Obama's 2012 budget proposal, released today, continues his multi-year push to boost subsidies to nuclear power. He continues to push for $36 billion in new loan guarantees for nuclear new-build. Outside of macro-economic meltdowns these guarantees represent some of the largest government subsidies to single, privately-owned industrial facilities in our nation's history. Nonetheless, they have been a recurring request by the Administration, so really aren't that big of a surprise.
When he releases his new budget in two weeks, President Obama will propose doing away with roughly $4 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies, in his third effort to eliminate federal support for an industry that remains hugely profitable. Previous efforts have run up against bipartisan opposition in Congress and heavy lobbying from producers of oil, natural gas and coal.
"President Obama has followed up on his support for 'a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants,' laid out Jan. 27 in his State of the Union speech, by proposing to triple public financing for nuclear power...
"Budget hawks have a different set of concerns. They oppose government 'subsidies' to the industry (in the form of federal loan guarantees), saying taxpayers assume a huge risk given the industry's track record of cost overruns – and loan defaults – in the 1980s.
After my last post on the new subsidies to nuclear power, inquiries have started to come in on Obama's plan to end subsidies to fossil fuels. A common question is whether his plan would really end subsidies to fossil fuels entirely.
The simple answer is "no".