Mitt Romney: “I have a vision for an America that is an energy superpower”

posted at 2:01 pm on August 23, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Team Romney has released their official and detailed energy platform in a new position paper, and Mitt is talking it up on the campaign trail today in New Mexico. It’s all great stuff, in my humble opinion: fewer federal regulations; more state self-determination; more drilling, both offshore and terrestrial; less government “investment” in politically preferred pet green energy projects; a quicker green-lighting procedure for major energy projects and North American cooperation; and etcetera.

A crucial component of Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class is to dramatically increase domestic energy production and partner closely with Canada and Mexico to achieve North American energy independence by 2020. While President Obama has described his own energy policy as a “hodgepodge,” sent billions of taxpayer dollars to green energy projects run by political cronies, rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline as not in “the national interest,” and sought repeatedly to stall development of America’s domestic resources, Romney’s path forward would establish America as an energy superpower in the 21st century.

An affordable, reliable supply of energy is crucial to America’s economic future. I have a vision for an America that is an energy superpower, rapidly increasing our own production and partnering with our allies Canada and Mexico to achieve energy independence on this continent. If I am elected president, that vision will become a reality by the end of my second term.” -Mitt Romney

THE ROMNEY AGENDA:

  • Empower states to control onshore energy development;
  • Open offshore areas for energy development;
  • Pursue a North American Energy Partnership;
  • Ensure accurate assessment of energy resources;
  • Restore transparency and fairness to permitting and regulation; and
  • Facilitate private-sector-led development of new energy technologies.

Amen to that! It’s often said that, under Obama anyways, America is a energy-rich nation acting like an energy-poor nation. There is a huge and booming global market for energy resources, which we have in spades, yet we continually and quixotically take ourselves out of the game and refuse to get in on a market share that would bring in major economic growth and revenue. A national agenda like this would help put Americans back to work and invigorate our limping economy without adding more costly, sluggish bureaucracy to the mix.

I am going to take umbrage with one tiny titular point, however, about Romney’s plan calling for “North American energy independence by 2020.” I realize that ‘energy independence’ is a politically profitable buzzword, but I’m always wary of it: It’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking that we need to be necessarily energy independent. The key to economic growth and robust prosperity is always to purchase goods from wherever they are most cheaply and efficiently produced. I realize there are arguable extracurricular concerns of not wanting to engage in trade with potentially hostile nations, and I actually happen to think that Americans are the ones capable of most cheaply producing energy anyway and that just taking greater advantage of our own resources will lead to less foreign dependence naturally — but thinking that we need to be energy independent merely for the sake of independence could lead to much higher economic costs and won’t protect us from global price trends. Every president since Richard Nixon has indeed tooted the horn of energy independence, but never succeeded in accomplishing it. Just as long as we’re going for that goal simply by allowing Americans to pursue energy-related opportunities, or not, on their own profit-seeking agenda (and not with the government playing green venture capitalist or imposing protectionist tariffs or anything), I’m okay with it — and that’s exactly what Mitt Romney’s plan is proposing, so we’re all good here.


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They have to be acknowledged as a huge part of the problem.

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 2:57 PM

And they have been, for years.

It isn’t just the EPA, or Yucca flats that is holding back nuclear power.

The first bullet point of the plan addresses most of your concerns as well. Numbers five and six cover the rest.

cozmo on August 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

rickyricardo on August 23, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Their are very few countries in the world where you can go ANYWHERE and get a clean glass of water, the USA happens to be one of them

Hipshot on August 23, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Implement measured reforms of environmental statutes and regulations to strengthen environmental protection without destroying jobs, paralyzing industry, or barring the useof resources like coal;

I do not understand this document. I did find this but it wants to strengthen environmental protection. I am all for strong environmental protection however at this point most of what is called that is nothing of the sort. CO2 is not pollution it is what makes plants thrive and we breathe it out. I see little need to make it stronger than it is. It needs to be rolled back. I see no section that really talks at all about how to fix what Obama has destroyed. A long list of all the horrible things Obama has done through these agencies but nowhere any indication of how he would fix it. Just the above paragraph that all but praises what Obama has done. He has strengthened the rules that is for sure.

