By Jim Snyder - 02/25/10 02:05 PM EST
My colleagues Bob Cusack and J.T. Rushing interviewed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yesterday. Once a hero to advocates of a carbon cap, McCain has been critical of the administration’s efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions since the election.
Bob and J.T. asked McCain about whether his stance on climate change had changed, and this is what he said:
"During the campaign, I said, 'Look, the only way we're going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate, over time, our dependency on foreign oil is nuclear power. I said it over and over and over again. So what did this administration just do? They say, 'We're for nuclear power, but we're shutting down Yucca Mountain,' in which we invested $16 billion. They keep saying, 'Yes, we're for nuclear power,' but the rhetoric is contradicted by their actions. So I cannot engage in serious contemplation, serious discussion, until nuclear power is a viable option. It is not viable when you announce the only place you can store is closing, and they're not recycling. So it's a non-starter."
The administration is shutting down Yucca Mountain, as Obama pledged to do during the campaign. But in other ways, the administration has supported the industry. Its budget request, for example, seeks to triple the amount of loan guarantees to build new reactors.