  http://www.counterpunch.org/wasserman10152009.html

October 16, 2009 - Posted by | climate change, USA | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] US Climate Bill turning into a pro-nuclear excuse? « nuclear-news […]

    Pingback by US Climate Bill could become a pr-nuclear farce « Antinuclear | October 17, 2009 | Reply


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