Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) recently introduced bipartisan companion legislation to the International Nuclear Energy Act, alongside Representative James Clyburn (D-SC). The Senate version of the bill (of the same name) was sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jim Risch (R-ID).
The bill looks to provide a sustainable “whole-of-government strategy” towards nuclear productions and exportation throughout the global economy.
"As a Vice-Chair of the Advanced Nuclear Caucus and as a strong nuclear energy proponent, I am proud to champion the International Nuclear Energy Act alongside Assistant House Democratic Leader Clyburn as the ninth bill of my 2023-24 Nuclear Energy Package," stated Rep. Donalds.
"The simple reality is that nuclear energy is the cleanest and greenest option in America's energy arsenal, and there is growing bipartisan support for its utilization. Now more than ever, it is time for our country to embrace a whole-of-government strategy for nuclear cooperation and nuclear exports."
Rep. Clyburn expanded on these thoughts, providing a rationale for the bill which includes the notion that it would provide a “check on the influence of China and Russia,” Rep. Donalds concluded.
“If we are going to meet our global climate goals and move closer towards a clean energy future, not only should we invest in nuclear here at home, but we must also create markets abroad for this carbon-free energy source,” said Rep. Clyburn. “Maintaining U.S. global leadership in nuclear technology will bolster our ability to respond to the climate crisis and serve as a check on the influence of China and Russia.”
Experts in the energy field such as Josh Freed, Senior Vice President of Third Way’s Climate and Energy Program agrees with the sentiment that it could check China and Russia’s influence on the global energy market.
“Authoritarian states like Russia and China view civil nuclear exports as more than revenue. They see them as a tool to expand their spheres of influence. America’s ability to compete in nuclear export markets is not just in our commercial interest but also a national security imperative. The International Nuclear Energy Act supports a whole-of-government approach that puts American industry in a position to truly compete against state-owned nuclear companies…It’s just as good for jobs and the security of the United States,” mentioned Freed.
Since Rep. Donalds became a member of the House of Representatives, he has been a big proponent of nuclear energy and sits on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and more specifically, the Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee.