Jul 8, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Head of House Democrats' climate panel defends nuclear inclusion

In this illustration, a three leaf clover is shaped like a nuclear power symbol.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The head of House Democrats' climate change panel has a simple reason why their wide-ranging plan includes nuclear power despite misgivings in some corner of the left.

What they're saying: “That’s what the scientists advised as we listened across the spectrum, that’s where we landed — that nuclear power needs to be part of the portfolio going forward,” Rep. Kathy Castor said on the new episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast.

  • The plan credits existing nuclear output in its proposed clean electricity mandate and also backs R&D into next-generation nuclear tech.

Why it matters: The interview provides a window into how Castor — and by extension House Democratic leaders — will navigate fault lines on the left if a political window opens to move climate legislation in 2021 or beyond.

  • Host Bill Loveless also asks about concern among unions over some provisions and about groups on the left flank of the environmental movement who want an even more aggressive template.

Listen here.

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