McCain Goes Off the Nuclear Deep End

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The Obama administration’s $54.5 billion plan to ignite the nuclear power industry might seem like the shot in the arm that nuclear advocates have been demanding for some time. But it’s apparently not good enough for John McCain.

One might think that McCain, who has long touted nuclear as the ideal low-carbon fuel source, would be enthused about Barack Obama’s State of the Union statement that creating clean energy jobs “means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.” But apparently not. McCain told The Hill:

During the campaign, I said, ‘Look, the only way we’re going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate, over time, our dependency on foreign oil is nuclear power.’ I said it over and over and over again. So what did this administration just do? They say, ‘We’re for nuclear power, but we’re shutting down Yucca Mountain,’ in which we invested $16 billion. They keep saying, ‘Yes, we’re for nuclear power,’ but the rhetoric is contradicted by their actions. So I cannot engage in serious contemplation, serious discussion, until nuclear power is a viable option. It is not viable when you announce the only place you can store is closing, and they’re not recycling. So it’s a non-starter.

McCain must be living in an alternate universe if $54.5 billion in support for the industry does not live up to the administration’s rhetoric. And while the administration has decided to shut down Yucca, that was largely because it has long been clear that there was very little support for efforts to locate the waste facility there. The Department of Energy has formed a new commission to look at options for waste disposal and recycling, as there are a lot of questions about how exactly that can be done.

McCain’s buddy Lindsey Graham has taken the lead on efforts to pass a nuclear-friendly climate bill this year and calls the Obama administration “very pro-nuclear.” Yet while the Obama administration is holding out nuclear support as an incentive for Republicans to support a climate and energy bill, it looks like that won’t be enough for McCain.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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