The coming cap-and-trade tax

posted at 4:00 pm on March 2, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama insists that his new tax increases will not affect 95% of Americans, who will not pay even a dime more.  He may be right about that, at least directly, but Obama has another plan that will hit every single American with a massive cost burden.  The George C. Marshall Institute analyzes the potential impact of the cap-and-trade energy system that Obama espouses and finds a big price tag that only gets bigger as we go along.

First, it will depress growth, which almost everyone predicts (page 3):

Estimated GDP losses vary widely, from a 0.3%-0.5% to 3% drop in GDP below the business-as-usual projections in 2015 and a 1% to 10% drop in 2050. The timeframes of new technology development and growth in existing clean sources of energy, availability of offsets (domestic, international), and banking of allowances are likely to account for most of these differences in GDP costs estimates.

Loss of GDP means a retracting economy, less opportunity, fewer jobs, and a decline in living standards.  The Marshall Institute offers the question of whether the US wants that as a tradeoff for the questionable effects of limiting carbon-dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.  Unfortunately, the present administration and its backers won’t acknowledge that as the choice before us, preferring to paint rosy pictures of increased living standards and prosperity while the government chokes off energy production, a contradiction they claim to solve with an explosion of “green energy” from sources that don’t exist at the moment.

How do we know that?  Even Europe, which led the “green” movement, has discovered that stopping conventional energy production doesn’t magically produce realistic, mass-production alternatives.

But the bad news gets worse.  Not only will the GDP drop over both the short and long terms, but the increased price of energy will result in substantial costs to all Americans — not just Obama’s 5% at the top (page 9):

We find that a mitigation path consistent with Lieberman-Warner’s provisions is equivalent to a permanent tax increase for the average American household. This increase is projected to amount to an additional $1100 in taxes in 2008. Moreover, this cap-and-trade “tax” increases over time in real terms from about $1400 to $2000 during 2015-2030 and approximately $2000 to $3000 in 2030-2050. The de facto tax increase becomes quite significant when one considers the average American household spends about $2500 on food annually, or approximately $208 monthly.  The decrease in consumption per capita of $277 annually is equivalent to more than one month’s food budget for the average American household, keeping other consumption levels constant.

Another way to gauge this cap-and-trade tax impact is comparing it to auto-loan payments. For example, a new 2009 C-Class Mercedes can be leased for around $429 per month.  A decrease in consumption by $1110 amounts is equivalent to 2.5 monthly payments on this luxury car. This tax amounts to aboutlmost three and a half monthly payments in 2015 and almost seven payments in 2050.

Great.  So we make less, get less, and pay more — or do without.  I can’t afford two Mercedes autos now, and given the way the markets are heading at the moment, I may not be able to afford two Schwinns by 2015.

A nation looking to boost growth has to first rely on cheap and plentiful energy.  Without that, investment disappears and so do jobs, production, and consumer confidence.  John McCain’s Lexington Plan addressed that, even if it took Paris Hilton to explain it properly.  It addressed short- and medium-range energy needs by expanding domestic oil and natural gas production and boosting nuclear power while using the proceeds of those industries to develop alternatives for the long term. Without that, all we have is energy rationing … and look how well that worked for us in the 1970s.

Read the entire Marshall analysis, and start letting your friends know that the tax on the other 95% is coming.  Soon.


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Comments

President Dumbass did say that cap and trade would cause electricity rate to ’skyrocket’ but Obama supporters are as deaf as they are stupid.

drjohn on March 2, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Yeah, the infamous “bankrupting the coal industry” quote that the San Fran paper buried until right before Election Day.

I’ll be honest. I thought Obama was a radical socialist, but even I never really believed he’d attempt crap-and-trade. And certainly not THIS soon. Which begs the question, what are the conservatives who thought this guy would govern as a pragmatic centrist thinking right now?

Doughboy on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

I don’t see a huge downside with this plan. Yes, there will be an initial upfront cost but the real goal behind this plan would be to get companies to look at alternative options for their plants.

This will spur alternative energy research as companies will now have a lot of incentive to cut emmissions.

Thoughts?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:34 PM

The downside is that the alternatives don’t exist in any reliable form, and are hideously expensive.

Why should we want to force companies to use expensive, unreliable power, when cheap, reliable poweer is available.

MarkTheGreat on March 2, 2009 at 4:39 PM

Yes, but the price fluctuates wildely. The cost of oil has steadely RISEN for the past 10 years or so (beyond the rate of inflation).

Besides, there is but so much coal we can dig in the ground for.

Yes, the source of energy is cheap now but for how long?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Neil Cauvuto is getting ready to show the Global Warming Rally:) Bobby Kennedy Jr., was just on Fox about an hour ago telling one of the Fox People it was time to get rid of Evil Coal….how many people does the Coal Industry Employ?

Dr Evil on March 2, 2009 at 4:14 PM

I’m still shaking my head that WV and PA (coal states) voted for Obama. S-T-U-P-I-D ! Voted themselves right out of work.

stenwin77 on March 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM

OK, but we REALLY need to get off of oil and gas. Look at what happened during the summer.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:47 PM

No, we don’t need to. Last summer’s spike was unrelated to quantity of source material. It was related to hedge funds responding to the real estate crash by chasing commodities. By your logic, we would also need to ‘get off’ steel, corn, bauxite, copper, and coke.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM

There has to be a better way than to keep digging in the ground for our energy.

Nuclear energy is better, ask France.

But Hope and Spare Change doesn’t want to hear that, because his ignorant wiccan tree hugging base, don’t like nuclear energy.

And you know what?

The enviro-nuts don’t WANT ANY NEW FORMS OF ENERGY!

This is the equivalent of the Wizard of Oz telling Dorothy to bring him the witch’s broom.

They want us to be living in caves and huts and totally dependent on them for everything.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Holy Shyte. Our people in congress need to SLOW this train WAAAYYY down.

marklmail on March 2, 2009 at 4:52 PM

ckoeber
you think it’s a good plan othr than it takes monry from the poor and gives it to Enron? Other than it has failed in Europe?

