Candidates Should Heed Obama, Clinton on Nuclear Power
Candidates Should Heed Obama and Clinton
Paul Steidler has published an article in Inside Sources called “Candidates Should Heed Obama, Clinton on Nuclear Power,” in which he bemoans the fact that none of the top 2020 candidates for the Democratic Party are strong nuclear energy supporters. All of the candidates highlight the climate crisis that our world is progressing towards, however, none are willing to take the controversial position of including nuclear power as their solution. Instead, they take the basic ideologic but not fact-full position to preach about the advances of wind and solar, which still account for less than 10 percent of the U.S. electricity supply.
Former President Barack Obama stated unequivocally that “Nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions. To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we’ll need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It’s that simple.” His support of nuclear energy is shared by Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and many other prominent democrats. However, current candidates have a vastly different view on nuclear energy or are not willing to talk about it. Joe Biden hasn’t broached the subject publicly. Publicly, Bernie Sanders blasted Hillary Clinton for her support of nuclear energy during the 2016 primaries, despite claiming “climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet.” In fact, he was the biggest force in the closing of the last Vermont nuclear power plant and he clearly doesn’t get the irony, as Vermont’s carbon emissions and its energy costs are way up.
With contrary views even within the democratic party, looking out towards the world’s results with nuclear energy seems to be the most insightful avenue. Canada created a master plan to massively reduce emissions by 2050. Their plan highlights nuclear power with an important role, as Canada has recently spent $25 billion to refurbish ten nuclear power plants. In contrast, Germany spent $580 billion on renewables over the last nine years with no change in emissions. In the United States, many democratic leaders model their energy plans much like Germany. They support renewables far more than nuclear and the government subsidies reflect that. For example, New Jersey’s solar subsidies are 18 to 20 times as great as their nuclear subsidies.
Nuclear Energy is essential in our quest for carbon-free energy use. Not only will nuclear energy play a pivotal role in fighting climate change, but it also will create thousands of new jobs and expand our capacity to use advanced nuclear technology. Instead of reflecting Germany’s results, current democratic candidates need to take a long look into the advantages of nuclear energy.