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Brewer wants more nuclear power in state

Gov. Jan Brewer said Jan. 5 that Arizona should include more nuclear power plants in its energy portfolio while cutting taxes and government regulation to provide a welcome mat for solar and wind projects encountering “green tape” elsewhere.

Said Brewer, “Memo to California solar industries: Arizona’s door is open, we’ll leave the light on for you.”

Brewer outlined a portfolio of positions and initiatives on energy topics during an address to a regional business summit held at a Phoenix resort.

Arizona already is home to the three-reactor Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix, and Brewer said she wants to develop more nuclear power.

No new nuclear power plant has been built in the U.S. for decades but economic and environmental factors warrant a new emphasis on that electricity source, Brewer said.

“I believe it’s the wave of the future,” she said.

Brewer said she is committed to taking other steps to make Arizona “the solar capital of the world.”

She cited newly enacted income and property tax incentives that encouraged a major Chinese solar company, Suntech Power Holdings, to choose Arizona for a major manufacturing plant.

Arizona should go beyond those new tax incentives targeted to renewable energy projects by making itself more attractive to jobs-providing businesses in general by phasing in an overall reduction of the corporate income tax, Brewer said.

That proposal will be included her State of the State address Jan. 11, she said.

Brewer, who froze new state rule-making after taking office just under a year ago, also said she will continue to push efforts to reduce “the hidden tax of regulation.”

Said Brewer: “We cannot quash the next generation of entrepreneurs with petty rules and fines.”

Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter, said Brewer’s comments on solar energy “are very positive.” But she said the governor’s support for “truly clean renewable energy” was undermined by her endorsement for nuclear power.

“She definitely ignores the life-cycle costs – environmental and economic – of nuclear power,” Bahr said.

Brewer, a Republican, is running for election to a full four-year term.

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