Energy-Water Appropriations-Spending-Budget

Advocates Press Bigger Role for Nuclear in Clean Energy Goals
Bipartisan policy efforts in Congress aim to boost nuclear energy

Oklahoma's James M. Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced a bill to speed up the licensing process for advanced nuclear reactors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North American leaders aiming for a 50 percent carbon-free energy generation by 2025 are counting on a mix that includes wind, solar and nuclear to reach that goal. But energy analysts say that without new policies to boost the nuclear industry, that goal would be hard to achieve in nine years.  The target set by President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto at the North American Leader’s Summit in Ottawa last week is part of an ambitious plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions and combat human-induced climate change.  

The White House acknowledged that aiming for 50 percent clean energy by 2025 is a “stretch goal,” but argued that it's achievable with help from the renewable energy tax credits that Congress in December agreed to extend for another five years. Still, many energy analysts — and certainly the nuclear industry — say a bigger contribution from nuclear power, driven by some nuclear-friendly energy policy changes, would make the goal more attainable.  

House GOP Considers 'Poison Pill' Remedy
Move would block the kind of amendments that sank a bill last month

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, right, seen here with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has previously said he supports a more open amendment process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republican leadership has suggested limiting "poison pill" amendments on appropriations bills by using structured rules for spending measures, and for now at least, most members seem to agree with the approach.  

On the first two appropriations bills the House brought to the floor under open rules in late May, members were allowed to submit amendments as the bills were being debated. That led to an amendment frenzy and the failure of the bill funding water and energy projects.