Policy: Environment & Energy

Enviros, lefty groups, free-marketeers team up against nuclear corporate welfare

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Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Environment,Analysis,Energy and Environment,Nuclear Power,Corporate Welfare

If you ran a failing company that the New York Stock Exchange threatened to delist, wouldn’t you love a $48 million bailout from the U.S. taxpayers?

And wouldn’t you be upset if a bunch of liberal, free-market, and environmentalist groups got together and tried to kill your bailout?

This is happening to the U.S. Enrichment Corporation. A federally chartered company that was privatized in 1998, USEC is faltering. The Energy & Water Appropriations bill contains $48 million in cash for USEC. The idea is that we need our uranium enrichment to be totally domestic so that we’re not aiding foreign countries develop nuclear weapons.

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Tex., has filed an amendment to kill this bailout. A handful of groups from the libertarian-leaning R Street and Competitive Enterprise Institute (where I served a fellowship last decade) to the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, to the liberal Taxpayers for Common Sense, have sent a letter supporting Burgess’s amendment.

This is one of those cases were party lines get trampled. “Pro-business” Republicans join with big-government Democrats, while the ideological types on both sides form the opposing team.

TCS has a good explanation of USEC’s case.

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