Why The U.S. Won't Embrace Nuclear Energy

It wasn't April Fool's Day when congressional Republicans (the authors of Capitol Hill's wartime "freedom fries") declared last month that America should emulate France. They were talking about nuclear energy, which supplies 80 percent of the Gauls' needs and skimps on carbon. But here's one issue where the supposedly green Democrats aren't pulling toward Paris.

That's because their leader, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, represents Nevada, home to the nation's only plausible nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain. As a concession to Reid, President Obama's proposed budget nixed funding for the site, promising to find "alternatives." But that won't happen, since they'd take decades to develop (against "not in my backyard" intransigence). And Reid will likely coast to a fifth term in 2010; as long as he's running the show, the U.S. will never go nuclear.