Former New Jersey Governor and EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, on a proposed Missouri law:
Among the greatest challenges Americans face are those choices we make now that affect our future quality of life and that of our children and grandchildren. Yet these are choices we must make, particularly when it comes to our environmental and energy future.
Missourians are now wrestling with such a choice, as decision-makers consider a law that prohibits utilities from charging ratepayers for infrastructure before projects are completed. The issue is one of financial management and how to deal with the inevitable costs associated with bringing new power into the state or upgrading the current grid…
At stake today in Missouri is a proposed nuclear reactor – along with thousands of jobs – now planned for Fulton. AmerenUE, the company considering building the new reactor, wants to gradually increase monthly bills to save ratepayers an estimated $2 billion to $3 billion in borrowing costs. As in the case of prepaying a mortgage or car loan, savings come in the form of interest costs avoided….
All these economic benefits come with an environmental payoff as well. Nuclear power is carbon free, meaning it doesn’t contribute to global warming when it is producing power. The 9.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide the existing Callaway reactor helped avoid in 2007 was equal to removing 409,000 cars from Missouri roads….
Bottom line: Any efforts to boost energy production while cutting emissions is going to require nuclear energy along with conservation and renewables. Some say it’s risky to start paying for a nuclear power plant that hasn’t yet been built.
As a former governor who worked long hours to keep and bring new jobs to my state, I am convinced it is far more risky not to invest in a cost-effective, clean energy infrastructure.
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