Jun 18 04:19 PM US/Eastern / By DAVID ESPO / AP Special Correspondent
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Sen. John McCain called Wednesday for the construction of 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030 and pledged $2 billion a year in federal funds "to make clean coal a reality," measures designed to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
In a second straight day of campaigning devoted to the energy issue, the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting also said the only time Democratic rival Barack Obama voted for a tax cut was for a "break for the oil companies."
McCain said the 104 nuclear reactors currently operating around the country produce about 20 percent of the nation's annual electricity needs.
"Every year, these reactors alone spare the atmosphere from the equivalent of nearly all auto emissions in America. Yet for all these benefits, we have not broken ground on a single nuclear plant in over thirty years," he said. "And our manufacturing base to even construct these plants is almost gone."