Published on March 17th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan9
While Europe & China Put Nuclear Energy on Hold, Will U.S. Learn from the Catastrophe in Japan?
March 17th, 2011 by Zachary Shahan
One of my readers recently commented on one of my posts: “Wow, you’re quite the news nerd.” Yes, I guess I am. I have been following cleantech news obsessively for awhile (not to mention environmental science, climate change, food, and animal news), in an effort to be the best cleantech blogger I can be. This, for me, includes cleantech breakthroughs, cleantech projects, cleantech business trends, and cleantech politics.
In the midst of the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, it has been interesting to see how the world’s leading countries and politicians are responding. If I had even an ounce of hope that Republicans could come around on energy policy in the face of this catastrophe, I think I completely lost it this week. I’ve given up on them,.. well, not all of them, not every single individual who identifies themselves as a Republican, but the Republican leaders in Congress who run the show and essentially order those lower in rank what to do. Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s leading Republican, said this week: “My thought is we ought not to make American domestic policy based on an event that happened in Japan.” (Yes, because Japan exists in a world with different natural laws than the U.S., right?…)
Senator Fred Upton has been trying to speed up the nuclear reactor permitting process for awhile now (I imagine with the complete support of McConnell). His argument: the Japanese permit them so much faster, why can’t we? Despite the fact that we have dozens of the exact same reactors as those that are facing meltdown in Japan, these guys think we shouldn’t pay any notice to what is happening there or let it influence our nuclear policies here (nevermind the hypocrisy)….
While these Republicans are more than willing to cut funding for renewable energy (in the name of “cutting waste”), but cutting the subsidies for nuclear and fossil fuels is out of the question. These old energy sources that only rule today because of the money the industries have accumulated over the past several decades and the intricate ways they are now linked to our government are, of course, the only ones not in need of reform.