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Posts Tagged ‘Senator Lisa Murkowski’


Sunday, December 19th, 2010

December 19, 2010

Nuclear Townhall 

The Hill is reporting that Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, says a clean energy standard including nuclear “could gain traction among Republicans in the next Congress even if it would create a new federal mandate.”

Murkowski envisions a broad approach, which “should allow wide discretion for states and regions.”  She told The Hill:  “Allow a region, a state, to kind of focus on the art of the possible, and if they don’t have geothermal resources for instance, or the wind energy, let them focus on nuclear, let them focus on those ways they can meet that.” 
The senior Alaskan Senator added:  “I am kind of excited to be looking to how we can move towards a clean energy standard. Let’s figure out how we can facilitate more in the nuclear field, how we can really focus on these clean energy sources which ultimately do reduce our greenhouse gas emissions… We have now been kind of freed up because we are no longer focused on cap-and-trade as the sole policy initiative.”
Murkowski’s trial balloon follows a statement by Energy Secretary Steven Chu last week expressing conceptual support for a 25 percent by 2025 clean energy standard including nuclear energy.


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.