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American Power Act

May 13, 2010 ·

New energy bill mixes support for coal, nuclear, and oil industries with measures meant to reduce pollution and planet-warming emissions.

In introducing the American Power Act, one would think that Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) would be mindful of the various public relations disasters the industries favored in their bill had suffered in recent weeks. In short order, we had an explosion at a Massey coal mine in West Virginia, in which 29 workers were killed; the BP oil disaster, where 11 workers were killed in what may prove to be the worst spill in U.S. history in the Gulf of Mexico; and the contamination of the groundwater supply of most of southern New Jersey by a tritium leak from the aging Oyster Creek nuclear power plant. Unabashed, the two senators took to the podium accompanied by nuclear and coal industry titans (though nary an oil exec in sight) on May 12, to introduce a bill that subsidizes nuclear power, “clean” coal, and offshore oil drilling, while gutting the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions as pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Read Daphne Wysham's OtherWords op-ed on the BP oil disaster.

Energy Disaster