WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following is a statement regarding President Obama’s plan to address climate change and control carbon emissions by the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, Marvin Fertel.
"The strength of America’s electric system is diversity of technologies and fuel types. When it comes to reducing the U.S. electric sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, efforts can succeed only if carbon-free nuclear energy plays a larger role in the nation’s electricity mix. That’s not simply the opinion of our industry. It is the determination made by several independent organizations that analyzed the leading climate change bills pending in Congress some five years ago when prospects for enacting legislative measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions appeared to have momentum. These include the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Information Administration, which found that between 69 and 187 new nuclear energy facilities would be needed to meet the bills’ carbon reduction objectives in the electricity sector.
"There is no debating this fact: Nuclear energy produces nearly two-thirds of America’s carbon-free electricity. As a nation, we cannot reach our energy and climate goals without the reliable, carbon-free electricity that nuclear power plants generate to power our homes, businesses and infrastructure.
"President Obama recognized this during the presidential campaign when he said, ‘It is unlikely we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power as an option.’ Likewise, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz supports the expansion of nuclear energy to meet national energy and environmental imperatives.
"Nuclear energy must continue to be a major part of the nation’s energy portfolio if we wish to effectively reduce carbon emissions to protect the environment, and to expand our supply of reliable, affordable electricity. We look forward to working with the administration to help achieve these extremely important goals."