Can anyone here really argue that Obama would not agree with that paragraph?

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

“We don’t have a definitive solution, we just don’t like yours”…

Timmy

hillsoftx on August 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Can anyone here really argue that Obama would not agree with that paragraph?

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

0bama has proudly come out against coal, drilling, fracking and putting any brakes on the EPA. Romney has taken a page from republican governors and come out against the new EPA regulations that will shut down many coal plants.

So, that means if 0bama did agree with that paragraph, it would be another of his blatant lies. But, that hasn’t stopped 0bama before.

cozmo on August 23, 2012 at 3:19 PM

And they have been, for years.

It isn’t just the EPA, or Yucca flats that is holding back nuclear power.

The first bullet point of the plan addresses most of your concerns as well. Numbers five and six cover the rest.

cozmo on August 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Why not a bullet point Open Yuca Flats and expand Nuclear.

Now 6?

Facilitate private-sector-led development of new energy technologies.

Sounds to me this is Obamas Green Energy Agenda. Government should completely stay out of this. It should “Not interfere with” it should not “Facilitate”. Facilitate sounds a lot like Obama investing in these green jobs.

I am sorry read the actual paper. It is very long on complaints and very very short on any actual plan.

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 3:22 PM

It is not so important to be energy independent as to have the CAPACITY to be energy independent. If no supplier knows that they could choke you by selling their product elsewhere, then they have no incentive to try to do so. Their prices then get dictated only by the law of supply and demand, not by political blackmailing.

I like this plans more specific proposals because they do move us towards having the capacity for energy independence.

DrUrchin on August 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Yucca flats may be a storage solution-BUT-if yucca flats was next to you you would not be in favor.Until the nuclear waste problem is solved I am not for more nuclear plants.

I might feel differently if we were like france or japan with few natural resources.

We have a literal bonanza of natural gas. this is what to fuel power plants with.

gerry-mittbot-know it all

gerrym51 on August 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Because team Romney isn’t stupid enough to give ammo to the other side.

Romney doesn’t need to state every little specific to show the differences with 0bama.

Heck, when he came out with the detailed 57 point economic plan nutballs railed against that as being too complicated.

Or you could wait to see what politicians from energy producing states have to say about it. It shouldn’t take long. I imagine they had quite a bit of input.

cozmo on August 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM

The War Planner on August 23, 2012 at 2:18 PM

…what he may do when he loses with Eric Holder running the DOJ…has me worried!

KOOLAID2 on August 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM

CO2 is not pollution it is what makes plants thrive and we breathe it out. I see little need to make it stronger than it is. It needs to be rolled back. I see no section that really talks at all about how to fix what Obama has destroyed.

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Maybe you should visit the Energy section of Romney’s website where your can find this:

•Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals
•Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities
•Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas
•Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview
•Expand NRC capabilities for approval of additional nuclear reactor designs
•Streamline NRC processes to ensure that licensing decisions for reactors on or adjacent to approved sites, using approved designs, are complete within two years

right of the dial on August 23, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I do not understand this document. I did find this but it wants to strengthen environmental protection. I am all for strong environmental protection however at this point most of what is called that is nothing of the sort. CO2 is not pollution it is what makes plants thrive and we breathe it out. I see little need to make it stronger than it is. It needs to be rolled back. I see no section that really talks at all about how to fix what Obama has destroyed. A long list of all the horrible things Obama has done through these agencies but nowhere any indication of how he would fix it. Just the above paragraph that all but praises what Obama has done. He has strengthened the rules that is for sure.

Can anyone here really argue that Obama would not agree with that paragraph?

