Videos: John Edwards is a nuke power Luddite; Obama explains his energy bill vote

These clips are from last night’s Democrat debate. In the first, John Edwards is asked about energy. He opposes building new nuclear power plants but also opposes US exploration and exploitation of new domestic fossil fuel sources. Leaving…what, exactly, to provide for our growing energy needs? Edwards favors the usual liberal bromides, biofuels, wind and solar. But left out of his answer is that increasing biofuel use is both inefficient (you have to put more energy into creating the biofuel than you get out of it) and puts more pressure on our food supply, which will drive up the price of staple foods. Solar hasn’t yet become efficient enough to become a dominant energy source, and the large windmills that are necessary to increase wind power use create their own environmental issues and are opposed for aesthetic reasons by liberals like the Kennedy clan. Edwards ends up opposing even doubling the number of worldwide nuclear power plants if that were possible, because it would “only” deal with 1/7th of the world’s greenhouse gas problem. But isn’t that quite a lot of capacity and quite a lot of effect on greenhouse gases that Edwards would unilaterally turn down?

And Edwards even opposes building new domestic coal fired power plants, not for any energy reason, but for environmental reasons.

The other silly part of Edwards’ answer is his insistence that the oil companies have a stranglehold on US energy policy. The fact is, we’re not exploring and exploiting all of our potential domestic resources, and we’re allowing the Cubans to allow the Chinese to explore oil sources 50 miles off our coast. The oil companies are wealthy and they are powerful, but it’s hard to factually argue that they have a stranglehold on our energy policies. We haven’t built new oil refineries in the US in decades. We can’t explore ANWR even though the people of Alaska favor that. We’re not building oil drills off the coast of California and Florida. All of that is tied to environmentalist concerns, not the oil companies, and that’s the reason we are so dependent on foreign sources of oil.

Here’s Obama’s answer to why he voted in favor of the energy bill. Obama recognizes that there needs to be a balance between energy and environmental needs. His cap & trade idea is similar to McCain’s, though, and according to the Heritage Foundation, would raise the cost of energy for very little environmental gain.