The New York Times today published letters in response to its unusually mushy editorial* on relicensing of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are posturing as environmental know-nothings in opposing an extension of the two nuclear reactor units’ operating licenses.
Today’s letters feature four opposing the extension or nuclear power in general, and one in support of nuclear power. So here’s the positive one:
The Times declared in its editorial that it is not attacking the energy source that provides one-fifth of our nation’s electricity. But you can bet that if Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo are successful in shuttering Indian Point, it would send shock waves throughout the nuclear industry at a perilous moment for American energy policy.
And as the editorial correctly suggested, nuclear power, as an emissions-free electricity source, has a pivotal role in addressing climate change.
What’s worse, the plant’s opponents have advanced no credible alternative to replace Indian Point’s electricity, which provides about 20 percent of New York City’s power and as much as 40 percent of regional needs during periods of peak demand.
We all recognize how difficult it is to build new energy infrastructures in the greater New York area. Electricity demand continues to grow in the United States and the New York region. To meet that demand, our industry must throw everything we have at the challenge, including, yes, new nuclear power plants. We cannot take anything off the table, including Indian Point.
Thomas R. Kuhn
Washington, Dec. 5, 2007
The writer is president of the Edison Electric Institute.
*Mushy? Why, yes. Usually you can count on the Times for either tendentiousness or lefty predictability…or both.
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