Video: Obama breaks his campaign promise on nuclear energy — or does he?

posted at 5:52 pm on February 16, 2010 by Allahpundit

I hate to defend him, but hitting him with a bad rap on a rare day when he’s doing the right thing seems a shame. Jim Geraghty and Rob Port are touting the first clip below from December 2007 as proof that The One’s changed his tune yet again, now embracing nuclear energy after having opposed it on the campaign trail, but the brevity of the vid made me suspect there might have been more to his statement at the time than just the portion shown. Digging around a bit on YouTube reveals two other clips, each also from 2007, that prove he was open to the idea of nuclear power at the time. Skip ahead to 1:14 of the second (“I actually think that we should explore nuclear power”) and 3:46 of the third, where he says nuclear shouldn’t be off the table provided that it can be done safely. In light of that, it could be that he was blowing smoke and telling the crowd what they wanted to hear in the first clip, but without hearing the complete answer I’m loath to pronounce him a flip-flopper.

Having said all that, I now feel the odd urge to atone somehow. If only there was some exciting business news to report on, perhaps involving this very website. Ah well. Tomorrow is another day…


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I got it! Hot Air Convention!

conservnut on February 16, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Finally Obama did one thing right. What a shocker.

Paul-Cincy on February 16, 2010 at 6:52 PM

The volume of waste is negligible, IF we reprocess the fuel. We can thank Carter for EFFing us with a ban on fuel reprocessing. Nuclear energy is safer than ever, and greater advances will come with greater commercialization. A clean energy source that can produce MORE fuel is such a wonderful blessing for humanity, which is why I think Zero is lying to us.

Zero doesn’t give a damn about nuclear. He’s lying. It’s a head fake. He’ll spend the money and talk the talk, but he won’t take on the naysayers and he won’t eliminate the obstructive regulatory hurdles. If he honestly addressed all associated issues, I’d hope that I could trust him.

But he hasn’t suggested fast-tracking approval processes. He hasn’t addressed the power of some yet unknown to be “endangered” mud-slug to keep return Man to the Stone-Age. He isn’t talking fuel reprocessing. He isn’t addressing storage for the little genuine waste that would be produced.
Therefore, he is LYING, as always, for political gain.

This topic should get the Charlie Brown Football header pic.

Maquis on February 16, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Finally Obama did one thing right. What a shocker.

Paul-Cincy on February 16, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Until that promise, like all his promises, hit the expiration date.

Which should happen in 5… 4… 3… 2…

Rebar on February 16, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Personal blogs like at RS and Dkos? A Hot Air PAC?

Free Constitution on February 16, 2010 at 6:54 PM

I am very skeptical of this. I am thinking Obama knows the Democrat Congress would never approve of it, so he can say whatever he wants.

Dasher on February 16, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Maybe it was said earlier, what do we do with the nuclear waste since he has cut off funding for Yucca Mountain? Somehow I doubt any of these plants really break ground.

bluemarlin on February 16, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Broken clocks… twice a day… yada yada.

Free Constitution on February 16, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Somehow I doubt any of these plants really break ground.

bluemarlin on February 16, 2010 at 6:56 PM

You’d lose. Ground’s already been broken. That however doesn’t mean a lot.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2010 at 6:57 PM

bluemarlin on February 16, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Check out the link in my 6:23 post.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Is Hot Air going to be nationalized?

Joe Caps on February 16, 2010 at 7:00 PM

The local news in N.Florida said that Mr. Obama is expecting concessions on Health care by signing onto these nuclear plants.
Cindy Munford on February 16, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Noooooooooooooooo… Say it’s not so, Cindy.

No concessions on Obamacare. Not for energy. Not for food. Nor for sex. Not for anything.

petefrt on February 16, 2010 at 7:02 PM

HotAir.com to ban Birthers & truthers?

portlandon on February 16, 2010 at 7:03 PM

AP: Does this mean you are going to have to wear a coat and tie every day?

d1carter on February 16, 2010 at 7:03 PM

HotAir.com to ban Birthers & truthers?

portlandon on February 16, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Going to become a subscription site?

