Nuke industry to Obama: You need us

The nuclear industry is blasting President Obama for his recent executive order requiring federal agencies get 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The Nuclear Energy Institute called the Dec. 5 order a "missed" opportunity by the president to include nuclear power in a letter sent to the administration on Thursday.

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The order will nearly triple the use of the federal government's renewable sources and apply to all federal agencies, civilian and military.

"As you and others in your administration have often said, nuclear energy can, and must, play a major role in any credible national plan to reduce carbon emissions and we believe it should be included in any presidential mandate to federal agencies on procurement of carbon-free electricity," Marvin S. Fertel, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, wrote in the letter.

Nuclear plants make up 64 percent of carbon-free electricity produced in the U.S., Fertel explained, and "dwarf" the amount of emissions prevented by other energy sources.

"Given this record, we believe failure to include nuclear energy in your mandate for procurement of carbon-free electricity by federal facilities is a missed leadership opportunity, and one that would be embraced by consumers," Fertel added.