Hoyer Presses for Nuclear Piece to Climate Change Bill

May 19, 2009, 1:17 p.m.
By Jennifer Bendery
Roll Call Staff
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday insisted that nuclear power will be part of the nation's energy policy and said he is pushing to amend climate change legislation to make it happen.
"My message to you is a simple one: Nuclear energy is part of the solution," Hoyer said during remarks at a Nuclear Energy Institute event.
Hoyer said he has played a role in crafting a nuclear power policy that Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, will offer in an amendment at this week's markup of the House climate change bill.
The amendment, which adds a nuclear title to the bill, includes provisions that would allow energy projects to obtain nonfederal financing, add wage protections and create a Clean Energy Deployment Administration at the Energy Department.
Hoyer acknowledged that his support for investments in nuclear power is not a view "shared by everyone."
But the amendment already has backing from several key Democrats, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) and Rep. Jay Inslee (Wash.), who sits on Energy and Commerce as well as on the Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee.
A spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also signaled support for Hoyer's plan.
"The Speaker recognizes that nuclear power will continue to be part of our nation's energy mix. She looks forward to working with Leader Hoyer and other Democratic leaders as well as the committee chairs to craft a consensus energy package," spokesman Drew Hammill said.