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Idaho congressional candidates come out in favor of nuclear September 18, 2008

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in Energy policy, Politics and nuclear.
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Our company recently polled all candidates for federal office in Idaho, asking them their position on nuclear power. I found the results interesting and heartening. If I were the Snake River Alliance’s shoes, I’d be very concerned about the apparent lack of support for their position among credible candidates.

The press release is below:

Idaho candidates for Congress overwhelmingly support nuclear power

Eight candidates seeking Senate and House seats believe nuclear power is a safe, effective way to meet national energy needs; lone candidate against it believes “God doesn’t like it”

Sept. 17, 2008


Martin Johncox, 208-658-9100

Don Gillispie, 208-939-9311

Eight of the nine candidates for federal office in Idaho support exploring nuclear energy as a way to address our country’s energy needs, according to a survey conducted by Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.

Aside from the peculiar response of the lone candidate opposing nuclear, the findings of the survey do not surprise Don Gillispie, president and CEO of AEHI. The company has begun the local application process to build a 1,600-megawatt, advanced third-generation nuclear power plant in Elmore County

“There are few issues that will produce unanimity from such a wide variety of parties and political beliefs, but nuclear is that kind of issue,” Gillispie said. “The results add to the evidence that old-school anti-nuke groups are becoming increasingly out-of-the-mainstream and isolated in the early 21st century. It’s time for them to wake up and join the search for carbon-free, reliable energy sources.”

The survey results are congruent with the positions of the Presidential candidates, reputable and influential environmental groups and the American public. A June 2008 Zogby poll, for example, found 67 percent of Americans support construction of new nuclear plants in the United States. According to the poll, Americans are more likely to back government support for nuclear, wind and solar power.

“I urge Democrats and the small number of anti-nuke Republicans in the Idaho Legislature to take a cue on this issue from their colleagues running for national office, who are attuned to our national as well as our state interests,” Gillispie said. “The demands of global warming, economic development and national security are making nuclear a necessity now more than ever.”

The survey consisted of one question: “How do you feel about nuclear energy?” Candidate Web sites were reviewed and candidates were also allowed to make a statement explaining their position. The survey concerned nuclear power in general and responses should not be construed as a position on the Idaho Energy Complex or any other proposed development.

Here are the results:

U.S. Representative District 1:

  • Republican first-term Rep. Bill Sali said “If we want our children and our grandchildren to enjoy the same prosperous country we have enjoyed, we must get our hands on every bit of energy we can from every possible source. That includes nuclear energy and it includes American crude oil, alternative and renewable energies and conservation.”
  • Democrat Walt Minnick’s spokesman John Foster said “Walt favors an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy and believes we can’t take any possible solution off the table. A comprehensive solution to the country’s energy problems is going to include taking a look at every possible option, which includes nuclear.”

U.S. Representative District 2

  • Democrat Debbie Holmes said “I am in favor of nuclear as long as we’re reprocessing the spent fuel. We shouldn’t bury the waste when we can reprocess it and get more energy out of it.”
  • Republican Rep. Mike Simpson said “I have been a long and vocal proponent of expanding our nation’s use of nuclear power to meet our growing energy needs and reduce pollutants and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

U.S. Senate:

  • Republican Lt. Gov. Jim Risch’s campaign director, Matt Ellsworth, said “Risch is supportive of expanding nuclear energy.”
  • Democrat Larry LaRocco states on his Web site “Nuclear power plays a key role in energy independence because it has an excellent operating record and generates electricity in a reliable, environmentally safe and affordable manner without emitting greenhouse gases.”
  • Libertarian Kent Marmon said “Nuclear energy has proven to be a safe, clean alternative … It is a system that has been used widely throughout the world, and through lessons learned and technological advances that have been made, is an excellent alternative for power generation.”
  • Independent Rex Rammell states on his Web site “I support all forms of energy production as long as they are clean and safe. In particular, I believe we have overlooked the safety and efficacy of nuclear power and I support the building of more nuclear power plants.”
  • Independent Pro-Life (formerly known as Marvin Richardson), the lone candidate opposing nuclear energy, said “I’m against nuclear powered anything, including nuclear submarines. We haven’t found ways to deal with the byproducts safely. I’m a clean coal technology enthusiast but I wouldn’t vote for government promoting any kind of energy … I think God doesn’t like it [nuclear energy].”



1. Out_there - September 18, 2008

Hilarious! The only anti-nuke candidate is a nutcase. Maybe the Snake River Alliance can use him as a spokesman. Odd how all the Democrats in the legislature are anti-nuke, and all the ones for national office are pro-nuke. Why the split?

Also, come to think of it, I haven’t heard any other Idaho environmental group voice opposition to this proposed reactor or nuclear in general. Is the SRA really that isolated?

2. Right Democrat - September 21, 2008

I have long argued that Democrats need to embrace nuclear power. Fortunately, a number of Democratic leaders have endorsed nuclear power. http://pronucleardemocrats.blogspot.com/2008/09/pro-nuclear-democratic-roundup-1.html Let’s hope that the bipartisan trend favoring nuclear power in Idaho is the shape of things to come. Energy independence is something that everyone regardless of party needs to support.

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