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

How in the world do you get THAT from the one paragraph you pulled? It certainly doesn’t “all but praise what Obama has done”. All he’s saying is that we need to reform the regs to make sure that we have a balanced approach (environmental protection and job creation).

changer1701 on August 23, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Amen to that! It’s often said that, under Obama anyways, America is a an energy-rich nation acting like an energy-poor nation.

FIFY

ImageSniper on August 23, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Frankly this is one of those idiotic talking point that always gets me peeved. We can store it anywhere in the desert or secure facility. The idea that we need to have a storage facility that is safe for Elevenity eleven billion years is one of those Wacko ideas that slowly grows on even normal people. How about in cement into the abduction zone in the oceans do it will get dragged to the center of the Earth? How about 3000 feet down in an old, played out coal/gold/coal mine or chipped into particles and pumped into a played out oil reservoir and then sealed with 100,000 lbs of cement? I mean, where do you think the stuff is being stored NOW? It is in the Washington State desert on the Hanford reservation. OMG! We are all going to glow!! Why didn’t the EPA warn us!!

There are many ways to get rid of something for say, 10,000 years. The Liberals want it to be stored for 11!eventy billion years. Actually, their rhetoric is to PREVENT the use of Atomic power all together, not to really find a way to store waste “safely”.

Bulletchaser on August 23, 2012 at 4:00 PM

“I envision an America where the people will be returned to competing with wolves and bears for food. This is the foundation of my environmental justice program”

Say….if you stand under a windmill long enough you can forage for fresh bird entrails…just keep the sharp sticks and flaming torches handy to ward off the carnivores.

BobMbx on August 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Frankly this is one of those idiotic talking point that always gets me peeved. We can store it anywhere in the desert or secure facility. The idea that we need to have a storage facility that is safe for Elevenity eleven billion years is one of those Wacko ideas that slowly grows on even normal people. How about in cement into the abduction zone in the oceans do it will get dragged to the center of the Earth? How about 3000 feet down in an old, played out coal/gold/coal mine or chipped into particles and pumped into a played out oil reservoir and then sealed with 100,000 lbs of cement? I mean, where do you think the stuff is being stored NOW? It is in the Washington State desert on the Hanford reservation. OMG! We are all going to glow!! Why didn’t the EPA warn us!!

I am not a liberal. store it in YOUR backyard.

gerrym51 on August 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

..maybe a little precipitous, but aren’t all of you just absolutely moist (as I am) over the prospect of a landslide and then the moral imperative of asking Obama to relinquish his POTUS-hood EARLY just as those sodding Obama-Tools tried to do for “W”?

The War Planner on August 23, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Maybe we can sell it to Bam and Mooch as a ten-week most wonderful vacation? No matter what it costs, it will be cheaper than his ‘presidentin”.

slickwillie2001 on August 23, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Romney in New Mexico: ‘Energy independence is key to American leadership’
/23/2012 01:52 PM
******************

http://www.humanevents.com/2012/08/23/romney-in-new-mexico-energy-independence-is-key-to-american-leadership/

canopfor on August 23, 2012 at 4:05 PM

How in the world do you get THAT from the one paragraph you pulled? It certainly doesn’t “all but praise what Obama has done”. All he’s saying is that we need to reform the regs to make sure that we have a balanced approach (environmental protection and job creation).

changer1701 on August 23, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Because we watch what he really does, who he hires and what those people do, rather than listen to him. See, when his lips are moving, he is lying. Your attempt to disarm is another example of DWL lying. You know what he has done, but you are saying “Come now, he only means well for the birds and men.” Horse crap.

Bulletchaser on August 23, 2012 at 4:05 PM

How about 3000 feet down in an old, played out coal/gold/coal mine or chipped into particles and pumped into a played out oil reservoir and then sealed with 100,000 lbs of cement?

How about drilling, straight down, into a subducting plate (west coast…where the Juan De Fuca plate is forced beneath the North American plate), to a depth of 20,000 feet, then drop the trash in, then pump tons of concrete on top of it.

