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Roosevelt-Founded Conservation Group Supports Nuclear Energy Expansion

Insight Web Extra

August 2009—Climate change policy should support clean energy and promote increased nuclear generation, according to a proposal released by a conservationist hunting group.

The Boone and Crockett Club, founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, expressed support for policy that invests in energy conservation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The proposal states that electricity production from nuclear energy—as a carbon emission-free source with reliable baseload capacity—“must be significantly increased” to meet emission-reduction goals.

Boone and Crockett CC Policy

The proposal prioritizes maintaining affordable energy and lessening economic impacts of increasing energy demands, particularly for rural areas of the United States. Legislation that does not include or promote nuclear power and other emission-free energy sources, the proposal says, could result in dramatic increases in energy and agricultural input costs in rural areas.

The club, which has a history of supporting wildlife and habitat conservation and restoration, also lauded nuclear energy’s “tiny footprint on habitat.”

Boone and Crockett endorses “faster and better” regulatory processes for nuclear and renewable energy sites. “Regulatory siting processes for nuclear, wind and solar must be streamlined so that they also provide a steadily larger share of electricity, while ensuring that habitat is protected,” the proposal states.

Though the proposal notes that current fuel sources should not be discarded from a revamped energy portfolio, Boone and Crockett acknowledged that increased nuclear energy could reduce the need for natural gas-derived power. The club said natural gas extraction can affect habitats in the Rocky Mountain West.

The Boone and Crockett Club is among the first conservation organizations to call for an expanded role for nuclear energy in combating greenhouse gas emissions. Existing support for nuclear energy from environmental and conservation organizations has focused mostly on environmental activities conducted at plant sites. A number of organizations, including the Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Habitat Council, have recognized efforts in wetland recovery, environmental education, and wildlife, land and water protection.

The club’s full policy proposal can be found here, including a downloadable PDF. [Image credit: Boone and Crockett Club]

—Read more articles in Nuclear Energy Insight and Insight Web Extra.