Friday, March 06, 2009

Senate Energy Committe Republicans Chu Out Yucca


I attended the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing yesterday to receive testimony regarding draft legislative proposals on energy research and development. U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu appeared before the committee and stated:

"The Recovery Act will put people to work making our homes and offices more energy efficient. It includes $5 billion to weatherize the homes of low-income families; a $1,500 tax credit to help homeowners invest in efficiency upgrades; $4.5 billion to “green” federal buildings, including reducing their energy consumption; and $6.3 billion to implement state and local efficiency and renewable programs.

The Recovery Act also includes $6 billion for loan guarantees and more than $13 billion in tax credits and financial assistance instruments (grants and cooperative agreements) that may leverage tens of billions in private sector investment in clean energy and job creation. This will help clean energy businesses and projects to get off the ground, even in these difficult economic times. The bill also makes investments in key technologies, such as $2 billion in advanced battery manufacturing, and $4.5 billion to jumpstart our efforts to modernize the electric grid."

Senator John McCain and Senator Lisa Murkowski aggressively questioned Secretary Chu about the administration's plans to close Yucca. They stated that the nuclear power plant building rennaissance rested on waste being sent to Yucca Mountain. Secretary Chu handled the aggressive questioning very well, but he had to defer to administration policy. AAEA supports Yucca Mountain.

I spoke to Secretary Chu after the hearing and made an inquiry about Pebble Bed Modular Reactors.

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