— U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), yesterday met with Calvert County officials and toured the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power plant to learn more about plans to build a third nuclear reactor at the facility.
Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is a strong advocate of the United States becoming energy independent by conserving energy and developing alternative energy sources to fossil fuels.
The Senator is an original co-sponsor of the Lieberman-Warner
Climate Security Act
, S. 2191, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by 70% by 2050.
The bill is scheduled for committee action on Wednesday.
The legislation will help America become more energy efficient, and provide bold new incentives for renewable energy sources while moving us away from traditional coal-fired plants.
The Senator also has proposed creating a bipartisan, Blue Ribbon Commission to study and review policy changes that are needed for the United States to achieve energy independence.
The Commission would meet every two years and report to Congress on how to adjust policies to achieve energy independence by 2017. Energy independence is defined as getting 90% of our energy needs from domestic sources.
“Nuclear power needs to be a part of our energy strategy in helping us achieve energy independence and in fighting global warming,” said Senator Cardin.
“However, any new facility would have to ensure the safety of our communities and the environment.”
He also pointed out that Maryland’s coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to flooding and to the effects of global warming.
Constellation Energy and its partner UniStar are hoping to construct a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs.
The extensive approval process by state and federal regulatory agencies is expected to take two years.
Currently, Calvert Cliffs operates two reactors, supplying 26.2% of the electricity generated in Maryland. A third reactor is expected to almost double Calvert Cliffs’ energy-producing capacity.