On May 22, Pillsbury partner Jeffrey Merrifield took part in a hearing before the United State House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy entitled “DOE Modernization: Legislation Addressing Development, Regulation, and Competitiveness of Advanced Nuclear Energy Technologies.” The hearing focused on four pending bills that would reform the U.S. Department of Energy’s approach to advanced nuclear energy technologies: the Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy Act, the Advanced Nuclear Fuel Availability Act, the Nuclear Energy Competitiveness Discussion Act and the Report on Pilot Program for Micro-Reactors Act. It marked the fourth in a series of hearings on efforts to modernize the department.
Testifying on behalf of ClearPath Action, a conservative clean energy think tank for which he serves as a senior advisor, Merrifield noted that “significant incentives, grants and portfolio standards” had been established for renewable energy programs like wind and solar in recent years. He went on to explain that those policies did little to acknowledge the clean energy benefits of nuclear power, however.
“I commend this committee as well as the Trump administration for recognizing the need for our nation to have a balanced energy portfolio and that the clean and reliable power that nuclear energy provides to our nation deserves equal standing and support,” he added.
Merrifield is a partner in Pillsbury’s Washington, DC office and co-leader of the firm’s Energy practice. He has previously served as Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1998-2007), an attorney in the U.S. Senate and a senior executive at the largest power engineering and construction company in the U.S.
“The companies and people who operate our nation’s 99 nuclear power plants have done a tremendous service in providing clean, safe, reliable and resilient power,” Merrifield concluded. “As a country, not only should we continue to support this key element of our carbon-free generation, but we also need to adopt measures to promote the development of a new generation of advanced nuclear reactors that will allow U.S. companies to regain their leading role in the international nuclear export market.”
Watch the full hearing below, and click here to read Merrifield's full prepared statement.