Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (IL-13), a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee this week toured together the Dresden Generating Station as well as the General Electric (GE) facility in Morris, IL. In addition, Kinzinger toured the Lyondell Basell Plant, also in Morris.
Congressman Kinzinger represents a congressional district that is home to three nuclear power plants, hydropower plants, ethanol and biodiesel plants, and an oil refinery. The Eleventh District embodies the all-of-the-above approach to energy that Kinzinger says we must stand for. Nuclear energy production plays a critical role in our local economy by employing more than 2,500 people through the Illinois Valley resulting in an annual payroll of $177 million and over $54 million going to local taxing bodies. Kinzinger says the key to making the U.S. energy secure is by continuing and expanding the use of nuclear power.
"The events surrounding the nuclear power plants in Japan were extremely tragic," said Kinzinger. "However, that should not mean the end of nuclear energy, which contributes to twenty percent of our energy. Instead, we must take a look at what happened, what went wrong and make sure we can protect against this on American soil."
"Congress must take a comprehensive energy approach that creates jobs here at home, leads us toward energy security through environmentally friendly domestic production of energy resources, and develops long-term clean alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, hydropower and nuclear power," continued Kinzinger. "Although nuclear power plants in the Eleventh District have safely controlled fuel for over forty years, the spent fuel was not meant for long-term usage. Nuclear energy will flourish if we increase the number of nuclear plants, implement a national nuclear waste storage plan, and advance nuclear recycling efforts."
"Nuclear power provides half the energy in our state, and it is vital to powering our homes, our businesses, and our economy," said Biggert, who has long championed advanced nuclear recycling technology as a senior member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. "Considering events around the globe, it's important that we examine our own energy infrastructure so we can continue to tap this important carbon-free energy source in a safe and reliable manor. I appreciate Rep. Kinzinger inviting me to join him for a tour of this amazing facility, and look forward to working together on long-term solutions to our nation's energy challenges."
"My colleagues and I on the Energy and Commerce Committee are working to more aggressively explore our country's vast energy resources, including wind, nuclear, coal, off-shore oil, natural gas, and oil shale," said Kinzinger. "These efforts will not only bring new jobs today, but save dollars and strengthen our national security for tomorrow."