Republicans for Nukes!

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smile nukes

House Republicans plan to introduce an energy bill to counteract the carbon cap-and-trade scheme offered by House Democrats last month. The goal is to encourage the building of 100 new nuclear power plants over the next 20 years. The total generating capacity of today's 104 nuclear power plants is 105 gigawatts. Assuming each new nuke facility has a generating capacity of 1,000 megawatts that would mean essentially doubling the U.S. nuclear power capacity.

Greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity now constitute about 27 percent of total U.S. emissions. Stretching reality a bit, but assuming that the new nukes replace 100 gigawatts of the current 330 gigawatts of carbon-emitting coal-fired electricity generation, that would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years by 9 percent. Compare this with the Democratic cap-and-trade bill which aims to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and 42 percent by 2030. The House will supposedly vote on the cap-and-trade bill before the July 4th Congressional recess. 

Instead of trying to compete with the Democrats by proposing subsidies to favored energy technologies, why not just get rid of all energy subsidies?