Gale Klappa, Wisconsin Energy

McCain asks, now why are you using coal instead of nuclear energy?

The US now consumes more natural gas than it supplies. We’ve been bringing gas in from Canada.

There is a ban on nuclear plants in Wisconsin until the federal government takes control of the spent nuclear fuel. (I didn’t know why there was a ban. I learned something today!)

Wisconsin Energy is developing technology to capture the carbon emissions from coal-fired plants. He suspects the practice could raise the cost of electricity by 50%.

McCain wants to know if we are facing a technological hurdle or a psychological hurdle to solving our energy problems. He points to France who is reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to fill energy needs. Klappa agrees psychological.

Klappa says the coal-fired plant they are currently building has been to court 13 times to keep permits for building. The company was 12-0 until the other day when a permit they’ve held for three years was partially remanded.

He also says wind energy is actually 2 or 2-1/2 times more expensive than coal. It’s working economically right now because of the subsidies that taxpayers give to wind generated energy.

If we don’t go nuclear, American won’t stay competitive, Klappa says.