If the Republican governor of Idaho had his way, renewable energy sources would be shunted aside in favor of nuclear power.
According to an Associated Press report, Gov. C.L. ‘Butch’ Otter claimed the nuclear industry could bring as much as $7 billion a year to Idaho. In a speech before the University Presidents Council, a statewide educators' group, Otter noted the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls would benefit from additional nuclear industry investment (the facility is currently helping to develop new nuclear reactors and a nuclear fuel recycling program). Two applications are currently before the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission for new nuclear reactor plant construction in the state.
But what about solar power or wind energy? According to the Associated Press, Otter, who became governor in January, dismissed those solutions as too costly to install and too slow to achieve full payback.
‘Alternative energy, clean energy – those are all great ideas,’ says Otter. ‘But when you take a look at the impact they have and the subsidy they need, solar and wind both are tremendously subsidized. I think there are other clean energy alternatives. I think nuclear is one of them. I'm behind nuclear.’