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Monday, June 15, 2009

Nuclear Power Has Become a Republican Issue?

The partisan tilt of the nuclear energy issue to the Republican side just received a big boost with the alternative climate/energy plan submitted by Congressional Republicans. While President Obama is the Pied Piper of traditional GREEN, particularly efficiency, jobs, conservation, solar and wind, the GOP has become the principle promoter of nuclear energy. Democrats mumble support for nuclear power and those with large nuclear capacity in their states or districts will even give a speech every now and then. But clearly the demarcation line has been drawn. The nuclear industry has even increased the activity of former Republican governor and former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman in promoting nuclear power. We guess she is considered to be the antidote to current EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and former EPA Administrator Carol Browner. One thing is sure, this is getting interesting.

We do not particularly like the nuclear power issue becoming almost completely identified with the Republican Party [Note to the industry: the Democrats are in charge of Washington now]. It is probably no coincidence that House Republicans and the nuclear power industry seem to be digging in at the same time against President Obama's perceived opposition to the technology. Yet there is hope on the other side of the isle. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is being aggressively supportive of the construction of a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs. We are fearful that he will be clubbed into submission on this issue though if traditional environmentalists hammer him as being anti Chesapeake Bay and pro-Republican. President Obama's top advisor, David Axelrod, has worked as a consultant for the nuclear company Exelon's subsidiary Commonwealth Edison--so he knows a little something about the issue. James Clyburn, South Carolina Congressman and House Majority Whip, also supports nuclear power.

Yet the Democrats seem to be allowing the controversial nuclear power issue to be portrayed as a Republican issue (for political gain?). We hope President Obama and the Democrats will allow science to rule in this area. We need both traditional green technologies and nuclear power to provide the emission free electricity that America needs.

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