Matthew Yglesias writes and quotes
As outlined in the MIT interdisciplinary report on "The Future of Nuclear Power" I think it's likely that the solution to climate change problem involves greater quantities of nuclear-generated electricity and very likely that the solution involves a greater proportion of energy needs being met through nuclear power. That said, John Hood's view on how this might come about seems odd:
Nuclear power seems part of what I see as an emerging Left-Right-Center "deal" on climate change. No, I haven't given into alarmism. I still think the projections of global catastrophe from human-induced warming are unwarranted based on what I've read and heard. But if you don't seen the current drift of the debate, you aren't paying close attention. The elements of the deal might be something like this: 1) continue to remove restrictions on nuclear power as a future source of household energy; 2) raise taxes on motor fuels by a significant amount, fully offset by reductions in other taxes (state sales or income taxes would be my preference, as I'd prefer state rather than federal action here), which would discourage fossil fuel use; 3) spend the tax proceeds on improving highways and bridges, thus alleviating the nation's worsening congestion (which has a cost in air quality), and funding some new research into alternative energies; and 4) change state and local land-use regulations to allow more mixed-use developments that reduce the length of work commutes and make non-auto travel at least a little more likely.
Notice that Hood spends the revenues from raised taxes on motor fuels twice, since they are "fully offset by reductions in other taxes" and spent "on improving highways and bridges, ... and funding some new research into alternative energies.
John didn't you momma or some of your homeboys in the hood ever tell you that you can't have your cake and eat it too ?
More seriously, Hood seems to think that the Right cares about nuclear power (or maybe that would be the center) and would accept changes in zoning imposed on localities by the federal government and an increased gasoline tax in exchange for reduced restrictions on nuclear power. Give me a break. The ideological right is opposed to compromise on principle and refuses to admit that global warming exists. The not so ideological right follows the money.
For decades, new construction of nuclear power plants has been happening at too low a rate (0 per year) to finance enough uhm campaign contributions to seriously interest Republicans. I mean how much money do Babcock and Wilcox, Kerr McGee and Westinghouse have left between them ? One hint, I am typing this on a product of the owner of Westinghouse, which has bigger fish (3 eyed or otherwise) to fry. Babcock and Wilcox is a division of McDermott inc
(I've never heard of them either) and Kerr McGee is a subsidiary of the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Big business has a lot of friends on the right, but formerly big business doesn't (the Republican party is no longer the Washington office of the railroad trust either).