The Note: Up to Our Necks In Owls

WASHINGTON, May 24

One day after Sen. Hillary Clinton expressed great concern about nuclear power, "President Bush travels to Pottstown, PA for remarks on nuclear energy at the Limerick Generating Station -- scheduled for 3:20 pm ET," reports ABC News' Karen Travers, on break from lacrosse coverage.

"Limerick is a nuclear power plant located outside Philadelphia and owned by Exelon. According to a company web site, the Limerick nuclear plant produces approximately 2,400 net megawatts of electricity per hour, which is enough power for about 2 million homes."

"The President will take a tour of the plant before his speech. This is the President's third trip to a nuclear plant -- he visited the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Maryland on June 22, 2005 and the Detroit Edison Monroe Power Plant in Monroe, MI on Sept 15, 2003."

"The President will speak to about 250 people, mostly plant employees. There will be no new policy announcements."

ABC News' Polling Director Gary Langer writes, "Public views on nuclear power are decidedly equivocal, sensitive both to positive arguments (about reducing dependence on foreign oil) and negative concerns (on safety and environmental impact). Energy dependence is at the forefront now, and the negatives have subsided from the post-TMI and Chernobyl days, but they remain a strong pull."

"In a Gallup poll in March, 55 percent supported 'expanding the use of nuclear energy,' up from 43 percent in 2003. But questions explicitly about building nuclear plants or providing government support for nuclear power find less support. Indeed in the same Gallup poll 55 percent opposed building a nuclear plant in their own area."

Carrie Budoff and Amy Worde of the Philadelphia Inquirer report on the President's trip and why it isn't a definitively positive event for GOP candidates. "Today, when Bush visits Philadelphia and Montgomery County, he will find a state party divided and weakened - a reversal that could complicate GOP efforts this year to keep its grip on the state legislature and perhaps even Congress." LINK

Karl Rove headed to the Hill this morning to once again talk with Republican House members about immigration reform. At press time, it was unclear if Rove would eat a chocolate donut or leave MOCs at the mics that he would have to (again) call to answer their individual questions.

"Opening arguments are set to begin at 9:30 am ET in the David Safavian trial, reports ABC News' Jason Ryan. "The government could lay out a pretty blistering case of Safavian's connections with Abramoff and members of Congress. On Friday, ABC News' Dean Norland reported that besides Neil Volz two other former members of Ney's staff have been subpoenaed to testify at the trial."

"Although the prosecution does not plan to call Abramoff to testify," adds Ryan, "we should expect an interesting narrative on how Abramoff influenced many in Washington. The trial bears close watching to yield clues into the ongoing investigation of Rep. Bob Ney and other members of congress."

The grand jury hearing the CIA leak investigation is scheduled to meet at 9:30 am ET. Bloggers: stand down.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) hold a press conference with Democratic mayors at 1:00 pm ET at DNC headquarters in Washington, DC to "to discuss how national issues such as health care, homeland security, budget cuts, and gas prices are affecting their local communities."

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