President Obama’s Nuclear Sleight of Hand: More Taxpayer Giveaways; No Place for the Waste Nuclear

Posted February 16, 2010 | folder icon Print this page

IER president: “As is the case with the rest of this Administration’s energy proposals, there is a complete and daunting lack of consistency on the issue of nuclear waste and nuclear loan guarantees.”

Washington, DC – In a perceived attempt to lure wary senators toward support of a job-killing cap-and-trade bill that will increase energy costs across the board, today President Obama committed $8 billion in taxpayer-backed loans to construct two new reactors in Georgia. The president made the announcement in Lanham, Maryland, where he also spoke about “clean” and “green” energy jobs.

However, President Obama did not mention that his budget eliminates funding for the nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Pursuant to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended in 1987, Yucca Mountain is the only permanent nuclear waste repository in the United States.

“As is the case with the rest of this Administration’s energy proposals, there is a complete and daunting lack of consistency on the issue of nuclear waste and nuclear loan guarantees,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the non-partisan Institute for Energy Research (IER). “Putting American taxpayers on the hook for $8 billion in an attempt to garner support for a job-killing cap-and-trade package is a purely political ploy, especially when measured against the closure of Yucca Mountain.

“Nuclear energy is an important component towards securing our nation’s long-term energy needs. But without a plan for spent fuel rods, this administration is simply using taxpayer-backed loan guarantees as an effort to curry favor with a few senators,” continued Pyle. “This announcement has nothing to do with securing America’s energy future and everything to do with the business-as-usual Washington horse-trading that the American people are tired of.”

For additional information, please contact Patrick Creighton, 202-621-2947, or Laura Henderson, 202-621-2951.

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