Why Is Trump's Energy Department Lumping Coal and Nuclear Together?

It Should Focus on Strengthening Only the Latter

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry shakes hands with guest after attending his swearing in ceremony at the Executive Office in Washington, March 2017.  Carlos Barria / REUTERS

Today, in the midst of United Nations climate change negotiations in Bonn, U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoys are hosting a parallel event promoting fossil fuels. This has angered many of the representatives gathered in Bonn to implement the Paris climate accord, from which Trump already announced in June that he would withdraw the United States. Because the United States cannot legally leave the climate pact until 2020, it is thus entitled to a seat at the negotiating table in Bonn. That Washington would come to peddle fossil fuels added insult to injury.

Lost in the uproar over fossil fuels, however, was the fact that the offending U.S. delegation event also will promote a much cleaner energy source: nuclear power. As the largest source of clean energy in the United States, nuclear energy will be crucial to limiting global greenhouse gas emissions and confronting climate change. Yet because the

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