Will the tea party block spending on nuclear power?

Although several tea party-supported winners in the House espoused an “all of the above” approach to energy policy that included nuclear energy during their campaigns, it remains to be seen how these new members will react to the sticker shock of new reactors and the massive role the federal government plays throughout the industry…

The bulk of the industry’s planned construction in the U.S. is propped up by multibillion-dollar federal loan guarantees. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 – passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush – created a pool of $18.5 billion in guarantees to promote low-emission energy sources, including nuclear.

But those loan guarantees are now drawing heavy fire from conservatives looking for places to cut federal spending obligations. Taxpayers for Common Sense, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Taxpayers Union all have urged Congress to drop additional loan guarantee funds.

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