Could Nuclear Become the Energy of Choice for Arizona?

During his State of the Union address,President Obama sent a cheer amongst Congressional Republicans when heannounced (confirmed) his support for nuclear power as a source ofclean energy. Obama followed through with his promise when he announcedlast week $8 billion in loan guarantees for building two nuclear plants by Southern Company in eastern Georgia.



Itnow appears that nuclear fever is in full swing. An Arizona state bill,sponsored by Republican Senate President Robert Burns and RepublicanSpeaker of the House Kirk Adams, will redefine “renewable” to includenuclear power and thus include nuclear under the umbrella of theRenewable Energy Standard (RES). The Arizona RES requires utilities togenerate 15% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The Phoenix Sun notes:

Sincethe state’s largest utility, APS, already gets approximately 27 percentof its electricity from a nuclear power plant outside of Phoenix, HB2701 would allow the company to stop adding any new renewable powersources.

State Republicans claim thatsolar installations will proceed unhindered. Since solar still requiresmajor subsidies from the government and given tightening governmentbudgets, I am very skeptical of such claims. See “Arizona Bill Would End Key Support for Solar”for more details on this story. You can also get an understanding ofRepublican opposition to solar at the Federal level by reviewing theSenate Committee on Environment and Public Works “Full Committee and Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy Joint Hearing: Solar Energy Technology and Clean Energy Jobs” held on January 28, 2010.

Be careful out there.