What Are They Thinking?
The Post on US Senate climate bill negotiations:
Environmental activists warn that the 1,400-page House version of the bill already includes so many giveaways to corporate America that more horse-trading in the Senate could lead them to oppose the final version. … If Obama needs more Republicans, he may have to authorize Reid to give in for more funding for the construction of the nation’s first new nuclear power plants in a generation. The environmental lobby has rigorously opposed any new nuclear plants, but several GOP senators, including Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and John McCain (Ariz.), have made their case that nuclear power is the best for cleaning the skies of carbon emissions.
Sure nuclear energy can’t by itself solve global warming - there probably just isn’t enough nuclear fuel out there for that. But on the margin it should sure help. The physics showing that nuke plants do emit power but don’t emit carbon is really pretty solid, after all. So activists telling us we are all going to die die die if we don’t immediately cut way back on carbon emissions might oppose the bill to limit carbon emissions because it might include permission to build nuke plants, that would further reduce carbon emissions? What gives? They aren’t nuke physics denialists are they?
Building enough nuclear power stations to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would cost trillions of dollars, create tens of thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste, contribute to further proliferation of nuclear weapons materials, and result in a Chernobyl-scale accident once every decade. Perhaps most significantly, it will squander the resources necessary to implement meaningful climate change solutions.
So they think they know cheaper ways to cut carbon? The whole idea of a carbon tax, or cap and trade, is to give people the incentives to figure out for themselves what is actually the cheapest way to cut. Why not let nuke plants be an option?