Oldnuke on February 16, 2010 at 7:05 PM

If only there was some exciting business news to report on, perhaps involving this very website. Ah well. Tomorrow is another day…

Simmer down, folks. It was just a test by AP to see how many read all the way to the bottom of a post. Nothing to see here; move along.

GoldenEagle4444 on February 16, 2010 at 7:07 PM

This sudden love of Nuke Energy has nothing to do with GE wanting to use Nuke waste into something profitable does it?

It was on Forbes today…

PappyD61 on February 16, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Good news! If Obama has GE in on it, chances are near 100% that it’s gonna fly.

Don’t get me wrong. Imelt belongs in jail. But we need nuke energy more than we need Imelt’s hide.

petefrt on February 16, 2010 at 7:08 PM

But we need nuke energy more than we need Imelt’s hide.

petefrt on February 16, 2010 at 7:08 PM

No reason we can’t have both.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Hotair is bought off by Fox News

TimeTraveler on February 16, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Ding ding ding.

Not bought off, but maybe some affiliation is coming.

petefrt on February 16, 2010 at 7:14 PM

AP to reveal his identity on the View.

TexasDan on February 16, 2010 at 7:16 PM

petefrt on February 16, 2010 at 7:14 PM

And then the much dreaded Murdoch’s paywall.

Free Constitution on February 16, 2010 at 7:17 PM

bluemarlin on February 16, 2010 at 6:56 PM
Check out the link in my 6:23 post.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Thanks, I have seen the shipping containers and the tests they went through, I wonder if they are the same. Either way, I did not know about dry cask storage, thank you.

bluemarlin on February 16, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Three words:

Eye

Pee

Oh

Hot Air: Get in on the bottom before it rises to the top.

Gunslinger on February 16, 2010 at 7:17 PM

A Hot Air PAC?

Free Constitution on February 16, 2010 at 6:54 PM

I like.

Knucklehead on February 16, 2010 at 7:18 PM

Obama will say anything ANYTHING to gain political ground.

He has been losing it like a Malibu mudlside and is desperate to regain any shred of traction.

He’d promise drilling in Sarah Palin’s front yard if it would get him a bump in the polls.

Believe his actions, not his empty yapping.

profitsbeard on February 16, 2010 at 7:20 PM

If he supports nuclear power, why did he allow Reid to close Yucca Mountain?

Or is Barry planning on storing nuclear waste at his house in Chicago?

GarandFan on February 16, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Everyone keeps forgetting to take Obowma at his opposite word…

If he says his is for something, he is against it. If he says he is against it, he is for it. How many examples do you guys need?

“Obama Cuts Funds To Nuclear Waste Repository”

Haven’t any of you dealt with a psychopath before…?

… Once you realize who you are dealing with, the rest comes easy.

Seven Percent Solution on February 16, 2010 at 7:27 PM

AP to reveal his identity on the View.

TexasDan on February 16, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Thread winner!

Rovin on February 16, 2010 at 7:28 PM

AP to reveal his identity on the View.

TexasDan on February 16, 2010 at 7:16 PM

He’s going to admit to being Joy Behar? 8-O

thomasaur on February 16, 2010 at 7:33 PM

“If only there was some exciting business news to report on, perhaps involving this very website. Ah well.”

Affiliate programs for cash money…?

Seven Percent Solution on February 16, 2010 at 7:33 PM

I know! I will be a guest blogger!

Oh, wait. I won’t?

Dang.

SagebrushPuppet on February 16, 2010 at 7:34 PM

A Hot Air PAC?

Free Constitution on February 16, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Or some way for HA to become more action oriented.

Don’t I wish!

petefrt on February 16, 2010 at 7:35 PM

The local news in N.Florida said that Mr. Obama is expecting concessions on Health care by signing onto these nuclear plants.
Cindy Munford on February 16, 2010 at 6:06 PM
Noooooooooooooooo… Say it’s not so, Cindy.

