July 07, 2009

Crapo: Include Nuclear In Climate Change Plans

Questions Energy Secretary during committee hearing today

Washington, DC - Any successful effort at addressing climate change, including cap and trade legislation, must include incentives to increase energy production from nuclear power sources, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo told Cabinet secretaries from the Obama Administration today. Crapo's comments came during a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. As a member of the committee, he had the opportunity to question Energy Secretary Steven Chu and hear testimony from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.

"We need to diversify," Crapo asserted. "The utilization of both wind and solar power should be increased, but any successful plan to reduce carbon emissions must also involve nuclear power, and increase nuclear research such as that underway at the nation's leading nuclear laboratory, the Idaho National Laboratory. Nuclear power is the best and quickest way to increase our clean energy options. It should be included in any climate change or cap and trade-type legislation."

Crapo said Idahoans are telling him they are skeptical of cap and trade legislation because it would drive up energy prices. "A better option may be to ramp up the use of clean, nuclear technology, and existing energy sources so that we may transition to new sources without the damage to our economy we would see under a cap and trade scheme," he added.

Crapo asked Energy Secretary Chu specific questions about federal loan guarantees for nuclear projects, like the AREVA Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility planned near Idaho Falls. "We cannot ignore what may be the best solution on climate change-nuclear power," he said. "As we move forward, there are very obvious solutions that are available and we must find energy agreements that protect our national security and strengthen our energy independence," Crapo concluded.

Video and audio of today's hearing can be found on Crapo's You Tube site at http://www.youtube.com/senatorcrapo.