The Hidden Influence of the Nuclear Lobby on Climate Change Legislation

Is The Nuclear Lobby Behind Bad Climate Legislation?

Nuclear power is expensive and bad for the environment.

Investing in nuclear technology crowds out developing clean energy.

But the nuclear industry spends huge sums on lobbying.  Indeed, it spends more on p.r. and lobbying than on safety.

The Progressive reported in 2006:

While nuclear industry lobbying is widespread and aggressive, its impact is not always readily apparent. Take, for example, the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill, which the Senate is expected to debate this summer. The bill—also known as S.2191, or America’s Climate Security Act—does not mention the word “nuclear” once in its 200-plus pages. Yet an aide to Senator Joe Lieberman called the measure “the most historic incentive for nuclear in the history of the United States,” according to Environment & Energy Daily.

One section of the Lieberman-Warner bill says that “25 percent of all the funds deposited into a new climate change worker training fund shall be reserved for zero and low-emitting carbon energy that has a rated capacity of at least 750 megawatts of power,” notes Tyson Slocum, the research director of Public Citizen’s energy program. “That’s a huge threshold, so that’s going to exclude wind and solar right off the bat. . . . The only thing that could possibly meet that target would be nuclear power.” Similar language in another section of the bill effectively reserves another half a trillion dollars for the nuclear industry, according to Slocum.

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