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Published on Wednesday, May 23, 2001
 
Ari the Evader by Russell Mokhiber...
 
Ari & I
White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
 
 
Wednesday, May 23, 2001 1:30 PM
 
 
by Russell Mokhiber
 
     
  Mokhiber: Ari, as part of his energy plan, the President has proposed renewing the Price-Anderson Act. That would limit the liability of nuclear companies in case of a nuclear meltdown or disaster. And the government would step in and pay the excess losses. This has been labelled corporate welfare, because the government comes in and subsidizes the nuclear industry. Why would the President, who is a supporter of the free market, support this kind of corporate welfare proposal?

Ari Fleischer: Well, I differ with you on the characterization of it. There are a series of impediments that have been put in the path of nuclear power, which now seem to be changing. Nuclear power provides 20 percent of the electricity for homes in this country. One out of every 5 homes is powered -- receives its electricity from nuclear power. And the President is concerned, as he looks at the energy situation broadly, that we need a comprehensive policy that uses natural gas, that uses clean coal, that stresses conservation, and uses nuclear power as well.

Mokhiber: Why not let the nuclear companies pay the cost if there is a nuclear accident? Why should the government step in, why should the people step in and pay for it?

Ari Fleischer: I think the report addressed that directly and why the President took the actions that he took.

###

 
 

-Thanks to Russell Mokhiber

White House reporter Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter - www.corporatecrimereporter.com. He co-authors the weekly Focus on the Corporation column with Robert Weissman which Common Dreams publishes. He can be reached at: russell@nationalpress.com

 

 
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