By Jarret Adams
At the American Spectator today, the reliably excellent William Tucker offers a pointed critique of a piece by the reliably un-excellent Amory Lovins in the Weekly Standard entitled “Nuclear Socialism.”
It should come as news to no one that Lovins is criticizing nuclear energy – he has been doing it for decades – it is just his sudden conversion to fiscal conservative. But, hey, he probably wrote a study that he can footnote as evidence for his thesis.
As Tucker points out, one of Lovins’ main arguments is that subsidies “seduced previously prudent utilities and regulators into a nuclear binge” in the 1980s. However the subsidies in questions were not passed until the Energy Policy Act of 2005. But never mind the facts.
While Tucker laments the current situation for companies wishing to build new nuclear plants in the U.S., he is quick to dismiss Lovins’ claims that the world has given up on nuclear energy. However the facts tell a different story with more than 50 reactors under construction worldwide. (Tucker puts the number at 61 reactors but the point is the same.)
Tucker concludes that part of the problem is the misinformation from nuclear energy’s paid critics.
The reason it is nearly impossible to build nuclear reactors in this country is that people like Amory Lovins have convinced the public that there is something uniquely terrifying about nuclear energy. … Now Lovins has gotten smarter. He couches his argument in economic terms in order to seem hardheaded, even “conservative.” And some conservative publications are even gullible enough to believe him.
Read the rest of Tucker’s critique here.