Other than that?

drjohn on March 2, 2009 at 4:52 PM

By your logic, we would also need to ‘get off’ steel, corn, bauxite, copper, and coke.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM

…because they skyrocketed as fast as oil during the same time period.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 4:52 PM

The US is the Saudi Arabia of coal. We have more coal than we can use in generations to come, not to mention oil shale and natural gas.

mchristian on March 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Estimated GDP losses vary widely, from a 0.3%-0.5% to 3% drop in GDP below the business-as-usual projections in 2015 and a 1% to 10% drop in 2050.

Did the citizens not know, that now down is up and up is down?

Johan Klaus on March 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM

How does Enron enter into this thread?

larvcom on March 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM

I don’t see a huge downside with this plan. Yes, there will be an initial upfront cost but the real goal behind this plan would be to get companies to look at alternative options for their plants.

This will spur alternative energy research as companies will now have a lot of incentive to cut emmissions.

Thoughts?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:34 PM

The initial upfront cost will be massive. It’ll affect every business and every American.

As for investing in alternative energy, I’m all for it. If you can give me a Mr. Fusion-powered car like Doc Brown’s, go for it. But to introduce legislation forcing corporations and consumers off of fossil fuels when we don’t have the alternative sources infrastructure or technology to support our huge energy needs in this country will result in economic disaster.

Doughboy on March 2, 2009 at 4:44 PM

All in all, I agree. To me, adding pressure should get the companies to look in a new direction, however.

There are SO MANY options out there. I just don’t see why we can’t get on nuclear power. We are so hooked on the played up accidents of the plants that we ignore the remarkably good safety records of our current plants.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:54 PM

I just don’t see why we can’t get on nuclear power.

China Syndrome + Silkwood + idiot Democrats = no nuclear energy.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 4:56 PM

This will spur alternative energy research as companies will now have a lot of incentive to cut emmissions.

Thoughts?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:34 PM

There IS a way to generate power without gas emissions of any kind, if you’ll pull your head out of the green sand, guy.

We’ve been generating power by that emissions-free method for over fifty years. The country of France gets 85% of its power from that source.

Do I even need to say the word?

By comparison to any other so-called “green” energy source, nuclear energy is proven, safe, and enormously efficient. It has the smallest land footprint of any energy source, and its waste can be used in secondary generation systems (see “accelerator-driven subcritical reactors” for an interesting method of utilising nuclear waste for a second tier of fission power generation).

By comparison, solar, wind, and hydro generation are horribly inefficient and require a large land footprint. The environmental drawbacks of each method are well known, which is why Europe is struggling to meet its energy needs.

Don’t forget that Europe has also made a deal with the Russian Devil in its attempt to reduce emissions, by relying on Russian gas and electricity (which overwhelmingly comes from nuclear generation sources that are nowhere near as safe as nuclear plants built and operated to Western standards, btw).

Your thoughts?

Wanderlust on March 2, 2009 at 4:56 PM

A nation looking to boost growth has to first rely on cheap and plentiful energy.

But, we have got windmills and peddle cars, not to mention big wheels.

Johan Klaus on March 2, 2009 at 4:57 PM

The systems at Three Mile Is worked. How many millions are dead? None. Will this fact help those that are against it? No.

larvcom on March 2, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Yes, but the price fluctuates wildely. The cost of oil has steadely RISEN for the past 10 years or so (beyond the rate of inflation).

Besides, there is but so much coal we can dig in the ground for.

Yes, the source of energy is cheap now but for how long?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

And ask yourself why the price of oil has risen for the last 10 years. Two big reasons. First, China and India’s economies have been growing at a rapid pace which in turn increased their demand for oil. And secondly, we’re not tapping into our own energy sources here at home and are forced to import it.

The key to energy independence is to do EVERYTHING! Drill for oil offshore and in ANWR. Extract oil shale. Build nuclear power plants. Build coal plants. Build windmill farms. Build solar panel farms. Improve gas mileage. Build more affordable hybrid vehicles. Hell, if this leads to an energy surplus and prices being way too low, don’t worry. The market will correct itself. Besides, that’s a problem I’m sure every American will be more than happy to deal with.

It’s a win-win scenario for everybody. Energy is more affordable and plentiful. Dependence of foreign countries is lessened which helps our national security interests. The environment will improve as clean energy sources become more available. And best of all, millions of jobs will be created.

Seriously, I took a few semesters of economics at an above average university and I can figure this out. Why the hell can’t the allegedly brilliant minds in Washington do the same?

Doughboy on March 2, 2009 at 4:58 PM

ckoeber,

Yes, there will be an initial upfront cost but the real goal behind this plan would be to get companies to look at alternative options for their plants.

This will spur alternative energy research as companies will now have a lot of incentive to cut emmissions.

The research would make sense if it wasn’t coerced. Any time you have the government forcing industry at gunpoint to pay for alt energy research your end result will be inefficient and ineffective (hmm, that sounds like government in general-coincidence?)

If Obama was serious about energy independence, he would have plans to break ground on fifteen new nuclear power plants by the end of the month. Other than that, there is nothing feasable available from Solar or Wind in the next 50 years which will provide the necessary amounts of energy that this country needs to operate, regardless of the amount of research and investment.

And as far as emmissions and climate change go, unless China and India are on board (which they aren’t) nothing we do will matter one little bit on the grand scheme.

Tman on March 2, 2009 at 4:45 PM

I agree, coercion may not be the best course of action. I am sure a major part of this is strictly political (to get the tough guy look) but nuclear plants are a hard sell politically because everyone has the false sense of fear from nuclear plants. Who wants that in their state?

As for solar and wind, ground is breaking in that feild already. We now have $1/Watt panels out there (HUGE):
http://eetimes.eu/germany/214600169

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:58 PM

How many jobs are created by building/staffing a nuclear plant, as opposed to “research” on a mythical power source that everyone knows is going to lead nowhere.

But, at least the wallets of Obama-Mugabe donors will be fattened, so at least something good will come of it.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 4:59 PM

This will spur alternative energy research as companies will now have a lot of incentive to cut emmissions.

Thoughts?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:34 PM

There IS a way to generate power without gas emissions of any kind, if you’ll pull your head out of the green sand, guy.

