Planet Gore

Nuclear Obama, Meeting Himself 2 Percent of the Way

Here’s a little reality check on President Obama’s announcement of loan guarantees for one nuclear plant with two new reactors, as somehow “making good on a commitment to meet Republians [sic] half way” on an energy bill (that being the current euphemism for the cap-and-trade, cap-and-dividend, whatever your label for hydrocarbon-energy rationing).

That this is followed by “republicans who advocate for nuclear power have to recognize that we will not achieve a big boost in nuclear capacity unless we also create a system of incentives to make clean energy profitable” is either incoherent or sleazy. Is the White House somehow unaware that numerous private sector parties feel that nukes are profitable, as there are two dozen applications pending? Nah. That can’t be it, as they wouldn’t risk driving their green constituency even battier by openly taking the position that nukes are “clean energy.” So it must instead be a bit of blackmail saying you’ll only get more if you go along with my green porkulus schemes.

But even that’s incoherent, reminding us of this little talking point: Obama’s own economic assumptions for cap-and-trade assume 100 new nukes in the next two decades. So despite these loan (and many more) guarantees being called for by the 2005 Energy Policy Act, Mr. Obama is really just recasting a minor overture as if it were fulfilling his own non-carbon energy promises. Barack vs. Barack: one calling for 100 nukes; the other a year later countering with loan guarantees for two. Who will win?

That new tag line of “meet me halfway” — recently trotted out post-Baltimore as a tool in the White House’s campaign to style the Republicans, mired in deep minority status, as obstructing sound and thoughtful policies the American people are demanding — is disingenuous in general. Here, it’s flat-out dishonest.

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