Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Carol Browner and Nuclear Power

What is Carol Browner's position on nuclear energy? The Center thinks it tilts to the negative side. The Clinton administration neither supported nor opposed nuclear power for the most part. As a protege of Al Gore, Browner is probably on the same page with the former Vice President. And former Vice President Gore goes out of his way to avoid support for nuclear power in his crusade against global climate change. There are big hints to where Energy Czar Browner will come down within the Obama administration on the technology. President-elect Obama has waffled back and forth on nuclear saying on the campaign trail that he is "not a proponent of nuclear power," while repeatedly stating that it should "be on the table." Obama's campaign guru David Axelrod once worked at the nation's largest nuclear utility, Exelon [as a consultant for their subsidiary Commonwealth Edison].

Carol Browner expressed reservations about using nuclear power because of the so-called 'waste' problem at the C-Span-televised 35th anniversary meeting of former EPA administrators in January, 2006. On January 19, 2001, Clinton EPA Administrator Carol Browner moved to finalize stringent water radiation exposure standards for Yucca Mountain to the White House for signoff. Of course, opponents used the water quality standards as a way to delay (think kill) the project.

Browner serves on the board of directors of John Podesta's Center for American Progress and at a July 26, 2006 forum there themed, "Energy Security in the 21st Century: A New National Strategy," she "called for pragmatic approaches to nuclear and coal power, emphasizing safety, and working in concert with a national carbon trading system." The Center has a Carbon Mercantile Exchange (CMX) and Green Carbon Bank (GCB) primed and ready for a national carbon trading system.

We conclude that Browner will promote Obama's marching orders on nuclear power, which will probably be close to Al Gore's position. They will say it should 'be on the table' but will probably not take up Senator John McCain's call to build 45 new plants. It all could be moot anyway because the cost of a new plant has doubled Shoreham's $6 billion financial meltdown decades ago.

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