Watch Kennedy’s comments here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, today gave a speech on the Senate floor urging Democrats to support nuclear energy over renewable energy and emphasizing the necessity of oil, gas and nuclear energy to America’s economy.
Key excerpts include:
“If you ask many Members of Congress what they think the solution to our environmental issues is, they will probably respond, ‘renewable energy.’ But if we’re really worried about the climate, and I know we all are—we all want clean air, we all want bright water—I suggest that we also embrace nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is not only safe, but it is clean, and, frankly, it can produce more power than renewables.”
. . .
“Nuclear energy creates little or no carbon emissions. It also creates very little waste, an extraordinarily small amount of waste.”
. . .
“Solar and wind can’t hold a candle to nuclear power when it comes to efficiency. That’s just a fact. It takes more than 3 million solar panels, or more than 430 wind turbines, to produce the same amount of energy as the average nuclear plant. . . . And these numbers do not take into account that solar panels, as we know, are useless when the sun doesn’t shine, and wind turbines are nothing more than expensive paperweights when the wind doesn’t blow.”
. . .
“I want to be clear: I still believe in fossil fuels. I’m an all-of-the-above energy advocate. But leading that pack is fossil fuels. America’s economy is the largest in all of human history, and it can’t run without oil and gas. Louisianians know this, and most Americans know this.
“The people of Louisiana serve our country pretty well by contributing to our energy independence, and I’m very proud of that. Last year, Louisiana supplied nine percent—nine percent—of America’s marketed gas. And Louisianians understand, as do, I think, most Americans, that giving up on fossil fuels would not only destroy jobs, it would ruin the economy. . . . I see nuclear energy as supporting oil and gas, not replacing it—I want to be clear about that.”
. . .
“Since nuclear energy holds such promise—and it does, Mr. President—I’m hoping that my Democratic friends in Congress and my Republican friends in Congress—because I see this as a bipartisan issue—will lend their full-throated support to nuclear energy. I’m not saying that renewables don’t have their proper place in America’s energy policy. They certainly do. I’m not saying we should get rid of them; I’m certainly not. But we need to acknowledge that renewables have limitations. They have limitations that nuclear energy does not. There are disadvantages to renewables. As I said, there’s no free lunch, and you don’t get one now.”
. . .
“The Democratic party platform, for example, calls for installing 500 million solar panels—500 million solar panels—and 60,000 wind turbines over the next five years. This will occupy a lot more land and actually create less energy than building new nuclear reactors. . . . If we succeed in blanketing our land with solar panels and wind farms, it’s going to create more waste, occupy more green space and ultimately weaken our economy.”
Video of the speech is available here.