No concessions on Obamacare. Not for energy. Not for food. Nor for sex. Not for anything.

petefrt on February 16, 2010 at 7:02 PM

If this is true, then any politician should be voted out! Enough is enough. There is NO concession worth this.

capejasmine on February 16, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Hot Air friends,

Don’t you listen to the Ed Morrissey Show on a regular basis??? Well, perhaps you missed one important show.

Go back and listen to the February 4th Ed Morrissey Show for a big clue about the GREAT news AllahPundit may be referring to.
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/02/04/the-ed-morrissey-show-kerry-picket-dana-walsh-john-randall/

In addition to getting the clue, you will get to hear a great show!

Very exciting news for HotAir!

wren on February 16, 2010 at 7:42 PM

I doubt his support of nukes will stand for long. Besides, even though nukes are very efficient, they are very costly because of the red tape involved in getting permission to build one and the fact that the government forces the on-site storage of spent fuel rods and does not allow recycling of those rods.

SG1_Conservative on February 16, 2010 at 7:43 PM

with Obama…it’s ALL theater, and he’s the star.

Army Brat on February 16, 2010 at 7:44 PM

I’ll believe it when those plants produce power that is sold
to the grid.

And what about that nuclear power plant on Long Island? Is that ever going to start up?

thgrant on February 16, 2010 at 7:48 PM

And what about that nuclear power plant on Long Island? Is that ever going to start up?

thgrant on February 16, 2010 at 7:48 PM

That was Shoreham. It achieved criticality and went through low power physics testing but never went commercial. LILCo the operating utility agreed not to use the 100% complete ready to go plant in a deal that allowed them to charge Long Island customers the six billion dollar cost. They pretty much tripled electricity rates. All because Mario Cuomo refused to buy off on the emergency plan. We grabbed up several of their operators since they had experience and needed jobs. LILCo customers footed the bill for their training and Virginia ratepayers reaped the benefits. The plant was fully decommissioned around 1996, paid for by Long Island electrical customers.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2010 at 8:01 PM

AP Gets Own Office, News at 10:00.

Robert17 on February 16, 2010 at 8:04 PM

If there’s anything the second clip shows, it’s how good it is for this country that John Edwards is out of the picture. The guy says no on nuclear, segues into AGW, disparages coal gasification, and then, in his next breath, begins talking about renewable clean fuels. Does Edwards somehow think that nuclear will cause global warming but biofuels won’t? Did the guy ever take any chemistry?

As for the other renewable energy resources (wind and water), water is all tapped out, and wind — well, aren’t we glad Teddy is gone so we can build those damned windmills off of Hyannisport?

unclesmrgol on February 16, 2010 at 8:17 PM

The old line about the broken clock seems appropriate.

Cylor on February 16, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Why would AP or anyone else parse Obama speeches for hints of truth? The man is a congenital liar. Was he lying then, or is he lying now? What’s the difference? Until you get a spent fuel storage facility, you ain’t going to get nuclear power.

FalseProfit on February 16, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Democrat campaign slogan 2010:

“If you don’t like Obama’s positions wait five minutes they’ll change.”

This is one lone instance where he changed the right direction. He just says what he thinks you want… then he does what he wants. So it doesn’t matter what he says. Let’s see what he does.

petunia on February 16, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Check out the link in my 6:23 post.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Don’t forget vitrification.

BobMbx on February 16, 2010 at 8:59 PM

Hotair is bought off by Fox News

TimeTraveler on February 16, 2010 at 6:12 PM
Ding ding ding.

Not bought off, but maybe some affiliation is coming.

petefrt on February 16, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Can people still complain about Shepherd Smith?

petunia on February 16, 2010 at 8:59 PM

I am very skeptical of this. I am thinking Obama knows the Democrat Congress would never approve of it, so he can say whatever he wants.

Dasher on February 16, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Major Garret also stated that there are many hurtles to overcome in allowing this to actually break ground.

