Amid excessive hoopla on Wednesday, the GOP reintroduced the Bush energy plan calling it the “American Energy Act” in a lame attempt to manufacture a silk purse from a sow’s ear. The comprehensive plan from the anti-science party calls for drilling in ANWR, more offshore drilling, more oil-shale production and 100 new nuclear power plants over the next 20 years, a nearly complete duplication of the energy policies of Bush 43 that ushered in an epoch where “the typical annual American household expenditure on electricity rose more than $170, and the typical annual American expenditure on gasoline rose more than $960“.
The last nuclear power plant permitted in the U.S. began operation in 1987. Even with loan guarantees, incentives and insurance, companies have not jumped in to build new plants. We have no place or plan to store extremely dangerous spent nuclear fuel and it has been difficult to find communities that want to live next to such dangerous facilities. In order to get around this inconvenient fact, the GOP would resort to its favorite strategy, deregulation. It has worked so well with banking, airlines and phones, why not nuclear power? What have we got to lose?
Sure, the plan may have a devastating effect on world climate change, but Republicans have a plan for that too. They will legislate the problem out of existence. Section 502 of the Act would amend the Clean Air Act to read:
SEC. 502. GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATION UNDER CLEAN AIR ACT.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 302(g) of the Clean Air
Act (42 U.S.C. 7602(g)) is amended by adding the following at the end thereof: ‘‘The term ‘air pollutant’ shall
not include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous
oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, or sulfur
(b) CLIMATE CHANGE NOT REGULATED BY CLEAN
AIR ACT.—Nothing in the Clean Air Act shall be treated
as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate
change or global warming.
And Section 503 continues by amending the Endangered Species Act to read:
(b) IMPACT OF GREENHOUSE GAS.—The impact of
greenhouse gas on any species of fish or wildlife or plant
shall not be considered for any purpose in the implementation of this Act.’’
Presto, Change-O, no global warming problems! Are these guys really that nuts? Republican House leader John Boehner said, “We are going to do more for the environment with this all-of-the-above approach than they will with cap and trade,”. Boy you can say that again! And none of it good. Mike Pence (R-IN) has been on the talk show circuit promoting the plan. This is a guy who said that, “the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming” and believes in creationism. Just the kind of unbiased scientific commentary we have come to expect of Republican leaders. I certainly don’t entirely agree with the Obama Administration’s Cap and Trade solution, but compared to the Republican plan it looks positively dazzling.