We’ve been generating power by that emissions-free method for over fifty years. The country of France gets 85% of its power from that source.

Do I even need to say the word?

By comparison to any other so-called “green” energy source, nuclear energy is proven, safe, and enormously efficient. It has the smallest land footprint of any energy source, and its waste can be used in secondary generation systems (see “accelerator-driven subcritical reactors” for an interesting method of utilising nuclear waste for a second tier of fission power generation).

By comparison, solar, wind, and hydro generation are horribly inefficient and require a large land footprint. The environmental drawbacks of each method are well known, which is why Europe is struggling to meet its energy needs.

Don’t forget that Europe has also made a deal with the Russian Devil in its attempt to reduce emissions, by relying on Russian gas and electricity (which overwhelmingly comes from nuclear generation sources that are nowhere near as safe as nuclear plants built and operated to Western standards, btw).

Your thoughts?

Wanderlust on March 2, 2009 at 4:56 PM

As mentioned in prior posts I would love for a politician to get serious behind nuclear power. The problem is no one wants it in their state.

Convince the public and then you can get it done.

THAT can be ONE policy initiative that conservatives get behind. It stands by all of their principles AND it is a REAL WORLD solution to a REAL AND HUGE problem.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM

The start up costs for nuclear are enormous and that is assuming you can get a plant into construction because of all the false assumptions regarding it’s safety. It takes years to build a power plant. Here in NM the Navajo tribe has been trying to get a no emissions coal-fired power plant built for over a decade. They have had studies and impact statements and permits and it will never be built because there are other, older coal-fired power plants in the area that pollute. So, we’ll keep those and to hell with clean coal because you can’t get it approved by the state or the feds.

mchristian on March 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM

China Syndrome + Silkwood + idiot Democrats = no nuclear energy.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Movies make good energy policy and the movie stars are helping the economy by supporting the drug trade.

Johan Klaus on March 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Yes, the source of energy is cheap now but for how long?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

For another few hundred years, in a relative sense.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Yes, the source of energy is cheap now but for how long?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Oh, only about 100-200 years or so.

blue13326 on March 2, 2009 at 5:03 PM

IN addition the costs would be regressive in nature as detailed by the CBO itself. The Obama talking point on the issue is that the making work pay credit will provide relief, a questionable argument in of itself. Either way the lower your income bracket the greater a percentage cost per your income. Check out slide 45 of this presentation.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9901/10-27-PresentationWellesley.pdf

rob verdi on March 2, 2009 at 5:03 PM

ckoeber
you think it’s a good plan othr than it takes monry from the poor and gives it to Enron? Other than it has failed in Europe?

Other than that?

drjohn on March 2, 2009 at 4:52 PM

No, my arguement would be that energy, regardless of your viewpoint, is a huge issue that needs to be addressed.

Conservatives can solidify around Nuclear power and get our energy (and policies around it) detached from the commodities business.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:05 PM

Has the Obama budget economic predictions, already called disconnected from reality factored the depressed growth from Cap and Trade?

rob verdi on March 2, 2009 at 5:07 PM

And ask yourself why the price of oil has risen for the last 10 years. Two big reasons. First, China and India’s economies have been growing at a rapid pace which in turn increased their demand for oil. And secondly, we’re not tapping into our own energy sources here at home and are forced to import it.

The key to energy independence is to do EVERYTHING! Drill for oil offshore and in ANWR. Extract oil shale. Build nuclear power plants. Build coal plants. Build windmill farms. Build solar panel farms. Improve gas mileage. Build more affordable hybrid vehicles. Hell, if this leads to an energy surplus and prices being way too low, don’t worry. The market will correct itself. Besides, that’s a problem I’m sure every American will be more than happy to deal with.

It’s a win-win scenario for everybody. Energy is more affordable and plentiful. Dependence of foreign countries is lessened which helps our national security interests. The environment will improve as clean energy sources become more available. And best of all, millions of jobs will be created.

Seriously, I took a few semesters of economics at an above average university and I can figure this out. Why the hell can’t the allegedly brilliant minds in Washington do the same?

Doughboy on March 2, 2009 at 4:58 PM

All in all, agreed. Any GOP/conservatives backing this cause?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:08 PM

ckoeber ,

As for solar and wind, ground is breaking in that feild already. We now have $1/Watt panels out there (HUGE):
http://eetimes.eu/germany/214600169

This is still peanuts. I’m not wanting to sound condescending about this because you appear very sincere, but solar and wind will need exponentially enormous efficiency gains to begin to manage even 5% of our electricity production.

I would highly recommend reading this post by Stephen den Beste called “A New Manhattan Project” to get an idea for how big and how much energy is needed to produce what we consume, and why alternative forms at the present time are a pipedream at best.

It should INSULT people the way that Obama actas about this.

Tman on March 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Besides, there is but so much coal we can dig in the ground for.
ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

We have more coal and oil than we know what to do with.
Liberals just refuse to use it.


Interior Decision on Oil Shale Locks Away American Energy Resource Larger than Total Reserves of Middle East

February 25, 2009·
http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2009/02/25/interior-decision-on-oil-shale-locks-away-american-energy-resource-larger-than-total-reserves-of-middle-east/

“Earlier this week, Secretary Salazar suggested America’s massive and homegrown reserves of oil shale held ‘great potential.’ Unfortunately, the Interior Department’s decision today may help ensure that potential never becomes reality – in the process, locking-away an American energy resource larger than the total reserves of the entire Middle East.

“At a time of great economic uncertainty, with millions of Americans out of work and state budgets stretched beyond their breaking point, responsible development of America’s abundant shale resources could be a way out of our current condition, and a way back to a better one. The Interior Department’s announcement today effectively forecloses that opportunity.”

The same people who tell us that there is not enough resources for our energy needs are the same people who told us in the 70’s to prepare for another ice age and are now telling us the cooling of the earth and large increase in mass of the polar caps is proof of global warming.

Nobody is saying to quit looking for alternative energy.
What is common sense is not to bankrupt our economy by ignoring economical and efficient sources of energy while we
develop them.

