Sen. Jim Inhofe | Obama should embrace nuclear energy

Sen. Jim Inhofe, CNN:

(CNN) If there was ever any doubt that the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan is an energy policy plan, not a carbon reduction plan, all you have to do is look at how they treat nuclear energy.

Nuclear is our largest source of carbon-free energy, generating over 60% of our carbon-free electricity. Surely President Barack Obama’s climate plan, allegedly aimed at reducing the United States’ overall carbon emissions, would revitalize the nuclear industry, lead to increased plant construction and help meet aggressive carbon reduction targets. Well, think again.

James Hansen, the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in 2013 that “continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.”

Yet Wednesday, the White House will celebrate Earth Day and promote its work to fend off climate change, while strategically ignoring its largest tool to cut carbon emissions — nuclear energy — as well as the warning of one of the administration’s favorite climate scientists.

Despite the fact that nuclear power is carbon-free, the Obama administration’s energy policy plan is biased against it. This bias is created by how Environmental Protection Agency credits nuclear power in its models of both current emissions and plan implementation. EPA’s modeling is divorced from reality.

First, EPA’s “Base Case for the Proposed Clean Power Plan” purports to depict the current state of the industry as the future would unfold without the Clean Power Plan. This base case assumes no new nuclear construction and indicates the retirement of 96 of our 99 operating nuclear plants by 2050.

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