The Heartland is in the midst of a nuclear standoff, reflecting the deep divisions that splitting atoms causes in the American public, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Eleven Midwest states and a neighboring Canadian province banded together in a global warming and energy pact this week that will set up the nation's third regional cap-and-trade regulation for greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, and set renewable energy targets to boost production of biofuels like ethanol.
Nuclear power, which produces no carbon dioxide (once you account for mining, transporting and processing the radioactive fuel), is seen by some as a necessary part of any low carbon economy of the future. But environmentalists (also divided on the issue) have long opposed nuclear power because there's no good way to reuse or store the waste that remains radioactive for thousands of years. And many people fear plants aren't secure from accidents or terrorist attacks.
The 2008 presidential candidates are divided over the future of nuclear energy, with most Republicans supporting its use (though not necessarily subsidies to bolster it) and Democrats mixed on its future.
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, according to the Journal-Sentinel, put it succinctly when asked about why nuclear wasn't part of the pact: "Too controversial."
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