We are being taxed and ignoring beneficial energy exploration based on junk science and unproven methods of alternative energy.

It is economical suicide being pushed forward by activists,lobbyist,and politicians that are concerned with nothing more than their own financial and political gain.

Nuclear energy is used widely by the Europeans and shown to be clean and efficient.
This is also rejected by the eco-fundamentalist.

It is just plain stupid to ignore our own energy resources while we run costs up going after un-proven methods,especially, according to Obama, “during the worst economic times since the Great Depression.”

Baxter Greene on March 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM

No, we don’t need to. Last summer’s spike was unrelated to quantity of source material. It was related to hedge funds responding to the real estate crash by chasing commodities. By your logic, we would also need to ‘get off’ steel, corn, bauxite, copper, and coke.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Yes, but wouldn’t your statement be a reason to get OFF of energy as well?

Having an energy source linked to speculation kinda hurts, IMHO.

Why not switch to something home-grown or something like nuclear power where speculation wouldn’t hurt small/medium/and large businesses as much.

Every American would benefit from an energy source not tied to a speculator/trader.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Local Nebraska quotes for corn today range from $3.30 -3.09. My neighbor, who farms about 3000 acres just dropped in for coffee and is wetting his pants. He’s betting prices will drop further, so,..I gave him the news about the EPA regulating dust on Iowa farmland and thought he was going to throw up.

a capella on March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Yes, the source of energy is cheap now but for how long?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

For another few hundred years, in a relative sense.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Not to mention that mankind has only been utilizing fossil fuels for 200 years….fuels that have been in production for the past ~3 billion years. Might want to consider that when these smart-asses talk about ‘peak oil’ and associated garbage. Honestly, the hubris of pretending to know ‘how much reserves are left’. Ridiculous. We can only make estimates based on what we can drill and study now, and as time & technology move forward, guess what?, these estimates magically increase.

It is far more likely that we have vastly more than sufficient reserves of fossil fuels to power our progress to more efficient and economical sources.

What we need to do is to tell congress that they have no authority to dictate our energy policy. States should decide how to use their lands…and the dollar signs will soon cause them to kick environmentalist retards to the kerb.

LimeyGeek on March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Yes, the source of energy is cheap now but for how long?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

For another few hundred years, in a relative sense.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM

OK. Do you think the environmental damage is neglegible?

I am not being confrontational on the environmental front, but has everyone here considered any/all of the environmental impacts that oil has done?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Every American would benefit from an energy source not tied to a speculator/trader.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Everything in a marketplace is tied to speculation.

LimeyGeek on March 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM

A little OT. Has anybody ever stopped to consider the fact we could not go to a “new North America” and duplicate the U.S. today for the simple fact our current regulations proscribe that kind of development?

TubbyHubby on March 2, 2009 at 5:16 PM

OK. Do you think the environmental damage is neglegible?

I am not being confrontational on the environmental front, but has everyone here considered any/all of the environmental impacts that oil has done?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Compared to the previous choice, namely coal, and before that, wood?

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Yes, but the price fluctuates wildely. The cost of oil has steadely RISEN for the past 10 years or so (beyond the rate of inflation).

Besides, there is but so much coal we can dig in the ground for.

Yes, the source of energy is cheap now but for how long?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

And ask yourself why the price of oil has risen for the last 10 years. Two big reasons. First, China and India’s economies have been growing at a rapid pace which in turn increased their demand for oil. And secondly, we’re not tapping into our own energy sources here at home and are forced to import it.

The key to energy independence is to do EVERYTHING! Drill for oil offshore and in ANWR. Extract oil shale. Build nuclear power plants. Build coal plants. Build windmill farms. Build solar panel farms. Improve gas mileage. Build more affordable hybrid vehicles. Hell, if this leads to an energy surplus and prices being way too low, don’t worry. The market will correct itself. Besides, that’s a problem I’m sure every American will be more than happy to deal with.

It’s a win-win scenario for everybody. Energy is more affordable and plentiful. Dependence of foreign countries is lessened which helps our national security interests. The environment will improve as clean energy sources become more available. And best of all, millions of jobs will be created.

Seriously, I took a few semesters of economics at an above average university and I can figure this out. Why the hell can’t the allegedly brilliant minds in Washington do the same?

Doughboy on March 2, 2009 at 4:58 PM

+10

ckoeber, the way to encourage private enterprise to explore alternative forms of energy is not to penalize them for existing energy production. Punishment never yields results. They need to be offered incentives, in the form of tax breaks or whatever, to contribute money and man hours to exploring alternatives. I’m not sure what you think the net effect of cap and trade is going to be. Do you not think the cost will be passed down to consumers? It most certainly will. $4.00 a gallon is going to be looking like a bargain come 2012. Forget central heat and air. We’ll all be running fans and wearing sweaters and reading by candlelight like it’s 1900. We’ve got plenty of resources here within our own borders that we can mine while we’re working on those alternative forms of energy. No one is saying we should be forever dependent on fossil fuels. But placing a stranglehold on an entire industry is not the way to wean us off of them.

The Cuda needs to be all over this insanity like white on rice. She’s about the only person we’ve got on our side who can articulate a sensible, insightful counterargument on this issue.

NoLeftTurn on March 2, 2009 at 5:17 PM

I am not being confrontational on the environmental front, but has everyone here considered any/all of the environmental impacts that oil has done?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

I like the part about not have horse manure in the streets.

WashJeff on March 2, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Every American would benefit from an energy source not tied to a speculator/trader.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Agreed with you on nuclear power as an efficient power source; however, your statement here suggests that you have something to learn about the US energy market (and the energy markets of most countries in the free world, which operate in the same general principle as ours, but with different rules and regulations with regards to plant ownership, grid ownership, and the local government’s ability to regulate pricing).

Intrastate: power price is regulated by the state regulatory commission; but

Interstate: power price is not regulated, and is set by demand (“spot” market) which is subject to speculation based on scarcity, just like any other commodity.

