Senators Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Sessions, Richard Burr, Bob Corker, and Mary Landrieu all asked pointed, pro-nuclear questions during Steven Chu’s confirmation hearing yesterday. Warms my heart to think that the message is finally getting across – there is NO supportable logic in a position that states that energy security is vital, protecting the climate is vital and economic development is vital, but please keep nuclear off the solutions list because we are not sure that we can keep costs under control or ensure that the by-products remain isolated from the environment for a million years.
Here are some of the questions asked during the hearing:
Here was Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, at the opening of the hearing: “Nuclear is a very key component in our energy package.”
Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a little while later: “Will you accelerate this power source of clean energy? Are you committed to that?”
Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, a Democrat: Can you “state your priorities for nuclear power?”
As expected, Chu’s answer to Session’s question about commitment was simple and straightforward:
“Yes, I am.”
I am watching the hearing now on C-Span Video and plan to share some more thoughts later. For now, my main comment is that it is pretty obvious that Chu is a logical, thinking scientist who is not an engineer or a businessman. Fortunately, he demonstrates that he can learn additional disciplines – if he is going to succeed in his important role, he will have to. (Anyone who thinks that slowing new plant construction or using California’s energy policies as examples for America has some weak areas in his education and knowledge.)