Republicans Push Nuke Power, Drilling Instead of Cap-and-Trade

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". . .bill includes goals and incentives for 100 new nuclear plants and for boosting domestic oil supplies."

Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday introduced a "market-based" alternative bill to the cap-and-trade measure advocated by the Democratic majority to cut industry greenhouse gas emissions.

The Republican bill includes goals and incentives for 100 new nuclear plants and for boosting domestic oil supplies.

In a Capitol Hill news conference, key GOP House members unveiled their bill as an alternative that does not put a limit or price on carbon emissions. Instead, the legislation would set a national goal for 100 new nuclear power plants by 2030, create a Renewable and Alternative Energy Trust Fund and remove regulations and streamline processes to increase domestic drilling for oil and gas.

"The bill says we're of the quaint notion that we ought to have market-based solutions," said Representative Joe Barton of Texas, a leading global warming skeptic and the senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "That's why there is no punitive measure on carbon."

Instead, the bill would accelerate the regulatory process for building nuclear reactors. It also would lower costs for nuclear power plants by suspending tariffs and duties on foreign parts.

The legislation would tackle nuclear waste by providing for recycling and allowing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to complete its review of Yucca Mountain for waste storage.

To boost domestic supplies, the bill would advance a leasing program on the Outer Continental Shelf, expand state territorial waters to 12 miles offshore and allow coastal states to share receipts from the exploration.

It would also streamline the refinery permitting process and call on the president to identify a suitable site for biomass plants.

The Democrats' bill would cap GHG emissions from the electric power sector, oil refiners and large industrials in 2012 and require reductions of 83% below 2005 levels by 2050. It creates a carbon emission allowance market and provides a percentage of free tradable allowances to the covered industries through 2030.

The Energy and Commerce Committee cleared the bill May 21 and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, hopes to bring it to the full House vote in the coming weeks.

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