Wanderlust on March 2, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Yes, the source of energy is cheap now but for how long?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

For another few hundred years, in a relative sense.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Not to mention that mankind has only been utilizing fossil fuels for 200 years….fuels that have been in production for the past ~3 billion years. Might want to consider that when these smart-asses talk about ‘peak oil’ and associated garbage. Honestly, the hubris of pretending to know ‘how much reserves are left’. Ridiculous. We can only make estimates based on what we can drill and study now, and as time & technology move forward, guess what?, these estimates magically increase.

It is far more likely that we have vastly more than sufficient reserves of fossil fuels to power our progress to more efficient and economical sources.

What we need to do is to tell congress that they have no authority to dictate our energy policy. States should decide how to use their lands…and the dollar signs will soon cause them to kick environmentalist retards to the kerb.

LimeyGeek on March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Well, I would have to do more research to be politically correct.

I (speaking for myself here) am just not confortable staying on Oil. It causes too many problems.

Let’s switch over to something home-grown or use Nuclear power and be done with it. Why let our energy policy be dependant on speculations and foreign powers?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Having an energy source linked to speculation kinda hurts, IMHO.

Why not switch to something home-grown or something like nuclear power where speculation wouldn’t hurt small/medium/and large businesses as much.

Every American would benefit from an energy source not tied to a speculator/trader.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM

They all are linked to speculation – they are used to run businesses, heat customers, or transport people and goods.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:18 PM

All in all, agreed. Any GOP/conservatives backing this cause?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:08 PM

I am in.

I think this goes in line with what I said about continuing
to use the resources that are working today while we figure out what is best to use tomorrow.

I think the vast majority of people share a view similar to this.
The problem is:
If you are not on the Gore bandwagon,you are demonized as a right wing,oil loving,greedy basta$d that does not care about the environment.

Baxter Greene on March 2, 2009 at 5:18 PM

OK. Do you think the environmental damage is neglegible?

I am not being confrontational on the environmental front, but has everyone here considered any/all of the environmental impacts that oil has done?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Firstly, modern oil production is very clean, although plenty of enviroturds will try to foster images of “there will be blood” with oil-drenched people and lands.

Secondly, what is the damage? Even the wost oil spill….looks ugly, kills animals and plants locally….but guess what? oil is a natural product, and breaks down naturally over time. I used to have a fuel-oil intake pipe by my house….the guy constantly overflowed nasty smelling oil over the ground there….most fertile land I ever saw after a while.

Timeframe is very important. Oil is not a concerning pollutant. If you want to be concerned, try worrying about nuclear materials….and then calm down when you read about modern reactor technology and how ‘passive safety systems’ work.

LimeyGeek on March 2, 2009 at 5:20 PM

I like the part about not have horse manure in the streets.

WashJeff on March 2, 2009 at 5:17 PM

New regulations on equine gaseous, liquid, and solid waste emissions! Film at 11…

Wanderlust on March 2, 2009 at 5:20 PM

OK. Do you think the environmental damage is neglegible?

I am not being confrontational on the environmental front, but has everyone here considered any/all of the environmental impacts that oil has done?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Compared to the previous choice, namely coal, and before that, wood?

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:16 PM

OK, but why continue? Why not make the switch to Nuclear and use a proven clean source?

A better question would be, what is wrong with Nuclear power?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Let’s switch over to something home-grown or use Nuclear power and be done with it. Why let our energy policy be dependant on speculations and foreign powers?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:18 PM

We tried that – remember ‘Drill here, drill now?’ We have shale oil and shale gas, plus methane hydrates, and coal, all of which have hundreds of years worth of supply right here, plus Canadian tar sands in a friendly neighbor next door, which is much larger than the Saudi oil fields. The shale and tar sands are more expensive to produce than plain crude, so they get relegated to the shelf until the easy stuff runs out. If you want domestic energy, it can be easily done for around $65/bbl. All we need to do is get rid of the EPA and the democrats.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Just wrote to all my lawmakers…

MAKE BARAK STOP!!!

CinnamongirlUF on March 2, 2009 at 5:25 PM

A better question would be, what is wrong with Nuclear power?

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Nothing is wrong with it. In fact, as an employee of the evil oil and gas industry, I would be the first to say that liquid petroleum should not be used for electricity generation. It should be used instead for plastics production, where the return and utility is higher. However, the alternatives for transportation do not exist at this time, so for transport, you still need petroleum. Nobody outside of a large city can get by with a battery powered car.

Vashta.Nerada on March 2, 2009 at 5:25 PM

I’ll be honest. I thought Obama was a radical socialist, but even I never really believed he’d attempt crap-and-trade. And certainly not THIS soon. Which begs the question, what are the conservatives who thought this guy would govern as a pragmatic centrist thinking right now?

Doughboy on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

I wonder if he believes he will only get 2-4 years of Dem control and he wants to push as hard as he can until then.

The sad part is that even the communists were smart enough to enact capitalistic principals in the face of economic collapse…

Bunsin on March 2, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Simple energy plan:
– Electricity: Goal to have primary source be nuclear and secondary be coal. Push to have homes use electricity for all home functions (including heating). Federal government provide low interest loans to finance Nuke Plants.
– Natural Gas: Push to have all fleet vehicles to run on natural gas (e.g., buses, police, FedEx, etc.). Drill for this every where we can. Federal Government get out of the way…no subsidies.
– Gasoline: Use it for consumer vehicles as we do now. Drill for the oil to make this every where we can. Federal Government get out of the way…no subsidies.
– Alternatives: 30 year patents to any company or scientist for major leaps forward in energy production. If you can develop something so great for our society, you deserve to get RICH!!!

WashJeff on March 2, 2009 at 5:28 PM

There are simply no words anymore for this lunacy.

Grafted on March 2, 2009 at 5:33 PM

This should be a surprise to no one. Obama said in the campaign that the price of gas was too low and if left to him he’d artificially inflate the price to ween us off of oil.

We knew this was coming. I’m not sure those who voted for him paid much attention to this part of his speeches.

They didn’t. Nor did they want to pay any attention to the tape where Obama said he was willing to bankrupt the coal industry.

There is just SO MUCH he said that people didn’t want to pay attention to, not to mention his entire history of associations and work relationships – all of which everyone wanted desperately to believe were “distractions.”

