Speaking of nuclear power . . .
Check out Norm Coleman advocating for an “all of the above” approach to increased energy supply, including expanded nuclear. Coleman also notes the need for increased electrical-transmission infrastructure to accommodate any growth in the wind sector. (Planet Gore is still waiting for details from Team Pickens on the wind and natural-gas infrastructure required for the Pickens Plan.) Not a peep about global warming.
Citing the nation’s commitment to a coordinated interstate transportation system five decades ago, U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman called Monday for the same approach in dealing with its energy problems.
Coleman, R-Minn., outlined what he called a comprehensive approach, one that takes fuller advantage of such disparate energy sources as wind, nuclear power and new oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. It would be paid for in part with billions of dollars from new offshore-drilling leases that would be funneled into a federal trust fund.
Some proposals, such as 85 percent ethanol-blended fuel stations along all interstates and national corridors for wind-related transmission lines, would be controversial, he acknowledged. Others, such as congressional approval of a 10-year extension of wind and solar tax credits that expire at the end of the year, simply make sense, he said.
Coleman also called for improved federal loan guarantees to build more nuclear power plants.
“It’s an issue that requires a comprehensive solution,” Coleman said during a news conference at his St. Paul campaign office.
Al Franken, Coleman’s likely Democratic opponent, also has called for large investments in alternative energy sources.
“Al has been calling for an investment in renewable energy since the beginning of the campaign, and Norm has been ignoring it for the last six years,” Franken spokeswoman Jess McIntosh said.
Coleman, however, touted his record on renewables, saying he’s been a longtime champion of the approach. “I’ve been on the forefront of renewable energy,” he said.
Coleman said Franken’s proposals don’t allow sufficient domestic oil drilling.
But Franken contends Coleman is tied too closely to oil interests. “He has taken more money from Big Oil than any politician in Minnesota history, and they have gotten their money’s worth,’’ McIntosh added.
Coleman said the nation doesn’t have the electrical transmission it needs to produce 20 percent of its electricity from wind. He called for a federal study to determine where those transmission corridors should be, followed by action to designate them.
If the nation commits itself to reshaping its energy infrastructure, Coleman predicted prices would decline as market speculators re-evaluate conditions.