Nuclear loans provide a false solution to climate change

Stephen Smith | February 17, 2010 | Energy Policy

I was on CNN yesterday responding to the nuclear loan guarantee announcement by President Obama.  We are seriously disappointed in this action and SACE released a statement warning against the risk loan guarantees will put on taxpayers.

As outlined in a blog entry from last week, we feel the administration is making a serious mistake by offering financing for nuclear energy. It appears to be an effort to reach out to Senate Republicans, who have perfected the art of saying “no” and derailed the President’s agenda, including cap and trade.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is working with Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT), and continues to promise that if the President supports nuclear power and offshore drilling, he will deliver other Republicans to support a carbon cap bill.

Now, the President has $8.3 billion on the table with more to come and still no Republicans on board with climate change legislation. I do not believe that Senator Graham can deliver the support he promised; the partisan divide is now too great. The administration and the Democrats are in danger of continuing to negotiate with themselves, leading to a bill that looks worse and worse. This miscalculation has the potential to alienate the President’s base and create false solutions that do not solve the climate crisis.

Stephen Smith
Dr. Stephen A. Smith has 30 years of experience effecting change for the environment. Since 1993, Dr. Smith has led the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as its executive…
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