Iowa Senator Tom Harkin issued a news release last night praising a new “clean energy” bill before the U-S Senate, but found very little positive to say about the legislation during a conference call with Iowa reporters this morning.
“There are some things in there that really bother me, I mean, $54-billion in loan guarantees for more nuclear power plants when we don’t even know what to do with the waste from the ones we have right now? Tax exempt bonds to fund nuclear power projects? It encourages offshore drilling. There’s a lot in this bill that we need to work on.”
Harkin, a Democrat, says America needs to “move away” from nuclear power due to its high costs and the generation of tons of deadly waste. He says Iowa’s a good example of how we can shift into more earth-friendly power alternatives.
“We have an abundance of energy we can tap into now,” Harkin says. “We need to put more effort into energy efficiency, more into solar, more into wind, more into geothermal, more into renewable, clean energy technology without going down the nuclear road.”
When asked what he liked about the legislation, which he glowingly endorsed in the news release, Harkin started by saying the bill would work to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, but quickly digressed:
“There are investments in there in clean energy technology, I’m not saying there aren’t. There are, I just don’t think there’s enough,” Harkin says. “This bill…moves us towards more energy efficiency and more renewable energy. Those are the good parts. Quite frankly, those seem to take a back seat to trying to put more money into nuclear.”
The bill was introduced by Senators John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut. Harkin wrapped up his statement on the bill saying, “It’s trying to please everybody and in trying to please everybody, it may please nobody.”
Here’s part of the original news release from Harkin: “I applaud Senators Kerry and Lieberman for their tireless and resolute campaign to bring us an approach to addressing our climate change challenge. It is important that we pass legislation to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign energy sources- an addiction that sends money to unfriendly nations rather than invests it in America. We must, as the most recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reminds us, protect our natural treasures, our sources of food and the air we breathe. The bill proposed today is a great start towards these goals and as we move forward with this legislation, we must ensure that it includes even more provisions to promote the production and use of renewable sources of energy, as well as promote energy efficiency.”