Category Archives: Reid

Nuclear Puzzle

A guy named Gregory Jaczko is about to get more exposure to the media then he has ever wanted. He was appointed by President Obama in 2009 to be the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and will be testifying before Congress this coming week on a report that came out, from the NRC, that concluded “Mr. Jaczko failed to fully inform the other four members that he was issuing budget guidance that would essentially halt the commission’s work on the project, which was to decide whether the Energy Department should be allowed to build and operate the dump.”

The project they are talking about is Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which is about 90 miles away from Las Vegas. According to the article, Jaczko used to work for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has always been fighting to keep Yucca Mountain from becoming a permanent site for nuclear waste. During the 2008 election, Obama, while being in favor of nuclear energy, said many times Yucca Mountain will not become a place for nuclear storage. More information has come out since then making it clear Obama and Reid are close. It was Reid who convinced Obama to run for President, and when the Republican National Committee put millions into “Daschelzing” Reid last year, Obama held events and fundraisers in Nevada.

Policy wise though, it made no sense for Obama to be in favor of using nuclear energy but not store it at Yucca. Time and time again the NRC has said Yucca Mountain was the best place to store nuclear energy and was close to it in President (W’s) Bush’s first term. Bush signed the law to turn the area into a storage facility, only for it to be vetoed by the Governor, and then overturned by Congress.

As far as Jaczko is concerned, the report said he did not break any laws, but he obviously didn’t make any friends. Obama put him on the commission to look at other sites in the country that can be built for storage. It’s an example of a political appointment, and someone coming in with an agenda. It’s the nature of the game. But while other sites around the country are closer to residential areas, Yucca is closest to volcanic lava on federal land. Using nuclear energy is clean, creates jobs, is more efficient, and costs less than other forms of energy. According to World Nuclear the price of generating nuclear fuel is cheaper then coal and gas, making it cheaper for consumers in the long run. Readers know I want to visit Las Vegas again, but people don’t like to see wind turbines in their back yard, and solar power can’t be used everywhere or at any time.

I write a lot about how politics get in the way of good policies being put together, this is an example of that. At the same time, politics is also a necessary evil. If it wasn’t for Harry Reid, Obama may not have run for President, and of course the alternatives to a democracy/a republic don’t look to good. All the pundits were saying nuclear energy would take a step back after the earthquake in Japan, but eventually there’s going to be more nuclear plants in this country, it just makes too much sense. Designs for nuclear plants have improved since the one at Fukushima was built, and obviously we don’t have to build them on a fault line. There’s a smart way to do it, and eventually enough politicians will solve the puzzle to get it done.

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Filed under Clean Energy, Congress, Environment, global warming, Harry Reid, Nuclear, Politics, President Obama, Reid

>Put Up or Shut Up

>This health care debate gets more and more exciting every day. Now it’s the Senate’s turn. Who needs Pacquiao vs. Cotto when you get to see Harry Reid whipping the rest of the Democrats to vote for his bill? The best part is that the vote is going to be on another Saturday night. Prime time! There’s nothing else on Saturday anyway, and I guarantee you the networks are pissed they won’t be able to charge for advertisements on C-SPAN when the vote is taking place.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $127 billion over ten years. That’s also probably a conservative estimate based on how CBO actually calculates the figures. Taxes are also going to be raised by the insurance companies who charge more then $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for families, which will help key costs low.

I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed in the name. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That’s boring. The bill should be called Put Up or Shut Up.

In 2006 Republicans lost control of Congress mainly because they didn’t get anything done, they didn’t get their act together. Some Democratic Senators (Lieberman, Landrieu, Lincoln, and Nelson) are threatening to not even let the bill come to a vote. If that happens it won’t just look bad for Reid and the rest of the Democratic leadership, it sends the message to the American people Democrats don’t have confidence in their own policies. And if they don’t, why should the the American people?

The bill to be voted on Saturday has a public option which states can opt-out of. And a public option is the best way to control costs, the majority of the American people know this. The foundations are in both the Senate and House version for the Democrats to be confident in the bill.

When Vice President Biden was on The Daily Show the other night, he was asked, and I’m paraphrasing, “Why is it that the Republicans are able to stop legislation when they are in the minority, and the Democrats can’t get anything passed when they have the majority?” Biden’s reply: “That’s a good point.”

So Democrats, it’s time to put up or shut up, because that’s what this bill represents. You can either show the American people you are capable of running the country or you’re not. The outcome of this bill will be the answer.

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Filed under Democrats, Healthcare, Lieberman, Obama, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Reid, Republicans, Senate