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Veteran journalist Llewellyn King, host of PBS’s “White House Chronicles,” says the Office of Management and Budget “strangled [Calvert Cliffs] in its crib” and is pushing us back toward a nuclear “dark ages.” “By effectively axing a new reactor, OMB was acting against the  Department of Energy, Congress, and possibly the wishes of President Obama,” wrote King in his regular weekly column.

“Strangely, Congress and the Obama administration have declared the revival of nuclear power as national policy and  money has been appropriated for loan guarantees. But both are seeing their desires frustrated by OMB and its formula for calculating the chances of success or failure for new nuclear projects.”

King draws an apt comparison between Calvert Cliffs and the Cove Point liquefied natural gas terminal build just down the Patuxent River in the Chesapeake Bay during the 1970s. “[T]he Cove Point terminal and gas plant has been a symbol of the vagaries of the gas market,” he writes. “Much of the time it has stood idle, with fishermen maneuvering their boats among its piers.” The reason is unpredictable gas prices, which have yo-yoed between $2 per $11 per mcf in the last decade.
“The joker is wild-and the joker is natural gas, aided by the OMB bureaucracy,” he says “The nuclear renaissance may be delayed again in the United States, but 58 nuclear plants are under construction in 14 countries, including 24 in China alone,” King concludes in a very insightful and well informed analysis of the Calvert Cliffs situation.

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