EDITOR’S NOTE: This is among a series of new National Journal Insiders Polls that explore the policy and political dynamics surrounding key issues related to national security, the economy, energy and the environment.
In a survey of National Journal Energy and Environment Insiders, a solid majority of respondents said they think the nuclear crisis unfolding in Japan will not have much of an effect on a nuclear renaissance in this Congress. But many say that’s because chances were already slim from the start.
Following the earthquake-tsunami duo that hit Japan on March 11, efforts to avert a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant have drawn the world’s attention to the safety concerns associated with nuclear power.
But even before this month’s quake, nuclear expansion was a tough political issue in the U.S. that was not on a fast track. And 57 percent of National Journal Energy and Environment Insiders say that nothing will change, arguing that Congress wasn’t too fond of the idea of new nuclear power even before Fukushima’s reactor woes.
The chances that Congress would take up such legislation “were slim to begin with,” one Insider said, echoing the comments of many. Others noted different obstacles, such as “the low price of natural gas.” (National Journal)