McCain Comes Out for Nuclear Energy

In a speech in Missouri today, John McCain advocated building 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030. He also proposed a $2 billion per year federal program to fund clean coal research and development.

The Associated Press notes that McCain did not explain how the various permitting issues that have stalled nuclear power plant construction for a generation can be overcome. Presumably legislation as well as regulatory reform will be required; that is true of increased energy production generally.

McCain was rather effective in attacking Barack Obama’s energy policies:

For his part, Senator Obama has a different outlook on all of this. Instead of new energy production, he wants new energy taxes. And he’s against any tax relief to give folks a break at the pump. I’ve noticed a pattern here. When the speechmaking is over and you stop to figure out what all the rhetoric really amounts to, the answer is usually some new tax. For Senator Obama, the solution to every problem and the answer to every challenge is a new tax. And he is convinced that a 1970’s-style windfall profits tax is just what America needs in the 21st Century.

Meanwhile, American Solutions’ Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. petition has close to 1,000,000 signatures. If you haven’t already signed, follow the link.

American Solutions is also highlighting these poll data; click to enlarge:

In total, 81% of respondents favored dealing with the high price of gasoline by developing our own reserves.

The Democrats, meanwhile, can’t figure out what to do about the fact that they are stuck on the wrong side of the most important issue of the campaign season. Earlier today, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee unexpectedly postponed a vote on the Peterson Amendment, which would open the Outer Continental Shelf to oil exploration. Rep. John Peterson was interviewed on Fox News:

JON SCOTT: The House Appropriations Committee was supposed to vote today on a bill that would repeal the moratorium on offshore drilling. Voting on that amendment is now postponed at least temporarily. … Congressman Peterson, take us a little bit – peel back the curtain. Why did the vote on your bill get postponed?

CONGRESSMAN JOHN PETERSON (R-PA): Well, the American public have figured it out. 67 percent in a recent poll want production off shore and only 18 oppose. When I have a town hall meeting, a public discussion of this it is a 95-5 issue. … The American public realize that we must produce. There has been tremendous heat on Congress. I think they were afraid they might lose the vote today, that is the only thing I can figure because they pulled it at the very last minute.

SCOTT: They? Who’s they?

PETERSON: The appropriations leaders, the appropriations committee and the Democrat leadership, the Pelosi team.

SCOTT: So you think they saw that you have your hands on a pretty potent political issue and they wanted to pull it from consideration so that what, you wouldn’t get the points if it passes?

PETERSON: Well, I think that’s part of it. But I think they realized suddenly that they have been against everything, all production, and they realize they have to be of for something. I’ve been told behind the scenes that they are looking for some kind of production they can be for. I don’t think they’re going to support off-shore, their leadership don’t want them to. I don’t think they want their members to support ANWR, but they are going to support something, and I think they are looking for that something. The American public are speaking, the American public is way ahead of Congress, they want production. No one thing will fix this. We need to do a lot of things. If we open up two or three areas, it will take the volatility off the market and probably give us a 20-25 percent savings. But we’ve got to do something, the American public are demanding it.

Republicans need to continue pressing the issue now, while the Democrats are in disarray. And that needs to begin at the top. It’s good to see John McCain now focusing on the energy issue on a daily basis.

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