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USA: nuclear lobby to wreck climate goals?

Will nuclear power blow up Obama’s climate goals for Copenhagen ? Sunday 29 November 2009

by: Art Levine, t r u t h o u t

“……….the proposed reduction is actually as little as 20 percent of the targeted reduction goals – based on 1990 levels – recommended by the UN-sponsored international scientific body that suggests treaty standards.)Yet even that modest proposed reduction may not be met. That’s because of industry-driven compromises and delays in the Senate………………..Meanwhile, the nuclear power industry, despite its dangers, is poised to make a major comeback as a purported panacea for global warming. President Obama, first as a candidate and now as president, expressed his willingness to use nuclear power…………….dissenting groups, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Beyond Nuclear, are running a rear-guard action trying to head off the rush to nuclear power. It’s a troubled industry that hasn’t seen a new order placed since the 70s and a new plant built in over a decade, with even Wall Street steering clear.

Yet a tri-partisan proposal, the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill, aims to win 60 votes by adding more subsidies for nuclear power and fossil fuel industries, while a bill co-sponsored by centrist Senator Jim Webb would offer the struggling nuclear power industry – repackaged as clean energy – as much as $100 billion in added loan guarantees………………

Linda Gunter, a spokesperson for the Beyond Nuclear advocacy group, points out, “It’s an incredible amount of expense to bring online and pour hundreds of billions into a slow industry that endangers the public with waste, radioactivity and chemical releases.” Meanwhile, the billions in federal guarantees and the funds available from selling “cap-and-trade” emissions permits would, they fear, largely be funneled to the nuclear industry – instead of building renewable energy industries and the green jobs potentially available in solar power, wind power and conservation.

“Renewables and energy efficiency will be completely strangled by investing in nuclear power, and will eliminate those opportunities,” Gunter says. And with each nuclear plant taking between six to ten years to start operating – and costs running between $12-$25 billion each for ratepayers, investors or taxpayers – “we’ve got a finite amount of time to face this [global warming],” she says.
…………, major recent reports show what could happen if taxpayer-backed nuclear plants literally blew up or defaulted on their loans.

t r u t h o u t | Will Nuclear Power Blow Up Obama’s Climate Goals for Copenhagen?

November 30, 2009 - Posted by | 1, climate change, USA | , , , ,

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