The GOP Energy Plan: Nuclear Plants, Drilling, And Prizes

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When the budget fight got underway earlier this year, Democrats hammered Republicans for criticizing President Obama's blueprint without a plan of their own. Now, as House Democrats work on cap-and-trade legislation to reform greenhouse gas emissions--one of Obama's main domestic priorities, along with health care and education--House Republicans have crafted an energy plan of their own before the debate has hit full swing.

House Republicans unveiled their energy plan yesterday. It includes offshore drilling leases, 100 new nuclear reactors in the next 20 years (and an extended look at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository), more Arctic drilling, and a $500 million prize for the first U.S. automaker to sell 50,000 cars that get 100 miles per gallon. Other prizes are included as well, administered by an energy trust fund.

If that sounds familiar, it's because it's a play from John McCain's book: a little over a year ago, McCain pledged a $300 million prize to anyone who could develop a next-generation battery to run cars. The plan sounds McCain-influenced on numerous fronts; nuclear energy was a big part of McCain's energy platform--avid support for nuclear energy was one distinguishing factor between him and Obama--and the GOP's new plan bears the "all of the above" mantra that McCain advocated during the campaign.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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