Obama plan biased against nuclear energy
Given the urgent need for clean energy to prevent the worst effects from climate change, the United States cannot afford to wash its hands of zero-carbon nuclear power. Yet President Obama’s clean power plan provides no incentives for utilities to build new nuclear plants or renew the licenses of existing plants. In contrast, the plan subsidizes solar, wind and energy efficiency, which have a role to play but do not compare to nuclear in terms of reliability and large-scale, sustainable energy production.
By not recognizing existing sources of emission-free power, the EPA rule regulating carbon dioxide is biased against nuclear power, the largest source by far of zero-carbon electricity production. Michael Shellenberger, president of the Breakthrough Institute, says the anti-nuclear tilt could actually allow carbon emissions to rise in some states.
For example, a state can shut down a large nuclear plant and replace it with natural gas. Although the state’s carbon emissions would increase significantly, the change would be credited as a reduction under the plan’s formula. While natural gas has climate benefits when it displaces coal, replacing nuclear power with natural gas clearly is counter-productive