I think one of the biggest is regulations concerning waste and the dangers of operating a nuclear plant.

It is easy to say…we want to do this to gain votes knowing full well that it can be stopped in a number of ways through bureaucracy and regulations.

Obama has lied so much and gone back on so many promises that I will not give him credit for this until it is built.

Baxter Greene on February 16, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Obama has lied so much and gone back on so many promises that I will not give him credit for this until it is built.

Baxter Greene on February 16, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Built and running.

Zero would be happy to pay to build a reactor and watch it rot.

Maquis on February 16, 2010 at 9:18 PM

I’m not sure I liked the tone of what AP wrote.

I think that when Obama does the correct thing, we on the right should be the first to praise him for it.

I don’t want condemning him to become a knee jerk reaction, I don’t want him to think, “What’s the point, even if I do something the right likes, they’ll still hate me, so why bother.” I would prefer it if we could say we hated you doing these things, but we loved you doing those things.

Johnny 100 Pesos on February 16, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Don’t forget vitrification.

BobMbx on February 16, 2010 at 8:59 PM

Vitrification is probably not a viable option for nuclear fuel. Too many moving parts. You have to cut the assemblies up and dump the pellets out. Too much danger of something going wrong. I have some experience with waste solidification and it’s not pretty and we never got it to work right, and we were only doing low level waste. The fewer steps in dealing with irradiated fuel assemblies the better. I like the idea of just sticking them into an, for all intents and purposes, impregnable container and just leaving them alone. The way it stands now we store the in the swimming pools under 23′ of water, leave them there for a few years until they’ve decayed down a bit and them we stick them into the cask, seal it up, hose it down and move the cask to it’s final resting place. They can sit there unattended for literally thousands of years. Sometime in the future when the political winds change we can reprocess them and get some use out of them.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Next you are going to tell me that AP has no hunnies.

WashJeff on February 16, 2010 at 6:16 PM

He does but they’re all inflatable.

Darth Executor on February 16, 2010 at 6:17 PM

I have it on good authority that he playfully bit one of his hunnies on the neck and she farted and flew out the window.

On an on topic note…It is easy for Obama to guarantee loans for nuke plants if he knows that the lawsuits, regulations, “not in my town” voters, etc.. will kill building it for the next 20 years. This administration has been all about kicking the can down the road since the beginning. This is simply a “move to center” and reelection ploy

Hazzard on February 16, 2010 at 9:57 PM

I’m not sure I liked the tone of what AP wrote.

I think that when Obama does the correct thing, we on the right should be the first to praise him for it.

I don’t want condemning him to become a knee jerk reaction, I don’t want him to think, “What’s the point, even if I do something the right likes, they’ll still hate me, so why bother.” I would prefer it if we could say we hated you doing these things, but we loved you doing those things.

Johnny 100 Pesos on February 16, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Of course we support smart nuclear power. It is really the only thing that makes sense.

The issue with Obama is trust. As you can clearly see his words change… and his actions are all liberal. At least so far. I’m done listening to what he says.

When Obama actually builds those plants… I’ll praise him then. Until then it is all talk… probably has a political angle we aren’t seeing yet.

TRUST IS A PERCIOUS THING AND OBAMA HAS SQUANDERED IT. Sort of like all the money in the stimulus.

petunia on February 16, 2010 at 10:13 PM

AP, the nuclear clip is misleading. The whole question and answer is on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R52J2D5QQU.

Obama’s answer is rambling and a bit cyclical, but he says nuclear is part of his plan as long as it’s safe … adding that nuclear energy should exist “without enormous subsidies.”

Of course, he does emphasize green energy. But still keeps nuclear on the table.

hopeandfail on February 17, 2010 at 12:22 AM

This is just another lefty shell game. Sure Barry will sign the papers to get his energy cred; and then the lawsuits from the same obstructionist groups like the Sierra Club will start pouring in and there will be NO action taken for at least a decade, if at all. The leftist lawsuits will receive the full support of the democrats as there is no greater being than environmentalism.

