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Senate Proceeding 04-20-10 on Apr 20th, 2010 :: 0:01:05 to 0:14:25
Total video length: 4 hours 17 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Lamar Alexander

0:00:49 to 0:01:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: way to create the largest amount of pollution-free, carbon-free electricity. nuclear power today produces 20% of mechanic's electricity but 70% of all of our carbon-free, pollution-free electricity. during 2009, america's national energy policy looked more like a

Lamar Alexander

0:01:05 to 0:14:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

0:01:10 to 0:01:30( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: national windmill policy. the equivalent of going to war in sailboats. if we were going to war, the united states wouldn't think of putting its nuclear navy in mothballs. yet we did mothball our nuclear construction program, our best

Lamar Alexander

0:01:31 to 0:01:51( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: weapon against climate change, pollution, and insecurity. although 107 reactors were completed between 1970 and 1990, producing 20% of our electricity today, which as i said is 69% of our carbon-free electricity, the united states has not started a new nuclear plant in 30 years.

Lamar Alexander

0:01:52 to 0:02:12( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: instead of using our own nuclear power invention to catch up with the rest of the world, president obama in his inaugural address set out on a different path. america would rely upon -- quote -- "the sun, th winds and the soil" -- unquote -- there was no mention of nuclear power. windmills would produce 20% of

Lamar Alexander

0:02:13 to 0:02:33( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: our electricity. to achieve this goal, the federal government would commit another $30 billion in subsidies and tax breaks. to date, almost all the subsidies for renewable energy have gone to windmill developers, many of whom are large banks, corporations, and wealthy individuals. according to the energy

Lamar Alexander

0:02:34 to 0:02:54( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: information administration, big wind receives an $18.82 subsidy per megawatt hour. 20 times as much -- 25 times as much per megawatt hour as subsidies for our electricity production combined. last year's stimulus bill alone

Lamar Alexander

0:02:55 to 0:03:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: contained $2 billion in windmill subsidies. unfortunately, most of the jobs are being created in sin and china. according to an american university study, nearly 80% of that $2 billion of american taxpayer moneyent to overseas manufacturers. and despite the billions in subsidies, not much energy is

Lamar Alexander

0:03:16 to 0:03:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: being produced. wind accounts for just 1.3% of america's electricity available only when the wind blows, of course, since wind can't be stored except in small amounts. conservation groups have begun to worry about what they call the -- quote -- "renewable

Lamar Alexander

0:03:38 to 0:04:02( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: energy sprawl" -- unquote -- producing 20% of united states electric from wind would cover an area the size of west virginia with 186,000 turbines and require 19,000 miles of new transmission lines. these are not your grandmother's windmills. these turbines are 50 stories high.

Lamar Alexander

0:04:03 to 0:04:23( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: they artheir flashing lights can seen for 20 miles. an unbroken line of giant turbines along the appalachian trail except for coastlines, ridgetops are the only place turbines work well inch of the east. but that unbroken line of giant turbines along the appalachian trail would produce mo more

Lamar Alexander

0:04:24 to 0:04:46( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: electricity than -- no more electricity than four nuclear reactors on four square miles. and of course you'd still need the reactors for when the wind doesn't blow. there are other ways a national windmill policy also risks destroying the environment in the name of saving the environment. the american bird conservancy

Lamar Alexander

0:04:47 to 0:05:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: estimates that the 25,000 u.s. turbines today kill 75,000 to 275,000 birds per year. imagine what 186,000 turbines would do. one wind farm near oakland, california, estimates that its turbines kill e8 0 golden eagles a year. to be sure, similar concerns about sprawl exist for other

Lamar Alexander

0:05:08 to 0:05:30( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: forms of renewable energy. for example, it would take continuously foresting an area 1.5 times the size of the great smoky mountain national mark to produce enough electricity from biomass to equal the electricity produced by one nuclear reactor. and a new solar thermal plant planned for the mojave desert

Lamar Alexander

0:05:31 to 0:05:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: was to cover an area three miles by three miles squared until environmental objections stopped it. so for at least for the next couple of decades, relying on windmills to provide our nation's clean electricity needs would be like wandering off track from your house in virginia through san francisco

Lamar Alexander

0:05:54 to 0:06:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: on the way to the corner grocery store. this unnecessary journey offends the theory of par sin pee designed as don't overcomplicate if a simpler possibility exists. the simpler possibility exists

Lamar Alexander

0:06:16 to 0:06:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: for lots of lower-cost, reliable energy to build 100 nuclear plants. instead of traveling through san francisco on your way to the corner grocery store, do again what our country did between 1970 and 1990. build 100 reactors on 100 square miles of space, several of them would be on existing reactor

Lamar Alexander

0:06:39 to 0:06:59( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: sites, compared with 126,000 new square miles needed to produce that much electricity from biomass or the 26,000 square miles needed for wind. unlike wind turbines, 100 new nuclear reactors would require few new transmission lines

Lamar Alexander

0:07:00 to 0:07:23( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: through suburban bac backyards and pristine open space t would also require less taxpayer subsidy. at current rates of subsidy, taxpayers would shell out about $170 billion to subsidize the 186,000 wind turbines necessary to equal the pow of 1 reactors. -- of 100 reactors. while federal government loan guarantees are probably necessary to jump-start the

Lamar Alexander

0:07:24 to 0:07:44( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: first few reerktz, once we prove without delays or huge cost refer runs, no more loan guarantees will be needed. in fact, the tennessee valley authority just finished rebuilding the $1.8 billion browns ferry reactor on on budget proving it can still be done. and even if all $54 billion in loan guarantees defaulted, which

