Why the Green New Deal may include nuclear power

Nathanael Johnson in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

The Green New Deal has been championed by advocates for getting the United States running on purely renewable energy right away. Some 600 environmental groups had demanded the initiative set out to ban not just fossil fuels, but also nuclear, biomass power, and large-scale hydroelectricity. So when the resolution made its long-awaited debut on Thursday, it came as a surprise to some that the door was left open for nuclear power and even fossil fuels with carbon capture.

But it was likely the key to getting an impressive group of Democrats to get behind the deal. Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren have signed up as co-sponsors, and all of them just happen to be running for president in 2020.

So just like that, the most aggressive climate policy proposal we’ve seen in years has the de facto backing of the Democratic party.

The Green New Deal doesn’t mention “nukes,” but it doesn’t use the words solar or wind, either. The non-binding resolution, unveiled by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York and Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts, calls for “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” In wonk-speak, zero-emission is code for nuclear power or fossil fuels with carbon capture.

More here.