President Obama will not abandon nuclear energy in spite of Japan

nuclear power plant and smoke

In his speech today about energy independence, President Obama made it clear he would not abandon nuclear energy. This may be controversial for many in light of the tragedy in Japan, but Obama pointed out the fact the nuclear energy does not emit carbon, so it’s critical if we are concerned about climate change, along with its importance for energy independence.

The key is safety. Just as with offshore drilling, the key is learning from mistakes and having a commitment to sensible regulation and safety.

It will be interesting to see how this sells to the left. On the right, this was probably necessary to get Republicans like Lindsay Graham back to the negotiating table on an energy bill.


John Kerry and Lindsey Graham offer bi-partisan proposal on climate legislation

Democrat John Kerry and Republican Lindsey Graham don’t agree on much. The above photo from FOX News Sunday shows the two Senators sparring in the fall of 2008.

The two Senators, however, have teamed up to write a compelling Op-Ed in today’s New York Times in which they argue for a bi-partisan approach to addressing climate change legislation. This is a must-read for anyone who cares about this issue, and it could offer some real momentum for an issue that many believe will be stalled in the Senate.

If Lindsey Graham is on board, one would think that he could bring along more Republicans. One reason Graham is on board, and there’s hope to bring along more Republicans, is the emphasis on using nuclear power as one of the options. The left needs to become pragmatic over nuclear power, and realize that it offers the key to obtaining broad support.

Kerry and Graham also signal that a compromise is needed on domestic drilling. The clean energy revolution will not happen over-night, and if we need to rely in the short term on some fossil fuels, it’s better for the U.S. economy to use more domestic oil. We certainly shouldn’t subsidize it, but in the context of a carbon tax or cap-and-trade, permitting more domestic production makes tons of sense, particularly given the current economic crisis.

Hopefully, this can be the starting point for a grand bargain on energy.


Related Posts