Reprocessing Spent Nuke Fuel
Jude Wanniski
May 21, 2001


Memo To: Vice President Dick Cheney
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: A Good Idea

Your presentations on behalf of the administrationís energy program on Meet the Press hardly could have been better. As hard as Tim Russert pounded on you, trying to get you to say all manner of the silly things that the Democrats are saying about putting price controls on electric power in California, you demonstrated a mastery of the economics of energy and said all the right things. There is not a man or woman in Congress with your broad and deep intellectual portfolio in this realm, which has to be attributed to your experience at Haliburton, the oil-service company, as well as your various government jobs during the energy crises of the 1970s. I had to laugh at the idea of former President Jimmy Carter now writing op-eds for The Washington Post, warning against solving todayís energy problems at the expense of the environment. A one-term president, Carter was pitched out of office because he bungled energy policies along with everything else he touched. His only memorable solution was to put on a sweater so he could turn down the heat in the Oval Office.

In your Meet the Press appearance, I noted you talked approvingly of opening discussion again about nuclear power -- and of revisiting the idea of reprocessing spent fuel from our existing nuclear power plants. Most Americans, Iím sure, donít know that it was Jimmy Carter who put an end to reprocessing such fuel. This was the topic that Dr. Gordon Prather addressed in his weekend column for You know the energy arguments for reprocessing, but Gordon sees the concept in several other dimensions, national security being one of them. You have too much to read, I suppose, but please take a few minutes to read his exposition. Your next video appearances on the energy issue will be even stronger than they were Sunday.