President Obama traveled to Lanham, Md., today, to the headquarters of the IBEW Local 26, to announce that his administration plans to offer $8 billion in loan guarantees to build a new nuclear power facility. And more loan guarantees for clean energy are on the way.
"My budget proposes tripling the loan guarantees we provide to help finance safe, clean nuclear facilities," the president said. "And we'll continue to provide financing for clean energy projects here in Maryland and across America."
In his remarks, Obama addressed safety and environmental concerns about nuclear energy:
Now, I know it has long been assumed that those who champion the environment are opposed to nuclear power. But the fact is, even though we have not broken ground on a new nuclear plant in nearly thirty years, nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions. To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we'll need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It's that simple. This one plant, for example, will cut carbon pollution by 16 million tons each year when compared to a similar coal plant. That's like taking 3.5 million cars off the road.
"On an issue which affects our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, we cannot continue to be mired in the same old debates between left and right; between environmentalists and entrepreneurs," he said.
The president called investment in nuclear energy "a necessary step," and repeatedly emphasized its potential to create thousands of new jobs.