Nuclear Power Not Needed to Reduce Global Warming Emissions

Environment Colorado says There is no need to jeopardize our health, safety, and economy with increased nuclear power when we have cleaner, cheaper, and safer solutions to reduce global warming pollution.

Published: 29-May-2005

With Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman introducing a new global warming bill late yesterday afternoon that includes incentives for nuclear power, Environment Colorado voiced its extreme disappointment and announced that it opposes the bill.

“Global warming is the most serious environmental threat facing the planet today. We can significantly reduce global warming pollution and save consumers money by increasing energy efficiency and shifting to clean renewable sources of energy,” stated Matthew Garrington, Field Organizer for Environment Colorado.

Environment Colorado had supported the previous version of the bill, the Climate Stewardship Act (S.342), as a good first step in meeting this challenge. The bill would cap global warming emissions at 2000 levels by 2010.

The bill introduced today, the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act, includes more than $5 billion in federal subsidies for new nuclear power plants. The bill provides a wide range of subsidies, including subsidies for engineering and design costs, loans and loan guarantees for building new plants, and direct financial awards for new projects. The bill also includes extensive subsidies for new coal plants.

“There is no need to jeopardize our health, safety, and economy with increased nuclear power when we have cleaner, cheaper, and safer solutions to reduce global warming pollution,” said Garrington.

Garrington noted that we can meet our future electricity needs and reduce global warming pollution far beyond the goals in the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act without increasing our reliance on nuclear power. For example, a 2004 study by Synapse Energy Economics found that America could reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide from electricity generation by 47 percent by 2025 compared to business as usual and meet projected electricity demand, while saving $36 billion annually in electricity costs and cutting our reliance on nuclear power by nearly half.

“We continue to support the original Climate Stewardship Act, as a good first step in tackling the challenge of global warming. We do not support this new bill, which adds expensive and unnecessary subsidies for dangerous nuclear power plants,” said Garrington.

Environment Colorado is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, statewide environmental advocacy organization

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