Maybe the Germans have paid attention to the energy debate here in America, but Americans should certainly pay attention to the energy debate in Germany. During Gerhard Schroeder’s tenure as Chancellor (and before becoming Vladimir Putin’s lackey at Gazprom), his government passed a mandate to shut down all of the country’s nuclear reactors by 2021. Now Germany, faced with a failed promise of plentiful energy from alternative sources, may extend that deadline or rescind it altogether:
It’s no secret that not everyone in Germany is happy with the country’s plan to shut down the last of its nuclear reactors in a decade and a half. Rising energy prices and concerns about the CO2 emissions of coal-fired power plants have many, particularly on the right side of the political spectrum, pushing for the government to reverse a law passed in 2000 mandating the shut down of all nuclear power facilities by the beginning of the 2020s.
Now, talk of “phasing out the phase-out,” as the German media is fond of calling it, seems to be getting more serious. According to news reports on Tuesday, an internal working group within the German Economics Ministry has circulated a paper recommending that the country’s 17 remaining nuclear reactors remain in operation at least eight years longer than currently planned. …
The Economics Ministry immediately fired back with a statement on its homepage. “Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel should cease lashing out at all those who scrutinize the future of the power supply and energy security,” the statement, written by ministry deputy Peter Hintze, reads. “It is vital that an industrialized country with 82 million inhabitants not march blindly into the power supply abyss (more…).”
When Germany passed the phase-out law eight years ago, the plan was for renewable energies to develop to the point that they could take up the slack from atomic power. Great strides have been made, but it is likely that Germany will have to increase its reliance on coal-fired power plants in lieu of nuclear energy, thus emitting more CO2 into the atmosphere.
Marching blindly into a power-supply abyss? That’s practically been the explicit platform of Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats in 2008. As in Germany, Obama and his party have made promises of plentiful energy supply from unproven resources. We keep hearing that Obama and the Democrats will sink huge amounts of money into technologies that Europe has researched for years as well as the US, and which still cannot generate the kind of power needed to keep our economy and our standard of living at their current level, let alone improve them.
The Germans, on the cusp of killing off the one clean-producing electrical industry that is proven, suddenly realize that they’ve been had. Now they want to undo the mandate that will leave their economy in a shambles or will force them to use high-polluting generation to make up the gap. Will Americans wake up in time to prevent this from happening here?