Lamar Alexander

0:07:45 to 0:08:05( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: isn't going to happen, it would still be less than one third of what we're putting into wind. my concern about the unrealistic direction of our national windmill policy led me to give five addresses on clean energy over the last two years. the first delivered at the oak ridge national laboratory in

Lamar Alexander

0:08:06 to 0:08:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: 2508 called for a new manhattan project like the one we had in world war ii but this time for clean energy independence. then a year ago at oak ridge i proposed building 100 new nuclear plants, a goal that all 40 senate republicans adopted along with three other goals: electrifying half our cars and trucks, expanding offshore exploration for natural gas and

Lamar Alexander

0:08:30 to 0:08:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: oil, and doubling clean energy research and development. my concern during 2009 deepened as members of the obama administration with the conspicuous exception of energy secretary steven chu seemed to develop a stomach ache whenever nuclear power was mentioned. the president himself seemed unable to mention the subject.

Lamar Alexander

0:08:53 to 0:09:14( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: last year at a climate change summit in new york city, president obama chided world leaders for not doing more to address climate change. but he didn't mention the words "nuclear power" during his entire speech. ironic because many of the countries he feels lecturing were making plans to build nuclear plants to produce carbon-free electricity.

Lamar Alexander

0:09:15 to 0:09:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and we -- we were not. climate change was the inconvenient problem, but nuclear power seemed to be the inconvenient solution. fortunately, with the arrival of 2010 has come a more welcoming environment for nuclear power. in his state of the union address, president obama has called for -- quote -- "a new

Lamar Alexander

0:09:37 to 0:09:59( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: generation of safe, clean nuclear reactors" -- unquote. his 2011 budget request recommends tripling loan guarantees for the first reactors and in february his administration announced the awarding of the first two loan arantees for nuclear power. he has selected distinguished members, both for the nuclear regulatory commission and for a

Lamar Alexander

0:10:00 to 0:10:22( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: new blue-ribbon commission, to figure out the best way to dispose of nuclear fuel -- the best way to dispose of used nuclear fuel. democratic senators have long been supporters of nuclear energy and have joined with the 40 republicans to create bipartisan support. last december, for example,

Lamar Alexander

0:10:23 to 0:10:44( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: democratic senator jim webb of virginia, a former navy secretary, and i introduced legislation to double nuclear power production and to accelerate support for alternative forms of clean energy. there seems to be a growing public understanding that reactors are safe, as

Lamar Alexander

0:10:45 to 0:11:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: safe, as other forms of energy production. a nuclear plant is not a bomb. it can't blow up. our sailorses have lived on top of reactors for nearly 60 years without a nuclear incident. no one in the united states has ever been killed in a nuclear accident. and most scientists agree that it is safe to store used nuclear

Lamar Alexander

0:11:07 to 0:11:27( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: fuel on site for 60 to 80 years, while those scientists figure out how to recycle used fuel in a way that reduces its mass by 97%. reduces itsz radioactive lifetime by 99%, and does allow the isolation of plutonium which can be dangerous in the wrong hand. in addition, there's growing

Lamar Alexander

0:11:28 to 0:11:48( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: real decision by those who work -- realization by those who worry about climate change that if americans want to keep consuming one-fourth of the world's electricity and we want ito be low cost and carbon-free, nuclear power is the only answer for now. it's also helped and been a little embarrassing as well that the rest of the world has been

Lamar Alexander

0:11:49 to 0:12:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: teaching americans the lesson that we first taught them. china is starting a new nuclear reactor every three months. france is 80% nuclear and has electricity rates a carbon emissions among the lowest in europe. japan gets 35% of its electricity from nuclear and

Lamar Alexander

0:12:10 to 0:12:30( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: plans 10 more reactors by 2018. there are 55 new reactors under construction in 14 countries around the world, not one of them in the united states. i believe we must address human causes of climate change, as well as air pollution that is caused by sulfur, nitrogen and mercury emissions from coal

Lamar Alexander

0:12:31 to 0:12:51( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: plants. but i also believe in the commonsense theory of parsiminy, don't overcomplicate things if a simpler possibility exists. my formulaer four the simplest way to wit reach the necessary carbon goals for climate change without running jobs overseas in

Lamar Alexander

0:12:52 to 0:13:12( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: search of cheap energy is this. number one, build 100 nuclear power plants in 20 years. number two, electrify half our cars and trucks in 20 years. if we plug in vehicles at night, we probably would have enough electricity to do this without building one new power plant. number three, explore for more

Lamar Alexander

0:13:13 to 0:13:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: low-carbon natural gas in the oil we still need. and number four, launch mini manhattan projects to develop a low-power battery for electric cars and solar panels for rooftops that's cost-competitive with other forms of electricity as well as other ways to recycle

Lamar Alexander

0:13:35 to 0:13:56( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: nuclear power and to recapture carbon from the coal plants. these four steps should produce the largest amount of energy with the smallest amount of spliewtion at the lowest possible cost. thereby avoiding the pain and suffering that comes when high energy costs push jobs overseas and make it hard for many low-income americans to afford heating and cooling bills.

Lamar Alexander

0:13:57 to 0:14:19( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: mr. president, one day solar and other renewable energy forms will be cheap and efficient enough to provide an important supplement to our energy needs and can do so in a way that minimizes damages to our treasured landscapes. but today, on earth day, as it

Lamar Alexander

0:14:20 to 0:14:26( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: comes thursday, is a good day to remember that nuclear power beats windmills for america's

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