Inhofe, Jim. "Inofe: Obama Should Embrace Nuclear Energy (Opinion) - CNN.com." CNN. Cable News Network, 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
This article is an opinion piece by Jim Inofe, a Republican from Oklahoma and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
With the White House's recent celebration of Earth Day, Obama and his EPA are being increasingly criticized with hypocrisy as they promote the administration's work to fend off climate change, while strategically ignoring its largest tool to cut carbon emissions, nuclear energy, and fail to heed the advice of their scientists. It was surely through that President Barack Obama's climate plan, allegedly aimed at reducing the United States' overall carbon emissions, would revitalize the nuclear industry and lead to increased plant construction and help meet aggressive carbon reduction targets. However, it has been found that he and the EPA under him are actually against Nuclear Energy and that the plans that they have been drawing up and all the environmental models have just been masking their anti-nuclear bias. These models include the EPA's "Base Case" for the Poposed Clean Power Plan which assumes no new nuclear plants will be further constructed and that 96 of our currently operating 99 plants will actually be put into "retirement" by 2050. Another model, the "Option 1" also says the similar thing (96 retired plants and no new contruction). EPA assumes that the nuclear industry is essentially phased out by 2050. President Obama's EPA has shifted its position on nuclear energy and hidden that policy shift in a model. In th east the EPA has done this with the Lieberman-Warner bill in 2008 and the 2009 Waxman-Markey bill. With each bill, the carbon emissions have increased so much that more and more plants have been required to be built, but the EPA has steadily ignore that. In 2013, James Hansen, the former head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the administrations favorite scientist said, "continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity's ability to avoid dangerous climate change." and based on recent events of the EPA and Obama, he claims, "EPA's modeling is divorced from reality" (Obama Should Embrace Nuclear Energy). The problem is that much like the Pope's words and actions being considered like law, the EPA's data and its models are only what is religiously followed and acted on. IF the EPA is showing anti-nuclear bias, the hope that it will ever be implemented and used to help the environment diminishes greatly. So now, the EPA is assuming legislative powers and is making policy choices that favor some forms of carbon-free energy over others (ex: wind and nuclear). Congress did not give EPA the authority to make these choices, so instead they have hidden them in the modeling.
It is clear from this article that nuclear energy is extremely controversial with people having different reasons for supporting or opposing it.Those that oppose it do so largely because of fear of the unknown. They take the few accidents that have happened in our past such as Chernobyl or Fukushima and think that that is something that will happen to every plant. Yet they fail to see that the United States already has close to a hundred nuclear plants currently existing and operational around them. Others who feel like fear is not a good enough reason to oppose it branch their environmental concern off of that fear and claim that the wastage from the factory would then have to be dealt with and stored somewhere for thousands of years where it can then cool down and if there were to be a disaster, the effects of radiation could last hundreds of years so is it worth the risk? Obama may be unwilling to cut nuclear energy some slack. However, it remains that Nuclear is our largest source of carbon-free energy, generating over 60% of our carbon free energy. If we don't I've it a chance now and do something, then it will be too late and anything we do after that tipping point will not make a difference for the future of our planet.
My position is that I am deeply upset with the news that I learned from this article. I understand Obama is leaving office soon and so he doesn't even know which of his policies and movements will be continued or discontinued with the next president. However, he should know better than to so easily discredit nuclear energy. The EPA has been failing to do the things in their plans that they have so elaborately drawn up, so basically they're cheating. I personally am pro nuclear energy. I think that it gets a bad wrap often because people always tend to gravitate around the disasters and worst case scenarios. I think that nuclear, while I know is not the only option for alternative energy, may be our biggest help in facing this climate crisis. This will impact present and future generations as stakeholders as well as the environment. The actions of Obama, the EPA and other politicians cannot lead to our future generations having to live in a dying planet that they did nothing to harm. Sustainability means considering environmental protection, economic development, and social equity. With this article, it is evident that economic impacts are solely being considered --with the cost of plant contribution/maintenance and dealing with constituents opposing nuclear energy. It is important to listen to the voice of the scientific community and consider all stakeholders present and future, acting in the common good.If we don't take action now, that magical 2 degrees Celsius--the amount we can allow our planet to heat before we can no longer reverse the impacts of our emissions-- will just increase.
So, my question to you is: What is your stance on Nuclear energy and how do you feel about the president of our nation being so reluctant to support it?