Republican News

June 9, 2003


Labor, business, industry and academic support nuclear energy

Washington, D.C. – A broad, bipartisan coalition of labor unions, business organizations, industry and energy experts from the Clinton Administration sent letters and statements to the Hill today urging the U.S. Senate to preserve the nuclear energy title of S. 14, the Comprehensive Energy Act of 2003. The AFL-CIO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the Edison Electric Institute and two top energy officials from the Clinton Administration – former CIA Director John Deutch and former Energy undersecretary issued statements and letters today praising Domenici’s nuclear provision as good for America’s economy, jobs, environment and energy future. Deutch and Moniz are on faculty at MIT and co-chair an MIT study on the future of nuclear power. The Senate is slated to consider the nuclear provision this week. Senators Wyden and Sununu have filed an amendment to strike the provision from the bill. Chairman Domenici discussed the letters and read excerpts from some of them on the Senate floor earlier today. Senator Domenici’s statement: “I am pleased to see growing, bipartisan support for the nuclear title in the energy bill. I consider this title critical to our environment, our economy and our energy future. We need to diversify this country’s energy portfolio. Our ongoing concerns regarding foreign oil and our pending crisis in natural gas makes that need absolutely clear. Nuclear energy is key component of that diversity. Nuclear energy is clean, affordable and reliable. It has no airborne emissions. It emits no carbon gases. Nuclear energy is affordable. Electricity from nuclear sources cost less than coal and far less than natural gas. Nuclear energy is safe. Our navy has safely traveled over 126 million miles without a single reactor accident and with no measurable impact on the world’s environment. Sailors on a nuclear submarine, working within yards of a reactor, receive less radiation than they would at home due to natural radiation background. “This provision creates jobs and will help stimulate our sluggish economy. The Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO noted in its letter that just one nuclear plant creates ‘between 2,000 and 3,000 family wage construction jobs. Maintaining and operating that plant would create an additional 1,000 to 1,5000 permanent, full-time high-paying jobs.’ “As the Metal Traces Department of the AFL-CIO noted in its own letter, ‘A rational and effective energy policy depends upon a diverse mix of fuels and technologies, including nuclear fuel. The health of the nation’s economy will require the construction of new nuclear facilities to ensure adequate power resources.’ “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than three million businesses, notes in its KEY VOTE ALERT! that nuclear energy is essential to America’s economic vitality, energy diversity and energy security. “I am pleased with this diverse, bipartisan support for the nuclear provision. This provision is critical component of President Bush’s national energy policy. It’s a critical element to a future of clean, reliable and affordable energy.” ##