He never hid any of this stuff. I was hoping he would get more moderate once he got to play President, but I have been disappointed.

I just hope that at some point people wake up and decide that they really don’t want socialism, a depression, a lower standard of living, and a punishing and controlling government.

One can hope, right?

Alana on March 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM

I wonder what kind of 3rd World country we are going to be, because that is where we are headed, and we are going to get there pretty damn fast, too?

-Dave

Dave R. on March 2, 2009 at 5:49 PM

“regulation”…who mentioned regulation? that is last years word. The word this year is “nationalization”. With nationalization you don’t need regulation. It’s the government. The government can’t be regulated.

“Regular unleaded” gas will become “regulation unleaded” with lead added so it can be sold to cubers for their 59 chevys. “Premiem unleaded” will become “nationalization unleaded” the price of a gallon will go up a bit but they will see it by the half gallon, quart, and pint. “One price fits all”. This is expected to increase fuel tax revenue as more people will pay more for less.

Healthcare will be replaced with wealthcare and if you think healthcare insurance costs alot wait until you see what wealthcare costs. Wealthcare alone is expected to creat jobs. There will be a secretary of wealthcare. A secretary to the secretary of wealthcare. An assistant secretary to the secretary of the secretary of wealthcare. Contrary to popular belief there will be no receptionist. Instead there will be a lobbyist who will double as a collector to save taxpayer dollars.

Thoughts of joining the european union have been abandoned since the europeans claim the US in not in Europe. Instead the north american free trade agreement will be expanded to include trade from the US to canada and mexico. This revolutionary idea was first proposed by bill clinton’s administration but was limited to goods coming into the us but not going out. Our biggest export became jobs….

The banking industry is still in freefall. It’s a good time to buy dollars. The us government is giving the largest bank plenty of dough. Banks claim in they give a few trillian more they will start lending to people again so they can buy cars and houses so the government can tax the rich. The rich will be redefined as anyone below the poverty level and up. This will alleviate the injustice of taxing only the rich. That turned out to be a failed idea when the rich got poor.

The war will be different after we get rid of gitmo and pull out of Iraq We will expand troops into Afganistan so as to find Bin Laden who is in Pakistan. We may or may not attack pakistan even though we want to. It turns out some lady politician told us that pakistan lets us fly drone from there so they must be our friends now. Iran continues to be mean and nasty. We are going to talk to them about being nicer to us. If we don’t succeed we can hold low level dialog and buy them off.

History…thats the stuff that keeps repeating itself. Obama thinks he is abraham lincoln and ronald reagan all rolled into one. The great emancipater and the great communicator. His daily press conferences remind me of FDR’s fireside chats except they were only once a week. His press conferences remind me of jimmy carter and his sky is falling routine. I’m gonna stick with the jimmy carter comparison. Well its time to check the mail….see if obama sent my gas money yet. If should be soon. All my friends with jobs say he’s been collecting from them since january.

kanda on March 2, 2009 at 5:51 PM

The sad part is that even the communists were smart enough to enact capitalistic principals in the face of economic collapse…

Bunsin on March 2, 2009 at 5:27 PM

This explains a lot. http://seekingalpha.com/article/122573-doug-casey-what-to-do-in-the-greater-

Johan Klaus on March 2, 2009 at 5:56 PM

but the increased price of energy will result in substantial costs to all Americans — not just Obama’s 5% at the top

So? It’s all about feeling you did the right thing, nothing about results.

batter on March 2, 2009 at 6:02 PM

We may have to see some people die because of this tax before it gets demolished.

In Florida the elderly and those with health conditions need air conditioning in the summer. If they cut down on use to save money, some are going to die.

Today homes in Florida are not built to be used without AC. Homes are build like square boxes with interiors that are about three rooms deep. Some wall have no windows at all. In some areas they are crammed on tiny lots without trees and there is no room for breezes.

The really old Florida homes had high 12-14 feet ceilings and trees. My great-great grandparents’ house was like that with windows and a huge central hall with double doors to open for cooling. Ranches build in the 50’s had windows and the homes were usually not more than two rooms deep to allow for cross breezes through the house. Even with this kind of building structure, the humidity could be oppressive.

INC on March 2, 2009 at 6:05 PM

I worry about all the seniors who are on fixed incomes who will have to decide between food and heating.

becki51758 on March 2, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Nearly 68 yrs. old, and getting close to what you describe.

Live on a small, fixed income in a very rural area that gets to 20 to 40 below in the winter with an average of 200 to 250 inches of snow. Electrical power is supplied by a local Rural Electrical Association. The rates are the highest in the Midwest.

Heating is by fuel oil. The alternatives are not cheaper by enough to warrent changing.

After 50 years of working hard, and paying taxes every one of those years, Obama is going to push things to where I have to make decisions I never though I would be forced to make.

There are older people, who live around this region, who have already been forced to the wall this winter in the type of decisions you describe. They are too proud to make their situations known, but wonder how this all has been allowed to happen.

The property values have fallen so far that no one could sell and move if they wanted. Besides, there are no buyers wanting to move into this climate at this time.

Next winter is shaping up to be a real challenge.

Yoop on March 2, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Besides, there is but so much coal we can dig in the ground for.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

You don’t know much about North American coal reserves, do you.

The US had 27% of the world’s proven, recoverable coal reserves at the end of 2006. The amount of the total that is bituminous & anthracite is more than double that of the next nearest country (Russia).

Yoop on March 2, 2009 at 6:19 PM

INC on March 2, 2009 at 6:05 PM
In Florida the elderly and those with health conditions need air conditioning in the summer. If they cut down on use to save money, some are going to die.

This will save Obama on social security, healthcare, housing and energy. Could it be, that this is the plan?

Johan Klaus on March 2, 2009 at 6:24 PM

cap and trade =will the last business to leave america please turn the last light out.

wade underhile on March 2, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Well, yes, actually, Johan. And Yoop. If you look at the new medical plan, you will see that Obama is no friend of the elderly.

And we have, of course, already taken a hit on retirement funds.

