Beware: Bush's Idea of Clean Energy --by Stephen Filler, Esq.
Some of you may have been pleased to hear George Bush last night talk about new initiatives for clean energy. Beware -- it is obvious that Bush considers nuclear power to be clean energy.
Bush has previously stated that "America should also expand a clean and unlimited source of energy --nuclear."
Also, last year, Bush appointed W. Henson Moore to head the Export-Import Bank's Renewable Energy Exports Advisory Committee. (Over the past decade, the Export Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation have provided $32 billion in loans and guarantees for corporate energy projects overseas. Bush recently doubled the Ex-Im bank's authority to assume debt to $100 billion.)
W. Henson Moore is a board member of
USEC, Inc., "a global energy company ... the world's leading supplier
of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants . . . [with]
[f]iscal 2002 revenues total[ing] more than $1.4 billion. Through its
subsidiary, the United States Enrichment Corporation, USEC operates the only uranium enrichment facility in the
United States: a gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, Kentucky. Enrichment
is a key step in the production of uranium fuel, used by nuclear power
plants to generate electricity."
According to USEC's website, "Unlike fossil fuels, nuclear energy does not create potentially harmful greenhouse gases."
This is patently false, since it takes no account of emissions associated with producing the fuel (mining, processing, conversion, enrichment, fabrication), with waste disposal and with construction and decommissioning of the power station.
Even USEC spokeswoman Elizabeth Stuckle
has stated that uranium enrichment "requires a tremendous amount
of electricity." To get that electricity, she says, "we are
having to rely on fossil fuels." In fact, according to Mother Jones,
"the enrichment process is so electricity-intensive that when nuclear
power plants were being built in this country in the 1950s, new coal-burning
plants were also constructed for the sole purpose of powering the nuclear
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