There's a vibrant debate taking place around the country on whether or not nuclear power should remain a part of the energy mix.
It's an issue that's created strange bedfellows. In South Carolina and Georgia, where the first nuclear reactors to be built in the U.S. since the 1990s are currently under construction, the projects are facing major delays an cost overruns. Still, some Republican policymakers support completing the new reactors in order to a have a supply of reliable, baseload energy — even if it requires several billions of dollars in additional customer support. Advocates for low-carbon energy resources, meanwhile, say state policymakers should let competitive markets prevail and not attempt to prop up the nuclear plants.
It's a similar story in New York and Illinois, where state policymakers are defending subsidy programs for existing nuclear power plants, while progressives are divided on the issue.
The ongoing solar trade case before the International Trade Commission has cut across traditional party lines, too, with conservative free market groups joining forces with ardent solar industry supporters — although the two camps have clashed in the past. President Trump's views on these issues, meanwhile, remain a wildcard.
We tackle the political questions surrounding the future of nuclear debate, as well as the solar trade case, in our latest episode of The Green Room — GTM's live video series on clean energy news and issues, from a bipartisan perspective. Our guests, as always, are Shane Skelton, former energy policy adviser to Paul Ryan and partner at S2C Pacific, and Brandan Hurlbut, former DOE chief-of-staff under Steven Chu and partner at Boundary Stone Partners.
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