When is a "tweak" in a legislative bill a deal breaker?
Maybe, just maybe, when the change is to an already controversial section on nuclear power that's part of the proposed Clean Energy Jobs Bill for Wisconsin.
Many activists think the language agreed upon by the Governor's Task Force on Global Warming, which is the basis for the bill, already goes too far in relaxing state laws on nuclear reactors.
Now, at the request of utilities which want to be able to build new reactors, changes are being considered to make it even easier.
The utilities say it's just a little "tweak" in the language, and that the original draft may be unconstitutional. But some of the environmentalists and consumer advocates who have been supporting the bill are signaling that the changes could be a deal-breaker.
Environmentalists on the Task Force reluctantly agreed to swallow a compromise that removes the requirement that a federal nuclear waste repository be operating before a new reactor can be built in the state.
What they got in return, supposedly, was protection against so-called "merchant plants" -- reactors built by non-Wisconsin companies to send power elsewhere in the country.