Alexander Unveils Blueprint for 100 Nuclear Power Plants in 20 Years

In Support of GOP “Low-cost Clean Energy Plan” to Create Jobs, Lower Utility Bills and Reduce Global Warming

Posted on July 13, 2009

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today unveiled a blueprint for building 100 new nuclear power plants in 20 years. He said it was his own blueprint in support of “the four-step” low-cost clean energy plan supported by the Senate GOP, which also calls for electric vehicles, offshore exploration for natural gas and oil, and doubling energy research to make renewable energy cost-competitive.

Alexander said the Republican plan would “create jobs, lower utility bills and put the United States within the goals of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming by 2030 without the expensive cap-and-trade and renewable mandates passed by the House of Representatives two weeks ago.”

In an address at the National Press Club, Alexander described the House plan as the “high-cost solution to clean energy and climate change. Its economy wide cap-and-trade and renewable energy mandate is a job-killing, 100-billion-dollar-a-year national energy tax that will add a new utility bill to every American family budget. The House plan will raise utility bills and send jobs overseas looking for cheap energy. The Republican Senate plan will lower utility bills and create jobs.”

In his address, Alexander said that while nuclear power produces only 20 percent of America’s electricity, it produces 70 percent of carbon-free, pollution-free electricity. He said that one hundred nuclear plants would double U.S. electricity production from nuclear power in 20 years, making it about 40 percent of all electricity production. “Add 10 percent for sun and wind and other renewables, another 10 percent for hydroelectric, maybe 5 percent more for natural gas,” the senator added, “and we begin to have a cheap as well as clean energy policy.”

Alexander continued, “We should want an America in which we create hundreds of thousands of ‘green jobs,’ but not at the expense of destroying tens of millions of red, white and blue jobs. In other words, it doesn’t make any sense to employ people in the renewable energy sector if we are throwing them out of work in manufacturing and high tech. That’s what will happen if these new technologies raise the price of electricity and send manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries overseas searching for cheap energy. We want clean, new, energy-efficient cars but we want them built in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, not Japan and Mexico.”

He said that the Republican energy plan should not add to the federal budget since ratepayers will pay for building the plants. Federal loan financing for the first nuclear plants is designed not to cost taxpayers money; nuclear plants insure one another. Alexander said that offshore exploration for oil and gas should produce enough royalty revenues to pay for programs to encourage electric cars and trucks. He also said that doubling energy research and development for “mini Manhattan projects” to make renewable energy cost-competitive would cost about $8 billion more a year, which is consistent with President Obama’s budget proposals for 2009 and 2010.

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