Miracles do occur: $50 billion in toxic pork for nuclear energy axed from Stimulus Bill

Sometimes Congress does kill bad ideas — or in this case $50B in high-risk, job-killing nuclear loans that were put in the stimulus through fraudulent budget gimmickry.

According to an email I was forwarded from Beyond Nuclear:

Congressional negotiators in the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed tonight on a $789 billion stimulus bill but killed an attempt to squander $50 billion on new nuclear reactors.

The agreement, made in conference committee, axed a proposal from Sen. Bennett (R-UT) to include $50 billion in pork barrel federal loan guarantees for the nuclear industry. The Congressional Budget Office stated earlier this year that the industry would likely default on more than half the loans, leaving taxpayers and ratepayers to foot the bill.

“This is a big victory for common sense and the American taxpayer,” said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear who helped lead the campaign on Capitol Hill to cut the $50 billion from the bill. “This toxic nuclear pork had no place in a bill designed to put Americans back to work and salvage our economy. Our legislators are to be applauded for getting their priorities right and saying no to yet another blatant attempt to prop up an industry that has never stood on its own financial feet.

“The nuclear industry has received an estimated $500 billion dollars in public subsidies over the past half century,” Kamps added. “This monumental waste of money had to end. The nuclear energy industry cannot solve the climate crisis and fattening the nuclear calf has deprived real energy solutions like renewable energy and energy efficiency programs from essential support for decades.”

Kudos to the conference committee.