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UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy has released a white paper examining the difficult choices that utilities and public policy makers face as they weigh alternatives to coal-fired power plants.

The paper—entitled “Base-load Electricity from Natural Gas and Nuclear Power: The Role of Federal and State Policy”—is based on a symposium held at the Baker Center in September 2012.

Sponsored by the Baker Center, Tennessee Valley Authority, America’s National Gas Alliance, and Spectra Energy Corporation, the symposium featured eighteen nationally and regionally known speakers and attracted participants from the electric utility industry, regulatory agencies, research institutions, and other nongovernmental organizations. The symposium was organized by Baker Center fellow Mary English and a team of academic, business, and government professionals. English, who is retired from UT’s Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, has a doctorate in sociology from UT, a master’s degree in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts, and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

As highlighted in the white paper authored by English, natural gas and nuclear power—the two dominant alternatives to coal—have dramatically different pros and cons. These pros and cons are shaped by environmental, health, safety, and security factors as well as technological and economic factors. Many of these factors are, in turn, shaped by current and prospective federal and state policies.

A copy of the paper is available on the Baker Center website.

C O N T A C T :

Nissa Dahlin-Brown (865-974-8681,