If President Obama was to demand the funding for and enabling legislation to kick start the construction of the dozens of new nuclear power plants this country needs, as well as the wind turbines envisioned by T. Boone Pickens and the grid expansion everyone knows is necessary, not only would he be creating thousands and thousands of great jobs, he'd be powering the U.S. up for a second American century. The appropriation is only the first step. He'd need not a car czar, but a power czar, tasked with delivering the plants on a schedule and authorized to blow through logjams. To get such a massive and necessary expansion of our power supply underway, he'd also have to have "notwithstanding any other law" language in the appropriations bill, or every one of the new plants would be quickly swamped in the sorts of environmental challenges that bedevil every major infrastructure project in the county.Far fetched? Maybe not. Planet Gore reports that Energy Secretary Designate Stephen Chu may be behind the idea.
The good news is that the spending bill that looms is so huge that all but the most ardent environmentalist can be bought off with a set aside of billions for habitat acquisition for any threatened or endangered species impacted by the power project. The unions would cheer; environmentalists would cheer, conservatives who know that energy equals freedom would cheer. Well before he faced re-election, President Obama could point to the massive outline of the next generation's power supply, a signal achievement with extraordinary multiplier benefits to the economy and national security.
“Isn’t it important we accelerate this proven source of clean energy?” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Al.) asked with respect to nuclear power.Ca-ching! More record profits in the nuclear consulting business are on the horizon.
“I’m supportive of the fact that the nuclear industry should be part of the mix,” Chu said.
He said federal loan guarantee programs should be used to jump-start the nuclear industry while the nation develops a long-term plan for safe disposal of waste and researches ways to recycle waste in an economically viable and safe manner.