Bush travels to nuke plant to tout nuke subsidies, is well-received

Yesterday, President Bush became the first commander in chief in 26 years to visit a nuclear power plant in the U.S. (The last time, you may recall, was when President Carter visited Three Mile Island after the accident there. Good times, good times …) Bush used the occasion to state unequivocally, “It is time for this country to start building nuclear power plants again.” It’s been more than a quarter-century since the last nuke plant was approved and built. What’s the impediment? “The last effort at building reactors was such a catastrophe that no industry nor Wall Street financier is going to touch this technology without a guarantee that taxpayers will be on the hook,” said Paul Gunter of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. To that end, Bush’s much-touted energy bill offers the industry millions in taxpayer dollars, in the form of tax subsidies, loan guarantees, and “risk insurance,” whereby taxpayers rather than private investors assume the risks of investment. Behold, the power of the free market!