November 2, 2010
Nuclear Townhall flags some races of interest to the nuclear energy community in the mid-term elections sweepstakes, which culminates today. Nuclear Townhall will provide full-election coverage of key developments this evening.
(D) v. (R)
Will the man who threw up road blocks for two decades against progress toward a national repository — and convinced the Obama Administration to flush a $10 billion taxpayer investment in Yucca Mountain to assist his re-election while installing his protégé in the chairmanship of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as insurance – survive Nevada’s enormous economic dislocation and first-in-the-nation unemployment. Virtually all political pundits think not and recent polling data has not been trending in the right direction for the Senate Majority Leader. Then again, Reid has battled to the end, and he has survived close calls before. If he returns, it will be to a dramatically different Senate.
Incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer (D) v. Carly Fiorina (R)
A Boxer loss would elevate nuclear consensus-builder – Delaware(D-DE) to the top Democrat spot on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees nuclear licensing and regulation and writes clean air legislation. A Boxer loss might also portend a change of control in the Senate. Looks like Boxer’s to lose given uphill polling data for the challenger in a tough blue state.
Brian Dubie (R) v. Pete Shumlin (D)
Vermont Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie has taken a courageous stand in favor of continued operation of the Vermont Yankee plant, which remains a side-show in his race against State Senate President Pete Shumlin. Dubie has been losing ground in the polls and the race is rated a toss-up. Despite its reputation as a Big Blue state, Vermont’s outgoing governor, Republican Jim Douglas, survived four election bids given ticket splitters and the benefit of the state’s Progressive Party siphoning off Democratic votes.
(R-I) v. Joe Miller (R) v. Scott McAdams (D)
The only thing you can say for sure is that the race is leaning Republican with incumbent split vote will allow him to slip past the front-runners. Results may not be known for several days unless Miller stakes out a significant lead in conventional returns. North Carolina Senator Richard Burr – who looks comfortably positioned for re-election and has a healthy nuclear constituency – would replace Murkowski as the senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee if she does not return to the Senate.– a strong nuclear energy champion and senior Republican on the Senate energy panel – forced to mount a write-in campaign after being ambushed in the Republican primary by Persian Gulf vet and Yale law grad Joe Miller. Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams hopes the
Dino Rossi(D-WA) v.
Yucca Mountain – is in a too-close-to-call race in a usually reliably Democrat-leaning state against tenacious businessman Dino Rossi, who knows a lot about close elections having lost two nail-bitters for Governor. A Murray loss here could tip control of the Senate, depending on results east of the state.– a nuclear pragmatist and steward of the DOE Hanford Reservation, who broke Democratic ranks to defend
Incumbent Congressman Chet Edwards (D) v. Bill Flores (R)
Edwards, a strong nuclear loan guarantee proponent for Texas new-build projects and a rising House appropriations committee power, has survived before in his increasingly Republican dominated district – which gave John McCain a 12-point margin over Barrack Obama in 2008. This time polls indicate that businessman Bill Flores will more than likely outduel Edwards, even in a moderate change-of-control scenario.
U.S. House of Representatives Change-of-Control
All indicators certainly point in this direction. Among other things, in this eventuality conventional wisdom suggests that nuclear constructionists — Steny Hoyer (D-MD) , a vigorous advocate for Calvert Cliffs 3, and James Clyburn (D-SC), a Carolina nuclear renaissance proponent – will be elevated to the top two Democratic leadership spots over a sure-to-be-outgoing . Incumbent House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), of the nuclear energy-free Waxman-Markey bill, will be forced to turn over his gavel. Congressman Markey (D-MA) has indicated he may abandon his energy and environment subcommittee post for the subcommittee on telecommunications. Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Texas Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) – both nuclear advocates – will battle to succeed Waxman. Meanwhile, ardent Yucca Mountain supporter Rod Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) would lead the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.P. Frelinghuysen (NJ
Incumbent Congressman Rick Boucher (D) v. (R)
This race in the heart of coal country will tell a lot about the future of “cap-and-trade” but more importantly it will be a leading indicator in the east as to whether the House election will be a tsunami for House Democrats or just a clean-win for Republicans. Boucher, the third ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee has resided in a Republican district since 1982 – one that went for McCain over Obama by 19 percentage points in 2008. Boucher was unopposed then but faces a formidable opponent inMajority Leader Morgan Griffith, who is armed with the Boucher vote in favor of the Waxman-Markey bill, which never made it out of the and the Obama agenda generally.