The Prez kills two birds with one stone. It must be in the Alinsky book somewhere!

Wine_N_Dine on February 17, 2010 at 12:39 AM

Ugh, I just heard on Beck today that they will be employing Union labor to build these plants. It’s going to take 50 years to get these things built now.

Daemonocracy on February 17, 2010 at 12:59 AM

Anybody who thinks that Obama is seriously promoting nuclear energy is delusional.

It was just a short time ago when Obama shut down the Yucca Mountain waste disposal facility: this guarantees that any nuclear plant which gets built will never get an operating license.

Nuclear energy is NOT being held back by lack of money, so any loans or loan guarantees from the government are irrelevant. Nuclear energy is being held back by anti-nuke loonies who get hysterical and sue anything nuclear, and the legislators who write laws encouraging these wackos to do so.

After GM and the banks, any business which accepts money from the Obama administration is either abysimally stupid or has a death wish which makes it want to be taken over by the government.

If Obama truly wanted nuclear plants built, he would be busy brushing aside the legislation and lawsuits which make it impossible.

This whole exercise is a political ruse.

landlines on February 17, 2010 at 1:27 AM

This whole exercise is a political ruse.
landlines on February 17, 2010 at 1:27 AM

As usual, team Obama is responding to criticism of those who warn that limiting carbon emissions drastically, and resorting to inefficient and costly “green energy,” will raise the price of price of energy drastically for every American.

Of course, even if these nuclear plants make it through the federal and state permitting process, not to mention environmentalist court challenges, they won’t come on line for at least ten years.

So he is as usual appealing to the ignorance of those who don’t think things through, to push through executive orders and EPA regulations now, although the additional nuclear power, such as it is, won’t be available until much later.

Nichevo on February 17, 2010 at 6:57 AM

His support for nuclear power is akin to his speeches of support to Israel and “Palestine” aka Arabs promising both would have Jerusalem under their control. This clown will SAY he supports it, like coal fired plants, then outlaw them or price them out of existance with the ultimate goal of cap and trade.

He will SAY anything, his actions are another matter.

dthorny on February 17, 2010 at 7:14 AM

I work in the nuclear industry. You can claim that you favor “safe” nuclear plants all you need to while campaigning, but then it’s pretty easy to claim that there aren’t any designs safe enough right now, which means the idea can get punted down the road indefinitely. Also, until or unless the federal government starts accepting the nuclear waste that they’ve been billing the utilities for since the 1980s, any opinions favoring nuclear energy will ring hollow, as you can easily spike any nuclear growth by simply grandstanding the waste disposal issue, saying that it needs to be resolved before we can move forward.

What am I saying? That Obama’s words on this subject are nothing more than posturing. He doesn’t favor nuclear power, but he’s glad to pretend to prop up his poll numbers.

Physics Geek on February 17, 2010 at 7:59 AM

I work in the nuclear industry.

Physics Geek on February 17, 2010 at 7:59 AM

What part of the industry?

Oldnuke on February 17, 2010 at 8:55 AM

He’s just sweetening the pot in his game to get R’s on his side and appear bi-partisan. The reason the market doesn’t move on this is because they don’t believe him. He doesn’t know jack squat about nuclear power because all he’s heard about is 3mile island.

Kissmygrits on February 17, 2010 at 9:55 AM

I know I’m late, but I couldn’t resist… :)

There’s an easy way to tell whether Obama really believes this or is just blowing smoke.

1) Has he endorsed Yucca Mountain, and pushed Reid to endorse it?

2) Has he endorsed fuel reprocessing to reduce the amount of generated waste (thus not needing Yucca Mountain)?

3) Has he endorsed removing environmental restrictions that have acted as a barrier to building new reactors (since the ’70s)?

I’ll believe him when he does more than just talk BS. I’m just surprised Allah is this gullible…

dominigan on February 17, 2010 at 12:59 PM

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