The Other Nuclear Option

My old boss Michael Tomasky wrote an interesting piece in The Guardian arguing that the contentious U.S. debate over health care reform augurs poorly for the prospects of a climate change deal making its way through congress anytime soon.

For those not so in tune with American politics, a major health care overhaul has so far failed to attract the support of any Republican senators, which means that Democrats must remain unified or the bill will fail. A climate change bill is likely to be just as contentious, and argues Tomasky, unlikely to receive the support of any Senate Republicans. 

I must admit that I largely agreed with Mike until I spoke with Tim Wirth, former Senator from Colorado and President of the UN Foundation (which sponsors this site).  Wirth held a briefing with an assortment of bloggers at the UN and suggested elements by which some key Republicans might end up supporting climate change legislation. One option, said Wirth, was to lure key Republicans like John McCain, Lamar Alexander and Lindsay Graham by adding nuclear energy to the mix.  These senators, said Wirth, are supportive of nuclear energy and could go along with a bill that has a nuclear option. 

Something to chew on, at least.