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Posts Tagged ‘George Voinovich’


Monday, July 26th, 2010

Senator George Voinovich, a dedicated nuclear supporter, may be retiring but he is determined to leave nuclear energy with a label that could mean the difference in whether or not reactors get built – “clean energy.”

Voinovich is anticipating what many other observers are as well – that when the “limited” energy bill reaches the floor of the Senate this week, Democrats will quickly try to amend it with a “renewable energy standard” that will set the nation on a fallacious path of mandating wind and solar energy to the exclusion of everything else.

Voinovich would change the “renewable” standard to a “clean” standard that would include carbon-free nuclear. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and a few Northwestern Senators are moving to have large hydroelectric dams included as a “clean” source as well. Environmentalist activists are expected to urge opposition to both motions.

How advocates ended up supporting “renewable energy” as a panacea for climate change is something of a mystery. The original intent was to reduce carbon emissions, so carbon-free energy should be the standard. But instead, the concept of “renewable” took over, even though it is not the same thing. As a result, substituting wood for coal could be deemed “renewable” and part of the mandate – even though it produces more carbon emissions and threatens forests. (Massachusetts is currently trying to undo its wood-burning mandate.)

In addition, wind and solar account for less than 7 percent of our carbon-free energy while nuclear accounts for 70 percent (and hydro provides 23 percent). Without encouraging nuclear construction there isn’t much hope of reducing carbon emissions.

Last week Voinovich introduced his “legacy” legislation (S. 3618) that would provide incentives and investment in new build including needed infrastructure while encouraging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to accelerate the licensing process. The bill is not given any chance of passing in this Congress.  But Voinovich’s move to have nuclear declared “clean energy” may get a much better hearing.


Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Retiring Ohio Republican Senator George Voinovich says he wants to make the Nuclear Renaissance the legacy of his Senate career. At a press conference yesterday to introducing his new "Enabling the Nuclear Renaissance Act" legislation , Voinovich said he wants nuclear labeled “clean energy” in any Senate bill that mandates the construction of certain forms of energy generation. Most proposals now talk about “renewable energy,” a category from which nuclear is generally excluded.  

The Senator said he also wants an additional $54 billion in loan guarantees extended to new construction.   In addition, he would fund small modular reactors (SMRs) by having the federal government contribute $1 billion to share the costs of development with the industry over the next ten years.

Voinovich is retiring after two terms in the Senate after serving two four-year terms as Governor of Ohio.

Read more at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer