By Ben Geman - 11/21/09 01:59 PM EST
But supporters of new nuclear plants say big, carbon-free baseload power plants will be vital to replacing fossil fuels. Exelon Corp. Chairman John Rowe recently called on the Senate to provide an additional $50 billion in federal loan guarantees for new plant construction. The utility has the largest nuclear power fleet in the country and backs enactment of a cap-and-trade plan to cut emissions.
Federal support for nuclear power is a pivotal issue in the climate fight on Capitol Hill. Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) hope to cobble together a compromise emissions-capping bill that can attract 60 Senate votes, and nuclear power is part of their equation.