Demons & Dialog

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Nuclear Blow to the U.S.

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Published 12/19/08 Dustin Ensinger – Print Article

E-mail – editor@economyincisis.org

Constellation Energy, the nation’s largest wholesale power generator, has agreed to sell a 50 percent stake in the company to French-based Electricite de France for $4.5 billion. The deal is not yet finalized and is awaiting the approval of federal regulators, but if it goes through it will be another loss of a major wealth producing U.S. company. America is also losing a company that could have been a key player in ending America’s oil addiction.

The deal is a blow to Warren Buffet and his company, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, which had reached a deal with Constellation in Sept. to buy the company.

But, more importantly, the deal is a blow to the U.S. This is yet another example of The Great American Sell Off and is a major setback on the path to ending America’s oil addiction. Nuclear energy could provide a sensible alternative to fossil fuels, however, selling key alternative-fuel industries will only hamper America’s progress toward a more fuel-efficient economy. The company owns three nuclear power stations and five reactors in Maryland and New York.

If the deal is finalized, it would be the first time a foreign company has taken ownership stake in a U.S. nuclear power plant. That would certainly be a bad precedent to set, as nuclear power in the hands of the wrong nation or group could be a major national security risk.

Left to decide the fate of the deal will be the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent regulatory agency as well as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).

The CFIUS is charged with reviewing all foreign acquisitions and weighing the national security implications of such deals and is made up of representative from nine different agencies. Recently the commission was criticized for a lack of scrutiny over the proposed deal between a Dubai-based company and a handful of American ports. The deal was eventually spiked in Congress after a public uproar over the sensitive nature of a Middle Eastern-based company buying something so vital to national security. The CFIUS, however, found no problems with the deal, which isn’t surprising. Since, the agency was created in 1988 it has received 1,593 notifications of foreign acquisitions that could impact national security. Of those 1,593, just 25 were investigated. Of the 25 investigated, only 13 were withdrawn.

“The committee almost never met, and when it deliberated it was usually at a fairly low bureaucratic level,” Richard Perle told CBS3 News in Denver at the time of the Dubai deal. Perle, who has worked for the Reagan, Clinton and both Bush administrations added, “I think it’s a bit of a joke.”

America should not allow our nuclear technology to fall into the hands of outside entities. It is too risky in terms of national security and now the nation’s largest wholesale generator will be helping the French develop the next generation of fuel technology instead of America. We must once again protect our key industries instead of letting them be picked off one-by-one by foreign companies that do not have America’s best interest at heart.

Contact CFIUS and demand it puts a stop to this acquisition.

Source New York Times:

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“It is self-evident that no number of men, by conspiring, and calling themselves a government, can acquire any rights whatever over other men, or other men’s property, which they had not before, as individuals. And whenever any number of men, calling themselves a government, do anything to another man, or to his property, which they had no right to do as individuals, they thereby declare themselves trespassers, robbers, or murderers, according to the nature of their acts.” -Lysander Spooner

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Written by Michael Cooper

December 20, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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