Turns out it was Congress - $1 million to find out what happens if Indian Point (controversial nuclear power plant near NYC) is closed. The report is a boon to nuclear advocates as, "Closing the Indian Point nuclear reactors would make electricity more expensive, leave New York more vulnerable to natural gas shortages and add to pollution that causes global warming." Well, when you put it that way...
"The committee said that there were no insurmountable technical obstacles to closing the plant. But it asserted that electric demand was growing so fast in the region, and building power plants was so difficult, that simply meeting power needs during peak periods would be a challenge even if the reactors stayed in operation."
So, sounds like an easy solution right? We just leave the reactors on and we have no energy problem? Well, it would be an easy fix if it weren't for those darned environmentalists who are making things so difficult.
"The report said one alternative to Indian Point was something else that environmentalists do not like: ports for tankers carrying liquefied natural gas. In fact, natural gas, which now sells for more than double its price in the late 1990's, is the only fuel practical for large-scale plants in the New York City area, according to experts, because coal or new reactors are not politically acceptable."
Gosh, they make it sound like if it weren't for those pesky environmentalists, we wouldn't have an energy problem and everyone would live happily ever after. I'm sure they're right, because if environmentalists weren't constantly getting in the way there'd be tons of energy to go around. Plus, we might even have the added bonus of more air and water pollution and more garbage than we'd know what to deal with, not to mention plenty of nuclear waste for everyone.