Friday, January 30, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden, Global Warming & Nuclear Power

Vice President Joe Biden will be a key player in the international global warming treaty negotiations. He will probably be the leader of America's delegation to the December United Nations Copenhagen meeting on climate change where Kyoto Protocol II should be formulated. That delegation will probably include all of the top American officials with authority in the area, including: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Climate Czar Carol Browner.

Joe Biden is probably the best foreign policy expert in the United States having served in the Senate for 34 years and having chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On the environment side Senator Biden has an 84 percent lifetime voting score from the League of Conservation Voters. Senator Biden seems to be okay with nuclear power because he voted for the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Biden was a cosponsor of the McCain/Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act and he voted for the very nuclear-friendly Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act. But he voted against Yucca Mountain and he does not like the Price Anderson Act. However, he consistently voted against this important potential subsidy on amendments to the various energy bills over the past few years.

Here is what he said about nuclear power when he was a candidate for president in responding to Grist:

Grist: What role do you see for nuclear power?

"I see a role for nuclear, but first you've got to deal with the security as well as the safety concerns. I'd be spending a whole hell of a lot of money trying to figure out how to reconfigure the spent fuel into reusable fuel. I would not invest in [growing our nuclear power capacity in its current form], but I would invest in sorting out the storage and waste problems."

This position is similar to President Obama's current position. Here is what Vice Presidential candidate said in the debate with Sarah Palin:

  • He said that the problem of climate change was “man-made.”
  • He attacked Palin, saying if you don’t know what the cause is, how can you solve the problem?
  • He confirmed that we need to invest in renewable energy and clean coal. Also that we need to export technology to countries like China to help them clean up their coal plants.

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