Feature:Opinion

The truth about Obama and nuclear power

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Chris Horner
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      Chris Horner

      Christopher C. Horner serves as a Senior Fellow at CEI. As an attorney in Washington, DC Horner has represented CEI as well as scientists and Members of the U.S. House and Senate on matters of environmental policy in the federal courts including the Supreme Court. He has written on numerous topics in publications ranging from law reviews to legal and industrial trade journals to print and online opinion pages, and is the author of two best-selling books: Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed (Regnery, 2008) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism (Regnery, 2007), which spent half of 2007 on the New York Times bestseller list.

We have established that Obama’s war on coal hinges on the assumption that 100 new nuclear reactors will be built in the U.S. in the next few years. Without the power from those 100 new nuclear reactors, Obama’s plan will cause the lights to go out. You cannot rule out half of our electricity supply and pretend otherwise.

Now that that assumption is an even more obvious fiction, Obama’s defenders are charging forth to say he does too support nuclear power.

And they point to his recent statement that, “Nuclear energy is an important part of our own energy future.”

But that doesn’t mean that he will promote any new reactors. It just means that he knows he can’t shut down the existing fleet, additions to which have been stalled since 1978. Meanwhile he plans to add no coal, and shut down the existing coal fleet. Electricity, after all, comes from those holes in the wall.

Obama also said to Iowa voters in October 2008 that he was “not a proponent” of nukes, and it is unlikely that anything has changed his core position.

And to put his comments about the importance of nuclear power in perspective, on Friday he said, “First, we need to continue to boost domestic production of oil and gas.”

Ah. Yes. Of course we must. Please point to his record of trying to boost production again?

Was it revoking 77 leases on 130,000 hydrocarbon-rich acres ab initio — which his interior secretary called just the beginning — sealing off more land for exploration and production, taking advantage of the Gulf spill to shut down meaningful exploration and production there (and lying to aid his political objectives), or maybe halting recent progress that brought a revival in Alaskan production close to happening?

Closing off oil fields is not going to boost production, no matter what ideological bubble one inhabits. Thanks to Obama’s actions, our domestic output numbers already began to drop in 2011 and are projected to fall off the cliff next year.

So, now we have also established that he will say anything, regardless of the reality.

But enough words. How about actions?

Was it his NRC reversing course on recertifying the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant this week? Just a “pause,” right? Like the pause nukes have been in for three decades?

Here is the reality about Obama and nuclear power, affirming that he is charting a disastrous path. Citations are omitted, but all of this is found in my book Power Grab.

Obama’s supposed pro-nuclear stance is occasional and purely rhetorical, with the sole exception a promised loan guarantee for two nuclear projects . . . representing one-fiftieth of the nuclear capacity that Obama’s own economic assessments include in order to produce their phony “cap-and-trade” numbers;

Once elected, Obama cancelled a loan guarantee for a second U.S. plant to produce uranium fuel for nuclear reactors even though, as a presidential candidate, he said during a campaign stop in a nearby town that he supported that same loan guarantee;

His support for nuclear power is contingent upon finding an “acceptable” place for and manner of storing spent fuel, or finally recycling it. Such slippery subjectivity (“sure, so long as it’s ‘safe’ and ‘acceptable’”) is the way his team has masked what is, in truth, an unyielding opposition to most energy projects and sources;

Sure enough, Obama canceled the high-level nuclear waste repository that had been decades and $13 billion in taxpayer funding in the making. After all, two senior administration officials blustered that we actually have no need for any more nuclear power (or coal) because that production can be replaced by putting some windmills off the East Coast.

  • SamAdams25

    Obama is clearly an enemy of American freedom and independence. He has no regard for the American people other than as subjects. His supporters are just too stupid to see it.

    This wannabe despot and his “progressive” supporters in our government must be fought at every turn, and thrown out in 2012. This country will suffer irreparable harm, and may not even survive a second Obama term.

    Write, call, and email your Senators and Congressman at least once a week to adamantly oppose every proposal by this administration. They all have nice sounding titles, but they all have the same end goal – to rob you of your freedom, liberty, and way of life. We cannot allow that to happen. If we just ignore it, it will happen, and we will have only ourselves to blame.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Taylor/1227016022 Paul Taylor

    The 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl in Ukraine spread radioactivity and death over eastern Europe and despair in the Western world’s nuclear power industry. Chernobyl, along with the non-lethal accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, sent the industry into decades of decline.

    Enviro-groups will predictably leverage the new enviro-hysteria of “Fukushima” to stop the expansion of nuclear power in America. Just as they have used the examples of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island as pejoratives against the U.S.’s current 104 nuclear power plants that provide about 18% of our electricity. Nuclear power expansion is necessary in America for economic, security and environmental reasons. The energy from one pound of uranium is equivalent to 1.3 million pounds of coal energy. Nuclear power produces none of the greenhouse gases associated with global warming.

    Just as the “green screams” of “BP” demonized our oil production and oil independence, listen for the next enviro-groups’ rallying cries of “Fukushima” to demonize our nuclear energy production and energy independence.