Nuke subsidies being added to McCain-Lieberman climate bill

The latest draft of the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act proposes hundreds of millions of dollars in new subsidies for the nuclear power industry, in the form of a cost-splitting arrangement that would have the feds shoulder half the expense of developing and getting regulatory approval for three new nuke-plant designs. The proposal (not yet finalized) is reportedly a bargaining chip to win conservative support for caps on greenhouse-gas emissions. One might expect the idea to run into a brick wall of opposition from environmental groups, but that wall shows signs of cracking. Several high-profile greens have recently argued that given the grim realities of global warming, nuclear power deserves a second look. But Thomas Cochran of the Natural Resources Defense Council urges enviros to keep the focus where it belongs: “The issue isn’t: Do you support nuclear? The issue should be: Do you support massive subsidies to the tune of billions of dollars for nuclear power? The answer is no.”