WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama next week will announce a loan guarantee to build the first nuclear power plant in the United States in almost three decades, an administration official said Friday. The two new Southern Co. reactors to be built in Burke, Ga. are part of a White House energy plan administration officials hope will draw Republican support. Obama’s direct involvement in announcing the award underscores the political weight the White House is putting behind its effort to use nuclear power and alternative energy sources to lessen American dependence on foreign oil and reduce the use of other fossil fuels blamed for global warming
Obama called for “a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants” in his Jan. 27 State of the Union speech, and followed that by proposing to triple loan guarantees for new nuclear plants. Obama’s budget for the coming year would add $36 billion in new federal loan guarantees on top of $18.5 billion already budgeted – but not spent – for a total of $54.5 billion. That’s enough to help build six or seven new nuclear plants, which can cost $8 billion to $10 billion each.
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As La Plata County in southwestern Colorado looks to shift to cleaner sources of energy, solar is becoming the power source of choice
DURANGO, Colo. – The sun had just crested the distant ridge of the Rocky Mountains, but already it was producing enough power for the electric meter on the side of the Smiley Building to spin backward.
For the Shaw brothers, who converted the downtown arts building and community center into a miniature solar power plant two years ago, each reverse rotation subtracts from
their monthly electric bill. It also means the building at that moment is producing more electricity from the sun than it needs.
John Shaw, owner of Shaw Solar Works and Energy Conservation
The natural gas industry, which produces more gas here than nearly every other county in Colorado, has been relegated to the shadows. Tougher state environmental regulations and lower natural gas prices have slowed many new drilling permits. As a result, production — and the jobs that come with it — have leveled off.
With the county and city drawing up plans to reduce the emissions blamed for global warming and Congress weighing the first mandatory limits, the industry once again finds itself on the losing side of the debate.
A recent greenhouse-gas inventory of La Plata County found that the thousands of natural gas pumps and processing plants dotting the landscape are the single largest source of heat-trapping pollution locally.
That has the industry bracing for a hit on two fronts if federal legislation passes.
“Being able to put solar systems on homes is great, you take something off the grid, it is as good as conserving,” said Christi Zeller, the executive director of the La Plata Energy Council, a trade group representing about two dozen companies that produce the methane gas trapped within coal buried underground.
“But the reality is we still need natural gas, so embrace our industry like you are embracing wind, solar and the renewables,” she said.
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Putting his Money Were His Mouth Is
Soros to Invest $1 Billion in Clean Energy
Bloomberg–Billionaire George Soros, looking to address the “political problem” of climate change, said he will invest $1 billion in clean-energy technology and create an organization to advise policy makers on environmental issues.
“I want to apply rather stringent criteria to the investments,” said Soros in an e-mailed message. “They should be profitable but should also actually make a contribution to solving the problem.” “The problem of global warming is primarily a political problem at this point,” Soros said. “The science is beyond dispute, but how do we achieve the objectives we all know are necessary? That is a political problem.”
The organization will address subjects such as carbon- emissions trading.