State Sen. Doug Ericksen has introduced a bill that would set up a legislative panel to study ways to promote nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuel plants that emit greenhouse gases.
"The legislature finds that nuclear power is a safe, reliable, cost-effective, and carbon-free source of electricity. Accordingly, the legislature intends that nuclear power should be studied as a possible replacement for electricity consumed in the region that is generated from the combustion of fossil fuels," Ericksen's measure states.
Read the whole thing here. It is short.
If it is passed, the bill would establish a bipartisan panel of eight legislators "to study how the state can advance and support the generation of clean energy in the region through the use of nuclear power."
The panel would report back to their colleagues by Dec. 1, 2014.
Ericksen, a Ferndale Republican who represents the 42nd District, is chairman of the Senate's Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee.
Just a few weeks ago, I would have guessed that any mention of nuclear power would stir up a tsunami of derision from environmentalists. But when the idea came up on Facebook just a few weeks ago, I was stunned to see two outspoken local environmentalists commenting that they would be willing to give nuclear power another look, because the threat of global warming from carbon emissions is so dire.
According to this report in Forbes, the federal government is already sinking a few hundred million into development of a new breed of smaller-scale nuclear power systems, although those new systems appear to be many years from reality.