Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bonnie Raitt and Others Expose Nuke Provisions

A little-known clause stuck in the pending Energy Bill tries to circumvent the market failures of nuclear power by foisting construction costs on the public. As described in a petition drive started by Working Assets, Act for Change, it's another attempt to derail open government in America, slipping drastic, costly meastures into legislation without public notice or disucssion. Working Assets stated:

The "new generation" nuclear plant now being built in Finland is already 18 months behind schedule and $900 million over budget. This is a design planned for our country. If construction begins here, tax and ratepayers will be stuck with the bill.

The Senate version of the Energy Bill could authorize the Department of Energy to provide virtually unlimited guarantees for backers of new reactors. The industry indicates it wants $25 billion in guarantees for 2008, and another $25 billion for 2009, with untold billions more to come after that.

The industry wants these subsidies because after fifty years, atomic power has been rejected by the marketplace. The first commercial nuclear reactor opened in 1957. But after fifty years of proven failure, Wall Street will not independently invest in more of them, and still no private insurance company will underwrite the possibility of a major reactor disaster.

Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown, Graham Nash, and Ben Harper speak out on this issue in the following clip: