Friday, July 18, 2008

What is Obama's real stance on nuclear energy?

On June 24, Senator Obama opposed McCain’s plan to build 45 nuclear power plants by 2030, giving the lame excuse that nuclear plants should not be built until the nuclear waste disposal problem is solved. Meanwhile his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, led by Harry Reid of Nevada, have prevented the building of a needed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Reid’s home state. As a result, nuclear waste storage has become a huge problem for any who would consider building new nuclear power plants.

But at a July 11 town meeting in Dayton Ohio, Obama began to nuance his position. He is now sympathetic to all forms of energy investment, but critical of them all at the same time. He told a questioner that problems with nuclear waste disposal could be overcome.

Until he actually enunciates some action steps, we will not know where Obama stands. He might propose a solution to the nuclear waste disposal problem, but he might not. He may just continue to talk about the positives and negatives of all kinds of energy in order to sound sympathetic both to those who favor investment in energy production and those who prefer conservation.

We now know that a President McCain would be elected with a mandate to build nuclear power plants and free up offshore areas for oil drilling. He would put America back to work creating substitutes for the oil that we now import. While preparing for the inexpensive nuclear electricity to come online, a President McCain would provide incentives for the development of improved electric car batteries. We do not yet know whether a President Obama would spur investment in US production of energy.


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