Would You Like Some Uranium in that Slurpee, Mr. President?
With the sweeping victory by Republicans on Tuesday, many have debated whether or not the resulting gridlock between the House and Senate will be good or bad for stocks. In general, to answer this question with any decisiveness is probably speculation; however, even with the prospect of gridlock and a governmental brain-freeze, the result of Obama's invitation to a "slurpee summit" between leading Republicans and Democrats, which he offered on Wednesday, may actually mean the survival of one industry in particular: nuclear power.
As I pointed out in "Uranium, Lithium, and Rare Earth Metals", Obama has made it quite clear that he intends to revive America's nuclear infrastructure by spending far more than had been slated by his republican predecessor, George Bush. That this would originate from a left-leaning Democratic president is suprising to say the least. As many are probably aware, those who have been most in favor of nuclear energy usually lie on the right and those opposed almost always on the left. So when a large number of Obama's anti-nuclear colleagues got swept out of the House to be replaced by more nuclear-friendly Republicans, electricity producers like NRG and Southern Co. greeted the change with open arms.
I would like to point out also that this shift in policy on the part of Democrats via their party leader over nuclear energy is more than likely a growing trend. When Obama elected Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu as Energy Secretary, he knowingly appointed a long-time vocal advocate of nuclear power—someone who also happens to believe in the necessity and urgency in weening America from fossil fuels (as do many others in academia) for economic, political, and environmental reasons. Environmental, you may ask? Well, if carbon-based greenhouse gases and preventing global warming are two of your highest priorities, then nuclear power really is the most effective way of achieving a zero-carbon environment for a large-scale modern society. Unfortunately, most other nations took the initiative and started building reactors like mad years ago. We're just now getting back on board; and with a second term on the line, Obama is going to capitalize on any common ground between him and his political opponents to show that he can get things done.
So, as the House begins to prepare its list of appropriation bills for the Senate, and the Senate likewise prepares to turn them all down, we should not look at this process merely in terms of the inevitable brainfreeze one gets from drinking a slurpee, but ask instead, "Would you like some uranium in that slurpee, Mr. President?"
About Cris Sheridan
Cris Sheridan Archive
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