Senate Energizes Nuclear Plant Push

March 11, 2009 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Julie Bisbee The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City
 A bill to encourage construction of nuclear power plants in
Oklahoma passed the Senate by a 36-9 vote on Tuesday.
The Nuclear Energy Incentive Act would help companies that want
to build nuclear power plants recover the money spent on construction.
"We need to explore all the options for generating power," said
Sen. Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, author of Senate Bill 831.
Some senators opposed the bill because they were concerned about
storage of nuclear waste.
"If they were removing the nuclear waste, would they be driving
that on our roads," asked Sen. Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau.
The bill's author said, "There are already nuclear facilities
that surround us; I'm sure that waste at times has traveled on our roadways."
Oklahoma is one of 16 states without a nuclear power plant.
Bingman said nuclear power plants are an economic development boon that brings
good-paying jobs to an area.
Part of larger push
The bill is part of a renewable energy initiative pushed by GOP
Two similar bills are in the House.
House Bill 1750, with language similar to the Senate bill, and
House Bill 1320, to create the Affordable Energy Act to streamline the
permit process for nuclear plants, are expected to be heard this week.
Senate Bill 831 now heads to the House for consideration.