As Vermont seethes with radioactive contamination and the Democratic Party crumbles, Barack Obama has plunged into the atomic abyss.
In the face of fierce green opposition and withering scorn from both liberal and conservative budget hawks, Obama has done what George W. Bush could not—pledge billions of taxpayer dollars for a relapse of the 20th Century’s most expensive technological failure.
Obama has announced some $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for two new reactors planned for Georgia. Their Westinghouse AP-1000 designs have been rejected by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as being unable to withstand natural cataclysms like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.
Energy experts at the Rocky Mountain Institute and elsewhere estimate that a dollar invested in increased efficiency could save as much as seven times as much energy than one invested in nuclear plants can produce, while producing ten times as many permanent jobs.
Two Florida Public Service Commissioners, recently appointed by Republican Governor Charlie Crist (now a candidate for the US Senate), helped reject over a billion dollars in rate hikes demanded by Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy, both of which want to build double-reactors at ratepayer expense. The utilities now say they’ll postpone the projects proposed for Turkey Point and Levy County.