Obama talks about fighting the nuclear industry, but his record is less strident
Barack Obama talks on the campaign trail about fighting the nuclear power industry, but the real story is more complicated, reports The New York Times in a front-page story. In 2006, Illinois residents were up in arms after finding out that Exelon Corp. had not informed them about radioactive leaks at one of its nuclear power plants. Obama responded by introducing a bill in the U.S. Senate that would require plants to immediately tell local officials about any leaks — and he now talks proudly of his work on that legislation. But after an initial, unsuccessful push to move the bill forward in a GOP-controlled Congress, he watered it down significantly to include changes wanted by Republicans and Exelon. The current version of the bill — still unpassed — wouldn’t require industry to report leaks, but rather would ask federal regulators to draw up new rules on public notification. Exelon executives and employees have been big funders and fundraisers for Obama’s political campaigns — a fact for which he’s been criticized by Hillary Clinton, though she’s gotten contributions from the nuclear industry too.