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Obama promises to boost nuclear power January 29, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in balanced approach, Barack Obama, economic benefits, Energy policy, Politics and nuclear, President Obama.
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President Obama appears to be warming to nuclear power in a big way. In his state of the union speech this week, he said “to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.”

Obama stated his support for nuclear power while campaigning, and several times since then. Today, however, his administration said it will press for $54 billion in new loan guarantees for new plants. Loan guarantees have proven the least costly form of energy assistance – so far, the government hasn’t had to pay any for nuclear plants – and give private investors some assurance. That’s needed in the face of excessive and unreasonable opposition to nuclear power, which drives up costs.

Last week, Obama issued an executive order to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2020. The only way to do that and keep our economy healthy is with an all-of-the-above approach embracing conservation, renewables, clean fossil and nuclear.

Obama appears to be backing up his words with specific financial proposals and that is most welcome. Another $54 billion would greatly assist utilities and private investors companies, such as ours, move forward on our plans to keep clean, reliable, secure nuclear energy a vital part of America’s infrastructure.

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Obama supports “all of the above” approach to energy generation October 16, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in balanced approach, Barack Obama, coal power, President Obama, Steven Chu.
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It was very refreshing to hear President Obama restate his support for nuclear energy yesterday. At a townhall meeting in Louisiana, Obama states support for all clean energy sources – a view held by mainstream America – and singled out nuclear power. His remarks, beginning 5:45, were

“We need to increase domestic energy production. Theres no reason why technologically, we can’t employ nuclear energy in a safe and effective way. Japan does it and France does it, and it doesn’t have greenhouse gas emissions. It would be stupid for us not to do that in a much more effective way.”

Obama’s energy secretary, Steven Chu, has also strongly supported nuclear’s role in our national energy policy, as he realizes nuclear alone can provide low-cost, emissions-free, baseload energy.

With around 65 new nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, the U.S. needs to follow up these words with commitment, or risk being left out of the global economy, falling further behind in reliable power generation, industrial capacity and carbon reduction.The words supporting an all-of-the-above stance are nice, Mr. President, but now back them up with policy.

Obama signals pro-nuke stance in Steven Chu pick January 20, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in balanced approach, Barack Obama, Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, international, nuclear industry, Politics and nuclear, President Obama, reprocessing, Steven Chu.
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I welcome President Obama to the leadership of the United States. While Obama has always been a supporter of nuclear power, his pick for Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, is especially encouraging.

On Jan. 13, Chu sat before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and confirmed the Obama administration’s strong desire to push our country “towards energy independence, ” including a “continued commitment to nuclear power.”

Chu affirmed he was “supportive of the fact that the nuclear energy industry is, and should have to be, a part of our energy mix in this century.” Alluding to the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, Chu said he’s “confident that the Department of Energy, perhaps in collaboration with other countries, can get a solution to the nuclear waste problem” and that reprocessing of used nuclear fuel “can be a part of that solution … certainly recycling is an option that we will be looking at very closely.”

Chu also told Senators that he supports the loan guarantee program to use $18.5 billion as security to encourage lending for low-carbon generation technology.

“Nuclear power, as I said before, is going to be an important part of our energy mix. It’s 20 percent of our electricity generation today, but it’s 70 percent of the carbon-free portion of electricity today and it is base-load. So I think it’s very important we push ahead.”

As I blogged previously, Obama also made a good pick in his National Security Advisor, James Jones, a retired Marine general and former president and CEO of the Institue for 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Jones advocates a comprehensive overhaul to U.S. energy policy in the name of national defense.

Obama appoints pro-nuke December 6, 2008

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in approval process, balanced approach, Barack Obama, Energy policy, national security, nuclear industry, Politics and nuclear, Uncategorized, Wall Street Journal.
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Because of his relative lack of experience, Barack Obama is largely an unknown. However, I applaud his pick for National Security Advisor: James Jones, a retired Marine general.

What does the National Security Advisor have to do with nuclear energy? Jones advocates a comprehensive overhaul to U.S. energy policy in the name of national defense. In this case, I have to say Obama truly “gets it.” A stable, reliable and affordable supply of energy is key to our national security. Jones also comes with solid business credentials, having been president and CEO of the Institue for 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this group last month published a detailed set of recommendations on energy policy, written as a memorandum to Obama.

The policy recommendations cover a broad swath, including support for clean technologies, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as further investments in climate science. In the transition paper, Jones says “our country urgently requires a balanced and enduring strategy to meet our growing needs. America stands at a defining moment where the decisions made today will influence the economic prosperity, global competitiveness, and national security of future generations.”

The plan argues for increased domestic oil and gas drilling, a commitment to so-called clean-coal technology and increased use of nuclear energy. It also calls for an upgrade to the U.S. power grid electricity distribution network.