Best that we just go quietly, don’t you think? Freezing isn’t that bad a way to go.

Alana on March 2, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Johan Klaus on March 2, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Yes, it could be.

Yoop rounds out the other side of my comment by speaking to the problem of paying utility bills when it’s freezing.

Meanwhile Obama will be comfortable growing orchids in the WH, and I’m sure he won’t be suffering from the D.C. humidity.

INC on March 2, 2009 at 7:05 PM

Meanwhile Obama will be comfortable growing orchids in the WH, and I’m sure he won’t be suffering from the D.C. humidity.

INC on March 2, 2009 at 7:05 PM

Thats a little strong don’t you think? You make Obama sound like some kind of elitist. ;>)

kanda on March 2, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Ok, I can’t stand it, I really can’t.

When does the violent revolution begin? Enough. f@#$ing. talk.

Midas on March 2, 2009 at 7:20 PM

This entire global warming/climate change hoax is finally going to bankrupt us completely and for what? For a freaking lie!

All this because Al Gore lost in 2000. He picked a project and his supporters jumped on the bandwagong with him. Since then they’ve been feeding off each other and have created a freaking nightmare. A lying hoax of a nightmare.

I swear, I just want to shake the crap out of every democrat I see.

You say you want a revolution, yeah, you know…

Oink on March 2, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Its all BULLLSHIT…
Sorry
Global warming -> BS as it has been debunked..
Global cooling -> BS as it has been debunked.. but some wonder if its making a comeback or is all of that snow
just the snow job from the GORACLE EFFECT.

Socialism -> BS as it has been debunked..
Communism -> BS as it has been debunked..
Anti-americanism -> BS as it has been debunked hell some feel if the USA wasnt around the entire world would be up in flames by now..

Nationalization -> BS as it has been debunked..
Stimulus bills -> BS as it has been debunked.. heck its actually a blatant RIUP off of the entire treasury.

So far the liberals and obama have 0 wins and 8 losses..
So gues whats comming (cap andf trade in a gas that people exhale) … although i wish they could CAP obama and all the liberals and trade them to IRAN..

Now thats a cap and trade with a win for the USA..

jcila on March 2, 2009 at 7:29 PM

kanda on March 2, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Well, maybe not orchids. Perhaps he’ll just have some ordinary household plants in there to show us he’s really just like us!

;-)

INC on March 2, 2009 at 7:36 PM

I did notice about a week or so ago some photos of Obama working while wearing a sweater (Jimmy Carter here we come!). I thought at the time, someone obviously told him to wear it after all the flak about his hypocrisy for turning up his thermostat.

INC on March 2, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Awww, c’mon, ‘O’ will tax energy, and the industry will pass that on to consumers, and ‘O’ will give everyone a check to make up the difference – see? It’ll all work out.

TinMan13 on March 2, 2009 at 8:06 PM

PARTIAL LIST OF DOCUMENTS THAT BARACK OBAMA REFUSES TO RELEASE -. OBAMA’S SECRECY AND “CLOSED RECORDS” POLICY
Indonesian Passport – Not released
Application for U.S. Citizenship (as former citizen of Indonesia) – Not released
Immigration Records – Not released
Original Vault Copy Birth Certificate – Not released
Certificate of Live Birth – Counterfeit Version on Obama Web Site
Obama / Dunham Marriage License – Not released
Soetoro / Dunham Marriage License – Not released
Soetoro Adoption Records – Not Released
Fransiskus Assisi School Application – Not released
Punahou School Records – Not released
Selective Service Registration – Counterfeit version generated
Occidental College records – Not released
Columbia College Records – Not released
Columbia Thesis – Not released
Harvard College Records – Not released
Baptism Certificate – None
Medical Records – Not released
Illinois State Senate Records – Not released
Law Practice Client List – Not released
University of Chicago Scholarly Articles – None

searcher484 on March 2, 2009 at 8:26 PM

A lot of the justifications tossed out for the cap and trade as related to investing it into the so called green energys (aka subsidise them) recycle back to the Jimmy Carter administration. Carter and the democratic congress implemented a requirement that before a new fossil fuel fired power plant could be permitted, a very involved study was required in order to determine that alternative energy technolgies could not give the equivelent technical result with comparable economies.

I worked for a major chemical company at the time and was pulled into this to evaluate one technology (wood gasification to produce syngas to replace natural gas) in support of the permit applications. Technically is was possible and there was enough slash from logging in the state to support one 1500 megawatt power plant but cost per kilowatt was many times the cost of using natural gas. In the end, we spent towards a million dollars on this paper chase and surprise surprise, natural gas was so much superior, approval could not be sidetracked.

Now of course, the Feds knew this in advance but the main purpose was to feel good about promoting alternative energy technologies and the economy be damned.

Another thing the Carter administration gave us was the Great Plains Coal Gasification plant in the Dakotas to produce syngas. R&D + contruction cost a few billion in 1980s dollars plus they dumped another few billion into operating subsidies into it. The plant only ran a year or two.

Hootowl on March 2, 2009 at 8:34 PM

I am getting way too long winded!

I believe that there are only two technologies that can produce the bulk amounts of energy that could put the USA into energy self suffeciency. The “green technologies” such as wind, solar, biofuels, fuel cell, etc. can only nibble around the edges.

What I am referring to are nuclear and coal, both of which are obviously blocked politically as is hydropower. The technology is on the shelf for both of these and especially with coal, there are some real innovative strategies waiting to bust out.

Hootowl on March 2, 2009 at 8:46 PM

I’m still shaking my head that WV and PA (coal states) voted for Obama. S-T-U-P-I-D ! Voted themselves right out of work. stenwin77 on March 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Maybe they are the smart ones. Obomba will make other people pay their mortgage, he’ll give them insurance, pay them welfare. Why work? Of course this gravy train will only go on till the money runs out.

Herb on March 2, 2009 at 10:00 PM

One line from the Marshall report (see page 26) says it all:

Given these estimates, we can conclude that the costs of mitigation are likely to be huge.

T J Green on March 2, 2009 at 10:23 PM

This will spur alternative energy research as companies will now have a lot of incentive to cut emmissions.

