Ignoring Science, John Broder Chides Obama from Left on Promoting Nuclear Plants

The Times takes on Obama from the left on his commitment to building new nuclear power plants, quoting every environmentalist in Washington, but without explaining the sound science (and environmentalism) behind the move: Lower pollution and no dreaded greenhouse gases.
Barack Obama supports building nuclear reactors, promoting $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to help build two reactors in Georgia. They would be the first nuclear power plants built in the United States in over 30 years, and left-wing environmentalists are not happy with him on that issue and several others. Reporter John Broder, the paper's environmental-beat reporter, apparently talked to every single one of those unhappy greens to fill out his Thursday story, "Environmentalists Cooling on Obama."

But Broder didn't have any room to address the science of nuclear power. Even a Times editorial the same day admitted that nuclear energy is safe and clean, with no byproducts of pollution or greenhouses gases that spell doomsday for the more alarmist greens.

Broder simply treated it as a political issue, attacking Obama from the left in a tone reflected in the story's text box: "Worries that the president may be trying too hard to placate Republicans."

There has been no more reliable cheerleader for President Obama's energy and climate change policies than Daniel J. Weiss of the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

But Mr. Obama's recent enthusiasm for nuclear power, including his budget proposal to triple federal loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors to $54 billion, was too much for Mr. Weiss.

The president's embrace of nuclear power was disappointing, and the wrong way to go about winning Republican votes, he said, adding that Mr. Obama should not be endorsing such a costly and potentially catastrophic energy alternative "as bait just to get talks started with pro-nuke senators."

Weiss was the only one of Broder's five sources given a liberal label by Broder, who talked to representatives of such hard-left environmental groups as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Friends of the Earth about Obama's disappointing stands on climate change and "clean coal."