June 19, 2008

Crapo: McCain's Nuclear Plans Help Energy Crunch

Notes INL can play a major role; energy response from Idahoans tops 1,000

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo said the Idaho National Laboratory may play an expanded role in national energy development under plans announced today by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona). McCain says he endorses the building of an additional 45 new nuclear reactors by the year 2030, and that he would be interested in possibly increasing that up to 55 within the next 20 years. His efforts are focused on reducing dependency on foreign energy. The INL is acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Energy as the nation's leading laboratory for nuclear research and development, and would likely benefit from the increased attention on nuclear energy.

"Energy issues are quickly gaining momentum in Washington as elected leaders hear the call from consumers," Crapo noted. "As of today, more than 1,000 Idahoans have e-mailed me their thoughts about high energy prices. Without question, the most frequently cited solution from Idahoans who have written to me is an increase in the nuclear energy options our country has.

"Whether it is conservation, alternative fuels or increased exploration for oil, nearly everyone who has responded says the same thing-we must lessen our dependence on foreign sources of all energy. Increasing domestic production of oil and providing more power through local nuclear production gets us on the road to ending our reliance on foreign energy and will benefit American consumers in the long run," he added.

Crapo, a member of the Senate Renewable and Energy Efficiency Caucus, stressed that conservation of energy should remain at the top of the list for solving energy problems. "While Congress prioritizes efforts to conserve energy, we must also smooth that transition by working to provide energy from local sources, especially renewable and efficient forms of energy like nuclear, solar and wind power."