Gone forever, and totally unrecoverable.

BobMbx on August 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Mitt Romney Sets Goal Of North American Energy Independence By 2020
Team Romney | August 22, 2012

http://www.mittromney.com/blogs/mitts-view/2012/08/mitt-romney-sets-goal-north-american-energy-independence-2020

canopfor on August 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM

I am not a liberal. store it in YOUR backyard.

gerrym51 on August 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

No problem, as long as you pay rent and we have a registered contract renewable every 1,000 years. Bring it.

Bulletchaser on August 23, 2012 at 4:08 PM

How about drilling, straight down, into a subducting plate (west coast…where the Juan De Fuca plate is forced beneath the North American plate), to a depth of 20,000 feet, then drop the trash in, then pump tons of concrete on top of it.

Gone forever, and totally unrecoverable.

BobMbx on August 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Yep! The oil companies will do it for tax credits.

Bulletchaser on August 23, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I define energy independence as the ability to buy it where we want… and that might be from another country, as long as that is the choice we make, then we are independent.

Now we are forced to buy it from the middle east. We have no option.

BobMbx on August 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM

I live near Hanford. It was just in the paper that one of the double tanks storage built 40 years ago (and that has now reached it’s life expectacy) is leaking from the inner tank to the outter tank. It hasn’t gotten into the enviroment yet, but it is a real problem. They are montoring it daily now and doing extra checking of other tanks.

There are newer and safer ways to store waste but it is taking time to get it done.

That said. Nuclear is a good option, but we need to be very careful.

I believe this technology is a gift from God, and we must learn to harvest it in a responsible way. But we can do that. And Americans are the best equiped to do it. I trust Americans to do it right.

petunia on August 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Yucca flats may be a storage solution-BUT-if yucca flats was next to you you would not be in favor.Until the nuclear waste problem is solved I am not for more nuclear plants.

I might feel differently if we were like france or japan with few natural resources.

We have a literal bonanza of natural gas. this is what to fuel power plants with.

gerry-mittbot-know it all

gerrym51 on August 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Because team Romney isn’t stupid enough to give ammo to the other side.

•Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview

First I stand corrected at least he states this in another plan but it belongs in this one too. It’s importance can NOT be overstated.

Secondly the voters that vote for him have to know what he actually stands for. That document is 97% complaints and 1% substantive plan.

Natural Gas requires a law making suing for Fracking illegal.

Lastly I assume you think I never drove through that part of Nevada. I did will never forget the last gas in 123 mile signs. This facility is far to far away from anything to be a problem. Furthermore the waste is stored nearly a mile underground. Now if the big one happens and Arizona becomes oceanfront well guess if you live in Nevada you have a much bigger problem. There is simply no way that with an earth altering disaster this site would not be safe. Get real you are being played.

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 4:21 PM

cap and tax mitt said that?

renalin on August 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Well, they won’t last forever. They’ll need to have projections on the frequency and numbers of replacements needed, cause eventually they will run out of Bitter Clingers and have to resort to using their Useful Idiots for a purpose other than voting.

hawkeye54 on August 23, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Since they won’t be eligible for free contraception at $3K/year, they’ll soon be breeding like flies; and replacing those who pedal off into the Great Beyond. Why, soon the camps would be overrun with little bicycle-peddlers and Bitter Clingers.

Solaratov on August 23, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Lastly I assume you think I never drove through that part of Nevada. I did will never forget the last gas in 123 mile signs. This facility is far to far away from anything to be a problem. Furthermore the waste is stored nearly a mile underground. Now if the big one happens and Arizona becomes oceanfront well guess if you live in Nevada you have a much bigger problem. There is simply no way that with an earth altering disaster this site would not be safe. Get real you are being played.

stevie,stevie stevie. I know yucca flats is in the middle of nowhere. However the residents of that area-and in vegas-don’t feel the same way.