So what?

Do you really think that if it were possible to produce energy that’s as cheap or cheaper than oil/gas/coal, someone wouldn’t have found it already?

We’ve been pouring billions into this nonsense for decades and we’re no closer now than we’ve ever been.

You know what’s going to happen?

People close to the Obama-Mugabe administration will get BILLIONS and you know what we’ll get in a few years?

“Well, we tried really hard but we just couldn’t solve the problem. And we spent all of the money. Toodles, we’re off to Antigua!”

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 4:39 PM

OK, but we REALLY need to get off of oil and gas. Look at what happened during the summer.

Is that our alternative?

There has to be a better way than to keep digging in the ground for our energy. You mean to tell me between hydrogen, biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear, solar, and wind that we cannot come up with something to get off of Oil?

We need the collective willingness to do it. I am sure Conservatives can kind the best option and use THAT to drive home conservative principles.

I don’t see a strong enough case to KEEP using oil for the next 10-20 years.

ckoeber on March 2, 2009 at 4:47 PM

You want an alternative to gas and oil? Nuclear. But building enough nuclear power plants will require years. Until then, we need energy, and the only real alternative is gas, oil, and coal.

So there’s your plan. Start drilling and mining, and at the same time start the work going on building nuclear power plants.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on March 2, 2009 at 11:44 PM

Which begs the question, what are the conservatives who thought this guy would govern as a pragmatic centrist thinking right now?

Doughboy on March 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

They are the ones out there criticizing the idea of Rush being the defacto leader of the Republican party and bleating about how the party needs to “rebrand itself” to appeal to the moderate voter.

AZfederalist on March 2, 2009 at 11:45 PM

If any liberals socialists read this thread, the picture is steam leaving cooling towers. It is not CO2. The non scientific tiny brain of the greenies doesn’t gather that coal is burned to heat water and the hot water turning to steam rotates turbine generators. That is not “exhaust”..
The actual exhaust is not very much but it also has a lot of steam in it. H2O is the next toxin?

seven on March 3, 2009 at 9:52 AM

PARTIAL LIST OF DOCUMENTS THAT BARACK OBAMA REFUSES TO RELEASE -. OBAMA’S SECRECY AND “CLOSED RECORDS” POLICY
Indonesian Passport – Not released
Application for U.S. Citizenship (as former citizen of Indonesia) – Not released
Immigration Records – Not released
Original Vault Copy Birth Certificate – Not released
Certificate of Live Birth – Counterfeit Version on Obama Web Site
Obama / Dunham Marriage License – Not released
Soetoro / Dunham Marriage License – Not released
Soetoro Adoption Records – Not Released
Fransiskus Assisi School Application – Not released
Punahou School Records – Not released
Selective Service Registration – Counterfeit version generated
Occidental College records – Not released
Columbia College Records – Not released
Columbia Thesis – Not released
Harvard College Records – Not released
Baptism Certificate – None
Medical Records – Not released
Illinois State Senate Records – Not released
Law Practice Client List – Not released
University of Chicago Scholarly Articles – None =][/.,

searcher484 on March 3, 2009 at 10:00 AM

The key to energy independence is to do EVERYTHING!

Thank you! By not pursuing every available resource, we are cutting off our nose to spite our face. In another HA thread, there is a discussion of the scientist who testified before Congress about the extent of damage global warming hysteria is causing and the miniscule effect that CO2 has on climate change. Cap-and-trade is a completely disingenuous application of energy policy that further consolidates Democrat power in the WH. The more scientists who speak out on the insanity of man-made global warming, the more Obama and his minions, especially those in Congress, cannot deny the facts. Let’s hear it for real science.

College Prof on March 3, 2009 at 10:54 AM

By comparison to any other so-called “green” energy source, nuclear energy is proven, safe, and enormously efficient. It has the smallest land footprint of any energy source, and its waste can be used in secondary generation systems (see “accelerator-driven subcritical reactors” for an interesting method of utilising nuclear waste for a second tier of fission power generation).
Wanderlust on March 2, 2009 at 4:56 PM

This is very interesting! And informative! And certainly a better way to deal with waste than storing it.

I was at school a few miles from TMI during the 1979 accident. I have strongly opposed nuclear energy since. (Funny, I now live in the Chicago area surrounded by them!) The PA govt has followed a few of my family members to look for any health issues and cancers (everyone healthy). Though I am still a bit skeptical of it’s safety, nuclear energy could benefit from a good publicist.

shades of red on March 3, 2009 at 12:06 PM

shades of red on March 3, 2009 at 12:06 PM

About 450 nuclear reactors running worldwide…with about 50 being built. The United States leads all other countries with 104 online (and one being built, in the Carolinas, if I remember correctly) and France and Japan come in next with about 40-50 each.

Since the 1960’s accidents are rare…TMI and Chernobyl being two of the most highlighted. At TMI the system worked. At Chernobyl, there essentially wasn’t a system…few procedures that had any engineering basis were followed, and sensors designed to help were ignored, and the on-site crews, terribly amateurish.

Overall, the number of events that could possibly endanger a local community, are few, very very few since the 1960’s. TMI was big because the media hype got out of hand from the instant the event happened.

Nonetheless…better PR is required. Also, litigation needs to be looked at…in order to start a new reactor here in the US one would need several hundred million up front to defray the costs of actually breaking ground and building one.

Second, disposal of the waste. Yucca Mountain, our present best bet has passed all the tests, but now, it seems, the “problem” is with transport of waste from wherever to Yucca Mountain. Individual municipalities have successfully filed suits to block the transport of waste through their communities enroute to Yucca Mountain. Thus, with limited rail passage it falls to over the road transport…and this raises the danger, not from accidents, but from hijacking. Air transport? Out of the question…the friendly skies are not so friendly, or at least the failure rate for aircraft (real or imagined) is enough to concern anyone in the flight path, perhaps rightly so.

At present, we have no unified nuclear policy. It has been cobbled together in fits and starts since TMI.

A rational person would say…let’s look at the possibilities. Most are saying, unfortunately…let’s look at the potential for massive mega-deaths.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2009 at 3:06 PM