It is surprising that an administration known for its technological savvy and appreciation for science has difficulty distinguishing between the promise of a theory and the reality of an engineering endeavor. And it is puzzling that the Administration would be willing to commit a large portion of the limited funding for clean energy development on expensive projects which do not exist or will not be available for decades.
Politicians tend to like simple, neat solutions. Clean coal solves an air pollution and climate change problem while allowing a major industry to continue to operate. Reprocessing spent fuel has a neat ring in that would eliminate the growing problem of high level radioactive waste while providing ostensibly clean electricity.
What is unfortunate is that Administration officials who should know better and have a responsibility to guide the discussion have chosen to roll with false impressions and the illusion of easy solutions to complex energy problems.
That course may produce a bill that can pass Congress. But it will not meet the nation’s energy needs.