Oppose Wyden-Sununu Amendment to S. 14
June 9, 2003
To the Members of the United States Senate:
This week the Senate is expected to consider an amendment to S. 14, the Energy Policy Act of 2003, by Senators Wyden and Sununu that would strike portions of the bill relating to nuclear energy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region, urges you to oppose the Wyden-Sununu amendment, which would jeopardize America's future energy diversity and security.
Our nation's economic vitality and energy security rely upon the ability to utilize a diverse array of fuels and technologies to generate energy. Nuclear energy plays a vital role in assuring this diversity, producing some twenty percent of the country's electricity. Resources for research and development of energy sources ranging from clean coal and geothermal to wind and even fusion are provided by S. 14. To eliminate support for any of these sources would be near-sighted and risk energy stability in the years to come, perhaps leading to devastating economic effects.
The Wyden-Sununu amendment would strip the financial assistance portion of the nuclear energy title of S. 14. This language gives the Secretary of Energy discretion to provide financial assistance for the construction of nuclear plants, if it is first deemed necessary to the country's energy security, fuel diversity, or clean air goals. This provision allows for the creation of new and necessary nuclear facilities and is integral to lessening the strain on other fuel sources that are already unable to maintain pace with demand.
Nuclear energy is a stable and reliable source of electricity for millions of businesses and individuals in the United States. Moreover, it produces this electricity with zero air emissions. Nuclear energy is vital to our current energy production and must be relied upon even more in the future to ensure the security and reliability of the nation's energy supply. The Energy Policy Act of 2003 insures that this crucial source of energy will be widely available in the future and we urge you to support it.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges you to vote against the Wyden-Sununu amendment to S. 14. We will consider including votes on this amendment in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce