On nuclear power plants: West Virginia gets it, why can’t Minnesota?

West Virginia is famous for its coal-mining heritage, but legislation is progressing in the Mountain State to lift its ban on building nuclear power plants. This begs the question: if legislation like this can gain traction in West Virginia, why can’t it happen in Minnesota?

The InterMountain writes:

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia is among 13 states with restrictions on constructing new nuclear power plants. Only Minnesota has an outright ban. New York prohibits construction in a certain region of the state. Other states, such as West Virginia, have limited bans. Montana is the most recent state to lift a nuclear power prohibition earlier this year. Kentucky ended a similar ban in 2017.

For the last two years, liberal lawmakers in Minnesota have acted as though they are the sacred guardians of science, but when the rubber hits the road, they stand in the way of approving pipelines and legalizing new nuclear power plants.

This is why there is a growing understanding that claiming to “follow the science” is less about the scientific method and more about using the pretense of science to pass whichever policy goals they are supporting at the moment.

This is a disservice to both the political debate, which should consider normative questions about the outcomes of particular policies, and science, which should allow for the questioning and interrogation of hypotheses.