I don’t live in that area so i don’t care. I know i would not want it near me.

gerrym51 on August 23, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Why, soon the camps would be overrun with little bicycle-peddlers and Bitter Clingers running micro-economies, fully self-sufficient and have instituted the rule of law. Over time, most camps will have to establish security forces to keep out illegal immigrants from the liberal side of the fence.

Solaratov on August 23, 2012 at 4:29 PM

You know its true.

BobMbx on August 23, 2012 at 4:43 PM

No problem, as long as you pay rent and we have a registered contract renewable every 1,000 years. Bring it.

get your neighbors to agree

gerrym51 on August 23, 2012 at 4:43 PM

BobMbx on August 23, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I’ve got to agree. :)

Solaratov on August 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

No reson to store nuclear waste anywhere. Storing was Jimmy Carter’s idea, because he didn’t like reprocessing. Spent nuclear fuel is an economic resource. It can used as a feeder source for thorium reactors, which we should transition to anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power

So, enough of this Yucca Mountain nonesense. We don’t need tto store it. That’s a dumbass liberal idea, like all dumbass liberal ideas, it needs to be dumped.

deadite on August 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM

cap and tax mitt said that?

renalin on August 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Yes but the plan has no real details because Obama would use it against him. Wink wink

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Anyone have the number of that doctor you are supposed to call if you experience an erection lasting more than 4 hours?

phelps on August 23, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Dr. Jenna Jameson.

ToddPA on August 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Watch out – if powerpickle shows up in this thread he’ll be sneering humorlessly at your juvenile comments…. (but hilarious in my little mind…lol)

dentarthurdent on August 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM

We need a place to store the waste first. We have to get Yucca back on track before this can come to fruition. The government has been promising a nuclear waste storage and disposal facility for 20 years. If that happens, we can build as much nuclear as energy companies can afford.

weaselyone on August 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

How about storing it all in the Kenwood district of Chicago?

Happy Nomad on August 23, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I like this plan.

idalily on August 23, 2012 at 5:10 PM

We need a place to store the waste first. We have to get Yucca back on track before this can come to fruition. The government has been promising a nuclear waste storage and disposal facility for 20 years. If that happens, we can build as much nuclear as energy companies can afford.

weaselyone on August 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Cast it into concrete blocks and use those blocks to build the border fence.

slickwillie2001 on August 23, 2012 at 5:17 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power

So, enough of this Yucca Mountain nonesense. We don’t need tto store it. That’s a dumbass liberal idea, like all dumbass liberal ideas, it needs to be dumped.

deadite on August 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Reread the article. Some of the current waste could be used but it will still produce some waste. That will still need stored.

Would it have necitated a Yuca Mountain. No but it is already built and will never need the capacity that is already there. Use it. It should be a much easier sell if we build these reactors that produce very little additional waste.

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

I realize that ‘energy independence’ is a politically profitable buzzword, but I’m always wary of it: It’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking that we need to be necessarily energy independent.

Correctamundo. It’s a nice sound-byte but meaningless. Oil is fungible and if China wants to pay more than we do for the oil we obtain here then China will have it. That said, yes we can (to turn a phrase) reduce the world-wide cost of oil by increasing supply domestically. This will have the effects of reducing our price, picking the pockets of OPEC and Chavez and other scum and creating many jobs. It will also secure our supplies in the event of a large-scale war.

MJBrutus on August 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

BobMbx on August 23, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Exactly.

hawkeye54 on August 23, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Sounds good to this Texan Team Romney.

workingclass artist on August 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM

The key to economic growth and robust prosperity is always to purchase goods from wherever they are most cheaply and efficiently produced.

No, that is only the case when you live in the world we didn’t get.

