GOP proposes 100 new nuclear plants

Associated Press / June 11, 2009
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WASHINGTON - House Republicans are calling for 100 new nuclear power plants to be built in the next two decades as part of an energy plan they say is a better alternative than one championed by Democrats.

The legislation unveiled by the GOP yesterday would also increase production of oil and gas offshore, open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and spur refinery construction. The money from the new drilling would go into a trust fund that would pay for the development of renewable energy.

"You have a conflict of visions between the Democratic approach and the Republican alternative. It is a difference between the carrot and the stick," said Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, who led the Republican task force charged with developing the legislation.

House Democrats called the Republican plan "a rehash of failed energy policies." The Democrats' bill has the support of the White House and is on course to reach the House floor as early as the end of the month. It sets mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and for producing electricity from renewable sources.

Republicans said that approach amounts to a national energy tax that would result in job losses and raise energy costs.

"The winter of our discontent comes not from the environmental climate, it comes from the economic climate," said Representative Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan.