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Luetkemeyer goes nuclear

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 10, 2009 - U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, says that he's supporting a measure called the "American Energy Act," which allies describe as a comprehensive energy plan "that will provide for more affordable energy for Missouri families, create much-needed jobs and help clean up the environment."

A key plank of the plan: Building more nuclear plants.

"The goal of the American Energy Act is to license 100 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years by streamlining the burdensome regulatory process and ensuring the recycling and safe storage of spent nuclear fuel," Luektemeyer's staff said.

The Act also would lift oil-drilling restrictions "on the Arctic Coastal Plain, the Outer Continental Shelf and oil shale in the Mountain West," and encourage development of alternative energy sources, such as solar.

Luetkemeyer says the Act takes "an ‘all of the above’ energy" approach and "stands in stark contrast to the national energy tax promoted by congressional liberals that even the President has admitted would cause energy prices to ‘skyrocket.’ "

Like many Republicans, Luetkemeyer is opposed to many Democrats' cap-and-trade plan -- he calls it "cap and tax" -- that would impose limits on pollution emissions. The congressman contended that approach "will cost us millions of American jobs, as manufacturers are forced to close their doors or relocate overseas..."

Also Wednesday, Luetkemeyer got high-voltage attention of a less-desired sort when the Web (via Firedupmissouri.com) took notice of a report by the Washington publication, The Hill, that the congressman had spent more than any of his freshman colleagues on literature sent home to constituents. 

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.