Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, left, and U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, talk about Idaho’s nuclear research efforts at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. Moniz spoke at the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit. Moniz says the United States isn't shunning coal or oil energy sources, but instead, officials are finding ways to reduce their carbon emissions. (AP Photo/Kimberlee Kruesi)
In Idaho, energy secretary pushes for nuclear power
Energy » Ernest Moniz calls on industry to minimize fallout from global warming.
First Published Aug 20 2014 04:52 pm • Last Updated Aug 20 2014 07:17 pm

Idaho Falls • U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz championed the use of nuclear power and urged politicians and leaders in the energy industry to adapt and modernize energy production to help minimize the fallout from global warming.

Moniz stopped to speak in Idaho Falls on Wednesday at the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit as part of his weeklong tour throughout the West. Idaho’s Republican congressmen Jim Risch, Mike Crapo and Mike Simpson also spoke during the conference.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"The predictions of a world where we do nothing predict unhealthy outcomes for our forests," Moniz said. "Working hard on it means innovating energy technology. And I want to emphasize, the goal of energy is very simple, keep the costs down. As we have seen, that will make the policy-making easier."

Repeating the Obama administration’s "all of the above" energy strategy, Moniz said the United States isn’t shunning coal or oil energy sources. Instead, officials are finding ways to reduce the fuels’ carbon emissions. Moniz added that funding and improving the nation’s 17 nuclear laboratories must also become a higher priority.

Moniz said the U.S. Department of Energy would award $67 million for nuclear research and development to universities and labs across the country. Idaho will receive $3.7 million for six projects at the Idaho National Laboratory, Boise State University and Idaho State University.

"I’ll be honest, there used to be time where we thought of labs as places to execute tasks," he said. "And they really need to take more of a strategic role. We’re having some success with that ... We want the labs to have a regional footprint."

After his speech, Moniz and Risch visited the Idaho National Laboratory’s newest research buildings. The modern lab provided a stark contrast to the nation’s other aging nuclear infrastructure.

Both Moniz and Risch acknowledged the nation’s nuclear labs were built decades ago with little improvement since, but they remained optimistic about the future growth of nuclear energy.

Small modular reactors could possibly ease critics’ fears that nuclear energy costs too much to be efficient, Moniz said, but many of these are in the early stages of construction so there isn’t much information on long-term costs.

"The ‘all of the above’ strategy, I think, is embraced by mostly everyone," Risch said. "Particularly here at the laboratory, they have already adjusted to all of the above. This is the lead nuclear facility in America right here in Idaho. As the future moves forward, there’s going to be more and more of a drift to nuclear power. It has to happen."

story continues below
story continues below

Risch added that it was his goal to continue to educate lawmakers in Washington, D.C., about Idaho’s important role in nuclear energy.

"Without abundant, cheap energy, people cannot get to the lifestyles they need to lead," he said. "We, Idaho, serve a critical role in that."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.