WASHINGTON, D.C. — America will soon need a lot more power.
The Biden administration has set a goal that 50% of new vehicles in the U.S. will be electric by 2030. The influx of cars charging from the grid will raise the country’s electricity use by 8% to 13%, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.
“So, we have to build more power plants and we have to have more transmission lines to get the power to where they’re using the electricity. Transmission is part of the puzzle, but we also need more generation,” said Jim Matheson, a former U.S. congressman and current CEO of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
At the same time, the Biden administration wants to transition to 100% clean, carbon-free power by 2035.
According to Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, the solution is simple: nuclear power.
“What are we going to do on carbon free? Well, if you want carbon free, it’s nuclear,” he said at a Politico panel of the future of grid reliability on Wednesday.
Latta is well-versed on energy needs. He is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and recently introduced legislation to boost American domestic nuclear power production.
At the panel, he argued that nuclear energy benefits both the environment and the economy.
“I have 85,000 manufacturing jobs in my district, so if I don’t have that power and make sure that power is affordable, the companies can’t be there, the companies can’t compete,” he said. “But most importantly they can’t provide the jobs for all the people across northern Ohio.”
The bill, called the Nuclear Fuel Security Act, would help boost domestic uranium mining, production, enrichment and conversion capacity. It passed out of subcommittee this week.
Now that the House has a speaker, the bill can start moving toward a vote on the House floor.
“For the next several weeks we really need to get to business,” Latta said.
The bill comes just weeks after production began at Centrus Energy’s new nuclear plant in Piketon, Ohio. It is the first new U.S.-owned uranium enrichment plant since 1954.