According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News public opinion poll released yesterday morning, cutting subsidies for new reactors is the single most popular possible budget cut, with 57% finding such cuts either completely or mostly acceptable. No other program got more than 52% support for budget cuts, and most programs slated for cuts received far less than 50% public approval for such cuts. You can read the entire poll here (the program comparison is on page 15 of the documents).
The existing Department of Energy loan “guarantee” program has $10.2 Billion in unspent money for new reactor construction and another $2 Billion for uranium enrichment plants. Why should Congress be cutting programs like legal services for the poor, public broadcasting, college loans, and dozens of other programs when that money is sitting there and should never be used anyway?
The budget as approved by the House of Representatives, while slashing many worthwhile programs, at least does not include new loan money for nuclear reactor construction. But there is a chance that the Senate will try to add, with Department of Energy support, billions to the program (called Title 17). And, if this attempt is made, it will likely be in the next two weeks.
So act now. America has spoken and a large outpouring right now could make a difference.
Let’s tell Congress now: no new taxpayer subsidies for nuclear reactors and cut all of the existing subsidies once and for all. We won’t accept massive budget cuts in programs that matter in order to give our money to wealthy nuclear utilities and foreign reactor manufacturers.
- WSJ/NBC Poll: Hands Off Medicare, Social Security (blogs.wsj.com)
- Harvey Wasserman: Obama’s $36 Billion Nuke-Powered Giveaway (huffingtonpost.com)