Tell President Obama: No More Nuclear Subsidies in the Senate Climate Bill

The House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) on June 26, 2009. Following the vote, President Obama stressed that he wants the Senate to send him climate change legislation to sign before year's end and that he is willing to add nuclear subsidies to get votes. But at what cost? A Senate bill full of nuclear and coal subsidies will not bring us any closer to addressing the public health crisis that is global climate change. A bill that further subsidizes the nuclear industry is a step in the wrong direction.
By putting a cap on carbon, which ACES does, the nuclear industry already stands to profit nearly $1 billion dollars a year, according to their own calculations. Exelon CEO John Rowe recently told a gathering of investors and senior executives that the energy bill "will add $700 to $750 million to Exelon's annual revenues for every $10 per metric ton (MT) increase in the price of CO2 allowances."
The House climate bill makes additional concessions to the nuclear industry. Under the nuclear title of ACES, the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) allows loan guarantees backed by the full faith and credit of U.S. taxpayers to be made for the construction of new reactors. The Senate version of the proposed bill, however, providesunlimited guarantee authority without further congressional approval and fails to prioritize energy projects that reduce greenhouse gases faster and cheaper.
But some Senators are saying that isn't enough. Requiring radioactive waste reprocessing, categorizing nuclear as a "renewable" energy, and subsidizing 100 new nuclear plants (which would cost $1.9 trillion to $4.4 trillion more than generating the same electricity from renewable and efficiency measures) are all being mentioned as ways to prop up this chronically uncompetitive industry.
Please contact President Obama today and tell him no more subsidies for the nuclear industry. It is essential that we address climate change by pursuing the fastest, cheapest, and cleanest alternatives first. Nuclear power does not meet these criteria. A bill with more giveaways for the nuclear industry is no solution to climate change.