Whether you are Republican or Democrat, pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear, you probably will agree with me that it is wrong to ask the American taxpayers to fund an investment that is so risky it has a 50 percent chance of failing.
According the the Congressional Business Office, new nuclear power plants have a 50 percent failure rate. In other words, only half the time do they manage to pay back the initial investment and even more infrequently do they turn a profit.
So if the new plant succeeds ... we the taxpayers pay to build the plant and then when complete we pay the utility company to buy back the energy our money funded without receiving any dividends whatsoever. If it fails (equally likely) we pay to build the plant, then we pay for the debt incurred from the failed project. In either case, there is no downside for the utility company building and operating the plant.
Sounds crazy, right? But that is exactly the deal Obama wants us to make with the nuclear energy industry. My first prediction ... it will fail. My second prediction, it will cost Obama dearly in both the 2010 and 2012 elections as growing numbers of green voters become disenfranchised with the Wall Street sellout that the president has become.
The good news is that twice before this preposterous deal to "bail out" the nuclear industry was attempted, and twice before the American people stopped it. So let's do it again!
Right now there is a campaign from Democracy in Action to e-mail your senator to tell them that you will not support the nuclear bailout, with a group call-in happening on Thursday, Feb. 25. You can learn all about the nuclear industry and how they are trying to put taxpayers on the hook for their non-fundable projects on the resource website NIRS (Nuclear Information & Resource Service).
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