When All Else Fails

All energy subsidies lead to inefficiencies

This appeared as a letter to the editor in the Washington Times, written by a Heritage Foundation research fellow in nuclear energy, Jack Spencer.

Anna Aurilio’s Feb. 4 Commentary column, “New nuclear subsidies are a terrible idea,” notes correctly that the Heritage Foundation opposes federal subsidies for the nuclear industry. Ms. Aurilio then proceeds to argue against nuclear power and in favor of subsidies for renewable energy. It could be construed that Heritage shares these views as well.

We do not.

Nuclear power has the potential to revolutionize how the world produces clean, affordable energy. The problem is not that the technology is inherently expensive or unsafe. The problem is that the United States relies on an obsolete set of rules, regulations and policies to govern its nuclear industry.

This flawed governance produces many of the problems Ms. Aurilio cites in arguing against nuclear energy. To realize its full potential, the yoke of inefficient regulation and subsidy must be lifted. The nuclear industry must be freed – and forced – to make its way in the free market.

Only then will we see the economic efficiencies and technological innovation that will sustain the industry into the future.

Building an industry on subsidies precludes such an outcome. That’s why the Heritage Foundation opposes that approach for nuclear power – and all energy sources.

Hat Tip: Aaron’s Environmental Corner