Kudos to Forrest Remick for his article promoting nuclear power in Wednesday’s CDT.
Critics like Janice Perison (CDT, June 13) underestimate the urgency of dealing with climate change. Anthropogenic global warming is real and dangerous, and we can’t afford to neglect any non-fossil source of electricity.
From the standpoint of combating climate change, those who oppose nuclear power are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Remick makes another good point in his article. Direct subsidies to solar and wind power, while appealing to many environmentalists, put other forms of power generation, like nuclear, at a disadvantage. Although I am a Democrat, I have a very Republican point of view on this matter. Industry, not government, should pick the winners in electricity production.
Government’s job should be to institute policies that reduce the amount of CO2 emitted from all sources. The best way to do this, as emphasized by economist William Nordhaus at Yale, would be to impose a tax on carbon.
The tax could be made revenue neutral by lowering income taxes by the same amount. We could encourage other countries, like China, to do the same by taxing imports from those countries if they do not.
A new generation of better and safer nuclear reactors, such as the Westinghouse AP1000, is now available.
We should let this technology compete with renewables on an equal footing, and we should streamline the licensing process to allow these reactors to be built more quickly and economically.
The writer is an Evan Pugh professor of geosciences at Penn State.