Friday, June 22, 2007

When Answering Questions, Do Whitehouse Spokespeople Speak For The President Or Themselves?

Whitehouse spokesmodels have, on occasion, claimed to speak for the President - that's their job after all.

They have also tried to speak for the American People (see any comment where a Tony or Scott or Dana said, "I think the American people...").

But when you look at the following answer to a really interesting question, it's not clear whom Dana's speaking for other than herself. And if so, is that appropriate?
Q Can I ask you a question about nuclear? If nuclear power is so great, why does it need the federal government to subsidize it?

MS. PERINO: Well, I think that -- there's lots of nuclear experts back on the ground that can help you more with that. But my basic understanding is the following, which is we made a decision in our country decades ago that we were not going to continue with nuclear power. And I think that was to our detriment. The President has aggressively tried to turn that around.

Now, back when that decision was made, people were very fearful of nuclear energy, and other nations decided to move past that and to look for technologies that would be able to help alleviate those fears. We did not progress that way in the States and we are having to play a little bit of catch up right now in order to get to a world where we could use nuclear power more.

We need to increase the amount of electricity generation in this country, I think it's by 50 percent in the next 25 years. In order to do that, you want to do it in a way that is respectful of the environment as well. And nuclear power is the best bet regarding that. And there are new technologies that can help you not only deal with the building of the plants but also the waste that's generated from the plant. It has no greenhouse gas emissions. It is a great and efficient way to be able to provide electricity.

The government in some cases needs to help kick start some things. One of the things the government can do as well is help on the siting issues. It's expensive to build a plant, it's expensive to invest in one. And in order to get through the process or the NEPA process, the National Environmental Policy Act process, it's cumbersome and it takes a lot of time. And if a company goes through that whole process and at the end of that doesn't get the approval in order to build the plant, there's huge disincentives then to try to invest. So if the government can help nudge that along the way, that's a good thing.

Another thing that Secretary Bodman is leading is working on a standardization of plant design on three or four different types of plants, so once those are approved, it would be easier and streamline the process to get them up and running.


enigma4ever said...

well, Dana is a twinkette, I can't stand seeing her at the podium with her little Easter Egg Suits and pearls, because then I know I have to find my Tums and BP meds....why ? Because whatever SHE is thinking just falls out of her mouth....and today she and Helen Thomas went at about Dick and his Secrets...and did the Media show it ? no....just hinted at it and moved on with Paris news....urgh....

I read this about the Nuke issue- well, I guess she has never heard of Chernoblyl ? or 3 Mile Island? or Hanford ? Or How Los Almos has has some "Inventory " problems since 2001 ? oh well, never mind.....

Anonymous said...


Chernoblyl and TMI-like problems can be solved by doing reactor experments at 2PM, not 2AM when the operators are asleep.

The safe way to dispose of nuclear waste is to fire it into the sun. Unfortunately, there's no 100% foolproof rocket. The problem has a solution, it just can't be executed.