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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’


Friday, September 24th, 2010

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee told a Washington Post colloquium yesterday that he might be open to a cap on utility carbon emissions if it were tied to efforts to expand nuclear power. 

"We need a strategy for low cost energy, not high cost energy," Alexander told an audience of press representatives.  Also appearing on the panel were Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Respresentative Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

Markey, who co-sponsored the ill-fated Waxman-Markey Climate Control bill, lashed out at the opposition for blocking his bill in the Senate.  “I think their agenda over there is held hostage by Kentucky coal and Oklahoma oil," he told the audience.

But Collins, who briefly flirted with the idea of supporting a climate change bill, blamed President Obama, whom she said hosted a closed-door meeting with Republicans and Democrats but then never got in touch again.  "There was no follow up," she said. "There was no attempt to identify consensus provisions and programs on both sides. There was no attempt to explain to the American people what the goal was, why it mattered, how it was linked to jobs and the economy and specifically how we could get there."

Alexander, who has become the Senate’s leading advocate of nuclear energy, said it made more sense to deal with climate change in smaller increments.  He recommended reviving nuclear energy, promoting the introductiono of electric cars, and putting restrictions on the major pollutants from coal plants.  "Maybe along the way we are going to have to just put a lid on carbon from smokestacks from the utilities, tie it to production of nuclear power," he said.

"We don’t do comprehensive well here in Washington,” agreed Collins. 

Read more at Politico


Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

The Washington Post gets on the small nuclear reactor bandwagon today. Well, sort of.

After reminding readers of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl — and advising folks that environmentalists see nuclear proponent and Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore as a "turncoat" — the Post gets down to business.

"Today supporting nuclear power as a green alternative is quite mainstream" — thanks to President Obama and Bill Gates.  The question to build is not when, it is "where and how."

To this end, the Post conjures up the romance of small reactors — in "Any Town, U.S.A." — with a stroll past a movie theatre, the smell of fresh bread from the local bakery, all coupled with the "gentle steam plume" from the cooling tower of your local "miniature reactor that powers the quaint little burg"!

Read more at the Washington Post


Friday, September 10th, 2010

Environmentalist Bill McKibben has a flare for the dramatic. The author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet has organized “360,” a worldwide internet rally to keep the CO2 content of the earth’s atmosphere at 360 parts per million.

Now he has gone one better. McKibben is currently making a pilgrimage down the East Coast from Maine to Washington carrying a big of history – the solar panels that President Jimmy Carter once installed on the roof of the White House. McKibben received a write-up in the Washington Post yesterday and will try to present the panels to President Barack Obama over the weekend.

Whether the President will see solar panels as an opportunity to provide linkage to the need for climate legislation – or just another another reminder of the hapless Carter Administration – will soon be determined.

McKibben opines that failure to follow up on Carter’s initiative has meant forfeiting the solar future to China:  “I sat not long ago with Huang Ming, China’s leading solar entrepreneur, in his space-age Sun Moon Mansion in Shandong Province looking over the stats: his HiMin Solar Energy Group has put up 60 million such systems across China–he estimated that when 250 million Chinese take a shower, the hot water is coming off their roofs…"

In a biting symbol of the passed torch, he keeps one of the Carter panels in his private museum.” In an interview at SolarFest in Tinmouth, Vermont last July. McKibben acknowledged that nuclear power will have to be part of any worldwide effort to reduce carbon emissions. However, he said he didn’t like to bring this up in his public addresses. “It would split this movement in half,” he said, surveying the hordes of solar enthusiasts who camped for three days on a hillside farm. Most of the solar enthusiasts were also campaigning to close down Vermont Yankee, which provides one-third of Vermont’s electricity.


Friday, July 9th, 2010

Former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham hit the bookstores this week with a declaration that energy independence is a “myth” and that we need to build more nuclear power plants.
Lights Out! Ten Myths about (and real solutions to) America’s Energy Crisis, takes issue with several standard arguments of the energy debate:  1) that global warming is a hoax; 2) that renewable energy is universally popular; 3) that natural gas is a cure-all for energy shortages; 4) that subsidies and portfolio mandates can jumpstart a renewable economy; and 5) that a new Manhattan Project can produce some unanticipated breakthrough.
Instead, the former secretary recommends a slow but steady across-the-board approach with plenty of emphasis on nuclear power. He is particularly critical of the “NIMBY” efforts, which he says are often based on wildly misinformed arguments and prevent many good energy projects from being realized.
Lights Out! is filled with many amusing anecdotes of Abraham’s tenure at Energy, which lasted from 2001 to 2005. He recalls how his testimony at his Senate confirmation hearings came only a short time after he had called for abolishing the Department of Energy as a Senator from Michigan. His former colleagues accepted his new rationalizations with indulgent amusement. Abraham also recounts the difficulties the Bush Administration experienced in trying to upgrade the nation’s outdated transmission system. Ironically, many people who opposed these efforts are now calling for an even more ambitious rebuilding effort in order to connect population centers with remote wind and solar installations.
Abraham made one of his first public appearances in connection with the book on Bloomberg yesterday. Nuclear Townhall editor-at-large William Tucker is his co-author.

Watch the video at the Washington Post