Posts Tagged ‘subsidy’

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News public opinion poll released yesterday morning, cutting subsidies for new reactors is the single most popular possible budget cut, with 57% finding such cuts either completely or mostly acceptable. No other program got more than 52% support for budget cuts, and most programs slated for cuts received far less than 50% public approval for such cuts. You can read the entire poll here (the program comparison is on page 15 of the documents).

Page 15 of the March 3rd Wall Street Journal Poll

The existing Department of Energy loan “guarantee” program has $10.2 Billion in unspent money for new reactor construction and another $2 Billion for uranium enrichment plants. Why should Congress be cutting programs like legal services for the poor, public broadcasting, college loans, and dozens of other programs when that money is sitting there and should never be used anyway?

The budget as approved by the House of Representatives, while slashing many worthwhile programs, at least does not include new loan money for nuclear reactor construction. But there is a chance that the Senate will try to add, with Department of Energy support, billions to the program (called Title 17). And, if this attempt is made, it will likely be in the next two weeks.

So act now. America has spoken and a large outpouring right now could make a difference.

Let’s tell Congress now: no new taxpayer subsidies for nuclear reactors and cut all of the existing subsidies once and for all. We won’t accept massive budget cuts in programs that matter in order to give our money to wealthy nuclear utilities and foreign reactor manufacturers.

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nuke plantA bill currently moving in the Texas Legislature, HB 4525, would create new state subsidy of $50 million each for new nuclear and coal plants.

We need your help to stop this pork bill from passing.  Call your Senator now and tell them that nuclear power doesn’t need taxpayer help!

Although the claim of HB 4525 is that subsidies are necessary to attract new manufacturing plants to Texas, the bill would actually primarily reward plants already intending to build here with a totally unjustified housewarming gift.

In particular, the two nuclear projects singled out by the Legislative Budget Board analysis as the most likely beneficiaries of these subsidies –the South Texas Project and Comanche Peak — are expansions of existing complexes.  We aren’t in danger of these facilities relocating to out of state, and giving them $50 million a pop “to stay” is an extravagant waste of taxpayer money.

At a time of economic crisis, when state tax revenues are plummeting, Texas cannot afford to give that kind of money away, especially to such financially and environmentally risky projects.

Nuclear plants are already the most heavily subsidized energy industry in the United States at both the state and federal level. Coal plants are heavily subsidized as well, and the Texas Legislature is currently considering two new subsidies for “clean coal” projects. Considering the likelihood that a cap-and-trade bill will take effect soon, this is the wrong time to be adding financial support to the quickly changing energy industry.

Call your Senator today, and tell them to STOP this new coal and nuclear subsidy by voting NO on HB 4525.

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