Leaving aside trade deficits, the ability of foreign powers to cut off the supply of a strategic good and the environmental risks attendant to shipping the stuff over oceans, you may have noticed that the areas of the world with oil often hate us or have agendas which do not correspond to a steady supply of oil for the west (like going to war to settle regional questions).

Many people around the world want us to stay home. We don’t have to draw a border for our national interest at 1st Street, NW in Washington but wouldn’t it be wonderful to trade without the humor of a drug addict? Wouldn’t it make them feel more comfortable knowing that they weren’t about to host a contingent of U S Marines? At least not for the reason that we want to steal their precious oil and gas.

IlikedAUH2O on August 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM

As long as the corporations who drill and seek the energy are held accountable for all environmental mishaps and are prevented from dumping sludge in my water supply, Im on board with R and R.

rickyricardo on August 23, 2012 at 2:22 PM

If that was all the EPA did, no one would have a problem. It is the current standard of ever-increasing regulation with no measurable result (and even negative results) that ticks me off. EPA needs to be pared back to core functions or have those core functions folded into Interior and ACOE then disband the agency altogether.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on August 23, 2012 at 10:33 PM

We need to build at least 30 new nuclear power plants, and every day we delay just pushes the realization of their electrical-power potential further out.

J.E. Dyer on August 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Next time think big. Think Cheops was insufficiently ambitious. Think electricity too cheap to meter. Think in TERAWATTS!! 30 nuclear power plants trifles.

We need a place to store the waste first. We have to get Yucca back on track before this can come to fruition. The government has been promising a nuclear waste storage and disposal facility for 20 years. If that happens, we can build as much nuclear as energy companies can afford.

weaselyone on August 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

The problem with nuclear waste is that the green fascists have prevented it from being properly reprocessed into new fuel.

No reson to store nuclear waste anywhere. Storing was Jimmy Carter’s idea, because he didn’t like reprocessing. Spent nuclear fuel is an economic resource. It can used as a feeder source for thorium reactors, which we should transition to anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power

So, enough of this Yucca Mountain nonesense. We don’t need tto store it. That’s a dumbass liberal idea, like all dumbass liberal ideas, it needs to be dumped.

deadite on August 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Well said. +100

Slowburn on August 24, 2012 at 1:14 AM

They asked Obama if he was granted a superpower, what would he choose.

Well, he was granted a superpower in 2008, when he won the U.S.A. presidential election.

And in the three-and-a-half years since then, he seems to have spent all of his time, when not playing golf, trying to run it into the ground.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on August 24, 2012 at 4:28 AM

The key to economic growth and robust prosperity is always to purchase goods from wherever they are most cheaply and efficiently produced.

Even if its produced by slave/child labor in some 3rd world hovel? Even if the goods produced in that 3rd world sweat shop displace the jobs of your own family members and millions of other U.S. workers? The immoral greed of this generation. Sell their own countrymen out just so they can buy their damned ipod a little cheaper.

Darvin Dowdy on August 24, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Reread the article. Some of the current waste could be used but it will still produce some waste. That will still need stored.

Would it have necitated a Yuca Mountain. No but it is already built and will never need the capacity that is already there. Use it. It should be a much easier sell if we build these reactors that produce very little additional waste.

Steveangell on August 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Oh, I probably understand it better than you given I have a PhD in nuclear risk assessment. The difference between current waste and thorium type reactors (or even reprocessed fuel) is that the waste from those are very small, and highly radioactive. They don’t do a slow burn at moderate (but still deadly) activity rates over a 10000 year + horizon. They burn out fast. One of the reason you need a Yucca is that if you don’t reprocess, you have a lot of spent fuel – by “lot” we’re talking basketball stadium, and since it lasts, you need to put it in an area that will be secure, even if civilization were to fall. Yes, you read that right. Yucca assumes the worst. If you have something that burns out in a few hundred years (which would be significantly less than the waste produced by the normal fissile process) its a lot easier.

