News Releases

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Isakson Criticizes Climate Change Legislation for Failing to Address All Renewable Resources
Will Introduce Amendments Promoting Nuclear Energy, Conservation Easements

WASHINGTON - Arguing that the legislation fails to address the development of all renewable energy resources, especially nuclear energy, as part of the solution, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today criticized legislation that would cap emissions of greenhouse gases during a speech on the Senate floor. Isakson also called for the expansion of nuclear energy, which he believes is a clean, efficient and economical alternative fuel.

"It is time to put our biases aside. If there is a known solution where we can reduce carbon, expand the energy availability and reduce costs, we ought to embrace it. Nothing should be off the table," Isakson said. "We should act now and we should act boldly to see to it that while we work for the best interest of the environment, we work for the best interest of our citizens, who are paying more for gas and energy than ever before and there is no end in sight."

Isakson believes it is in America's environmental and geopolitical interest to reduce carbon emissions, and he believes it is important to address the carbon issue in the context of promoting all sources of renewable energy. He believes the United States cannot reduce carbon levels without reducing the burning of fossil fuels, and it cannot do that without expanding nuclear energy.

Isakson plans to introduce an amendment providing incentives for pursuing the development of nuclear energy in the United States. Specifically, it provides an investment tax credit for nuclear power facilities and creates incentives for domestic manufacturing of nuclear equipment. It also aligns accelerated depreciation for nuclear with other renewable fuels and clarifies the rules on loan guarantees for innovative technologies, including new nuclear capacity.

Additionally, the amendment requires the Department of Labor to implement training programs for nuclear workers and authorizes federal funds for use in implementing a program to provide workforce training to meet the high demand for workers skilled in the nuclear utility and nuclear energy products and services industries.

Isakson also plans to introduce an amendment promoting conservation easements that would provide tax credits for private landowners who agree to keep their land undeveloped.

"We need to be serious as members of the Senate and as members of the most deliberative body in the world to make sure that every option is on the table," Isakson said. "For this senator, that means expanding conservation easements for better sequestering of carbon naturally and empowering the nuclear energy business to see to it that the one source of reliable, safe, carbonless energy that we know today in the United States of America is empowered for the 21st century."