by Rep. Paul Broun, M.D.
Today, President Obama will announce the building of two new nuclear reactors at a Southern Company plant in Georgia. This is a step in the right direction towards achieving energy independence in the United States, but there is much more work to be done.
Increasing nuclear power is just the first step in a comprehensive, all-of-the-above plan for energy independence. Rather than additional regulations, we need additional refineries, clean coal and nuclear power plants, as well as ethanol, biodiesel, wind and solar investments. Expanding our energy portfolio and undertaking responsible conservation efforts are both important parts of a comprehensive American energy policy that lowers costs for consumers and businesses.
Currently, only a fifth of U.S. electricity is generated by nuclear power while other nations, such as France, rely on nuclear energy for more than three-quarters of their power. Nuclear reactors produce reliable, emissions-free energy, and the Administration and Congress must include it in an all-of-the-above energy plan.
Additionally, job killing schemes like the cap-and-tax bill must be stopped. It will increase the cost of energy for every American family and suffocate job creation. I believe that we can clean up the environment and keep jobs and money in people’s pockets at the same time.
America cannot afford to put its needs on hold while we wait for the next great energy breakthrough. Nor can we continue to buy oil from nations whose dictators are constantly working against us and our allies.
So far, Democrats in Congress have consistently blocked the progress of energy exploration. I am glad that President Obama has finally recognized the benefits of nuclear energy, but he must also work to break down the obstacles blocking access to the abundance of natural resources we already have in our country.