I was involved as a reviewer for Yucca. Never liked the future forecasting, which had expert opinions giving equivalent likelihoods to jungle, desert, ice age, or large rain events. Hard to make sure that your waste is secure under every probability.

I never liked the Yucca concept, but like I said, it started as a dumbass liberal idea, and got more expensive from there.

deadite on August 24, 2012 at 9:35 AM

It’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking that we need to be necessarily energy independent. The key to economic growth and robust prosperity is always to purchase goods from wherever they are most cheaply and efficiently produced.

What I see it means is that our assets, sales, offsets our purchases.

So we will still buy, certain commodities, but we will also be exporting and creating assets.

“Independent” doesn’t mean not needing someone, it means having the freedom to choose who to do business with.

If you can dominate a market, that makes you independent and free to make decisions you could never make if you were dominated…as we are now.

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I should add that I am not particularly up for nuclear. I think you should use the cheapest fuel possible for your major source, and add in a mix to make sure you have redundancies. That means gas is best (right now while the govt isn’t blocking tracking and drilling on private land), coal, and then nuclear. Hydro is “built out” – we could add some, but the hassle of dealing with the green weenies isn’t worth it (they hate hydro – check it out – hydro doesn’t count as renewable for California’s renewable portfolio). WInd sucks also – and by suck, I mean it has become so difficult to license it that a major California utility recently laid off its entire wind development staff and decided to no longer pursue it (haven’t seen that in the wall street journal, have you?). And solar? Not horrible from a technology point of view. It produces the most energy when you need it – maxing out in the afternoon when there are lot of air conditioners running.

Here’s the problem with solar. Say natural gas costs $2/W (npv) installed. That is, about $1/W now, and the other $1/W normalized to today’s costs. That $1/W goes partially to the construction crews and engineers who build the plant. The other $1/W (npv) is spent over the next 30 years (and ng plants will likely last longer, meaning the overall cost will drop over time) and more importantly, is spent on the American crews who maintain that natural gas plant, and the American drilling and extraction teams that get the natural gas (or Canadian…).

Solar now costs around $4/W installed. $1/W for the solar panel, $0.7 for the inverter (which has been unchanged for over a decade for reasons you would all be bored with – but trust me, it won’t fall much), $1/W for installation and balance of system (a surprising amount of infrastructure goes into making sure these things don’t fly away…) and another $1.3 for land (unless you are popping it on your roof). The $1/W goes immediately to China, where it is used by the Chinese to power their economy (they use basically slave labor to build them, and don’t use solar themselves – coal is even cheaper, since they can also use slaves, and they have no environmental regs to speak of). The inverter is probably built using mostly chinese,mexican, or korean components, assembled in Mexico. The installers need no real skill (perfect for Obama’s america) to install. The rest of the balance of system (probably $0.5/W) is probably also built oversees.

So, you now have two energy systems. One is domestic, the other foreign. One keeps our dollars here, and is spread over 30 years. The other sends twice as much of today’s dollars oversees, immediately, and keeps relatively little here.

We can’t compete on building solar panels, since env regs choke us (yes, these things produce waste streams, which we are capable of dealing with, but the env regs require even more, and then there are the rest of US domestic sunk costs…)

So tell me, who is outsourcing jobs?

deadite on August 24, 2012 at 10:40 AM

If you can dominate a market, that makes you independent and free to make decisions you could never make if you were dominated…as we are now.

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Agreed. If we are such a powerhouse (sorry!) in energy that if the rest of the world shuts down, we don’t even notice it, then we are truly independent. And that would be a good thing. I’m not an isolationist, but too many young men and woman have been dying in wars where their hands are tied, and where the enemy isn’t worthy of their efforts. I would prefer to put more money into medical and energy technology (for instance, a cure for alzheimers would reduce the medicare budget by 25% – alone) than into training a bunch of neanderthals who turn around and shoot our guys given the first opportunity.

Remember, the first rule in war. Rubble don’t make trouble.

deadite on August 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

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