Fourth District Republican Congressional candidate and state Rep. Cory Gardner positions himself above all else as a fiscal conservative. Yet he supports nuclear power as part of his “all of the above” approach to energy policy. In the “2010 Plan” he has posted at his website, there is almost no mention of wind or solar power while nuclear power gets special treatment. The question: How could any genuine fiscal-conservative small-government candidate seriously push for the expansion of nuclear energy?
From Gardner’s 2010 Plan:
Creating Jobs and Powering the Future
1. Create “national energy zones”. These areas are pre-approved (by federal, state, and local authorities) for the construction of new oil-refineries, nuclear power plants, and other energy development. This will streamline the permitting process, cut down on litigation and red tape, and lower the cost of energy and increase our energy independence.
2. We should bring our policies regarding the use of nuclear fuel up to date. By using the best, most modern practices we can utilize more energy and reduce our nuclear waste.
Gardner agreed with the other men running in the GOP Fourth-District primary during a debate two weeks ago that the federal government is good for pretty much nothing except national defense. Yet nuclear power is an energy source that can not exist without Big Government support.
It costs at least $7.2 billion to build a single nuclear power plant. That’s upfront. There’s also the back-end cost. Nuclear waste, which will always exist in every sense, has to be stored somewhere. The projected cost of the proposed Yucca mountain disposal site in Nevada is $96.2 billion. Does that sound like any kind of capital outlay the free-market would support?
CitiBank researchers responded to the enthusiasms of politicians like Gardner in a recently produced report warning off investors. (Read the pdf, New Nuclear: The Economics Say No). Citibank dubbed the staggering costs associated with nuclear power as “corporate killers.”
Why does Gardner support nuclear energy? What research has he conducted on this matter? Who are his investor and energy advisers? How much federal “stimulus” type money will he be willing to vote into our nuclear future? There is not a single link to resources provided in Gardner’s “plan.”
There is also this: What does Gardner’s nuclear proposal do for Colorado, exactly, much less the citizens of the Fourth District? Is Gardner running for president? Nuclear power is exactly wrong for the water-starved west. Nuclear plants are built on the shores of major bodies of water because they require so much water to cool the waste. Will one of Gardner’s “energy zones” be situated on an underused or undiscovered Great Lake in the Fourth District somewhere?
Gardner’s nuclear vision is as unserious as his 2010 Plan is slap-dash. The plan, which he touts on the stump as a policy program, is nothing more than a disappointing list of talking points thrown up without even a proofreading. Here’s just a quick sampling of some of the gems that must make his Yuma high school English teachers cringe:
I believe as our great president Ronald Reagan believed, “Peace through Strength.” Our country’s most important Constitution duty is to protect and preserve the United States by providing for it common defense…
We must be vigilant, steadfast, and must win the War on Terror by eliminating the terrorist threat wherever they may be.
In the Gardner household, we know we have to watch how much money we spend to make sure that we can cover our bills. Its time Congress start living within its means and do the same thing.
Government does not need to spend every dime but every dime that is spent should be transparent.
How much tax money does Gardner propose giving to nuclear scientists to create these special transparent dimes he’s talking about? Will these atomic-age see-through coins be the first product manufactured in Gardner’s special unregulated tax-supported “national energy zones”?