Obama vs. Romney 101: 7 ways they differ on energy issues

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney claim to want to expand America’s access to conventional fuels and green energy. But their energy plans have very different flavors.

4. Nuclear power

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    US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (r.) exits the stage with Southern Co. President and CEO Thomas Fanning at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Waynesboro, Ga., on Feb. 15. Cooling towers for units 1 and 2 are in the background, with the new unit 3 under construction at right.
    David Goldman/AP/File
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The Department of Energy under Obama has provided billions of dollars in federal loan guarantees for nuclear-power development, as well as wind and other "clean" energy sources. In February, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved two new reactors at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia, the first such construction approvals in three decades. Obama regularly cites nuclear power development as part of his energy plan. 

On his website, Romney says he would streamline federal oversight from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure that licensing decisions for reactors that are on or adjacent to approved sites, and that use approved designs, are completed within two years. He would also expand NRC capabilities for approving additional new nuclear reactor designs. Romney supports federal loan guarantees for nuclear power, a subsidy said to be critical to its development. 

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