Morning Bell: A Grown Up Approach To Energy Policy

Conn Carroll /

Britain’s Labor Party reversed its 1997 statement that it saw “no economic case for the building of any new nuclear power stations” Thursday. Energy Secretary John Hutton told the House of Commons that nuclear power “should have a role in this country’s future energy mix, alongside other low-carbon sources.” If only the left in the United States could also evolve to a similar responsible conclusion.

Nuclear power is a proven, safe, affordable and environmentally friendly energy source that emits almost no atmospheric emissions and helps reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil. The United States used to be a world leader in nuclear energy production and technology, but the industry fell victim to the fear mongering of the environmental movement. Starting in the early 1970s, the federal government began to slowly regulate the nuclear power industry to death; the biggest blow against nuclear power came when President Jimmy Carter banned the recycling of nuclear fuel in 1977. One of the best ways Congress can reduce U.S. carbon emissions would be to lift this ban and further deregulate the nuclear industry.

Instead, all of the climate bills currently being considered by Congress seek to force down emissions by raising the cost of energy, thus hurting the U.S. economy. The cap and trade bill passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is one of the worst of these bills, containing many of the same features of Europe’s cap and trade system that has failed to reduce emissions. There are some signs of hope, however, that the environmental movement is growing up. In their new book “Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility,” authors Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus urge liberals to get past global warming solutions that seek to limit economic growth by capping emissions. Instead, Shellenberger and Nordhaus urge more research into new technologies that can produce more energy cleaner. Congress should hold off on measures that slow economic growth until the authors’ insights better penetrates the environmental movement.

Quick Hits:

Moody’s announced the U.S. is at risk of losing its triple-A credit rating unless action is taken to curb soaring costs on entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The residents of Baghdad greeted the first snow in recent memory with delight Friday, taking the weather as a sign of peace.

National Institute of Health stem cell task force chair Story Landis said a new technique that creates stem cells without destroying embryos appeared to meet certain safeguards that would make the research eligible for federal funding.

The Dubai-based Gulf News greeted President Bush with a front page editorial itemizing his “dreadful record” including: “Ghost WMDs. The Niger connection. Halliburton. Blackwater” …and much, much more.

Barack Obama supporter Rep. Dennis Kucinich is asking for a recount of the presidential primary in New Hampshire citing unspecified “serious and credible reports, allegations, and rumors” of “possible vote-count irregularities.” No word on whether Kucinich believes UFOs were also involved.