Democrats & Liberals Archives

Nuclear Dilemma

Shall we or shall we not build nuclear reactors for the purpose of producing electric power? Many say “yes, we need it to fight global warming.” Others say “no, it is too dangerous.”

The dilemma is brought into focus by the problem we have with Iran. Iran says it is building a nuclear reactor for commercial reasons - to produce electrical power. We don't believe them. We think they want to build an atomic bomb. What do we do?

We are suspicious because Iran is building enrichment facilities. Yes, you need Uranium enrichment to produce a commercial nuclear reactor. In other words, you need to separate from U-238 the small amount of U-235 needed to produce power - 3% U-235 will do. Unfortunately the same enrichment process may be used for further enrichment to 90% U-235 - enough for a bomb.

The same considerations apply to any country wanting to develop nuclear power. There are many countries eager to do this. Is it worthwhile taking a chance?

For awhile we had a nuclear proliferation treaty. Once we gave nuclear technology to India, that treaty was shot. How do we control nuclear proliferation?

At present we have a system where it is OK for some nations and not-OK for other nations. J. Peter Scoblic in the April 23rd issue of The New Republic, presents his solution:

One answer, albeit an ambitous one, would be to require all states to forgo uranium enrichmaent and reprocessing. That is, ownership and operation of existing facilities - whether held by private, quasi-private, or government entities - would be transferred either to the IAEA or to a new institution and the faclities themselves would be granted extraterritorial status, like the UN headquarters in New York. A moratorium wuld be placed on new reprocessing facilities and any new enrichment plants that were built to meet growing fuel demand woud have to be intrernationally controlled.

This would be tough to accomplish. If we can't do something like this we are still faced with the nuclear dilemma. In that situation, I would say that we not build nuclear power plants.

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 16, 2008 5:20 PM
Comments
Comment #252977

Paul,
I doubt nuclear power plants are the way to go. They generate electricity, but mining the uranium and disposing of the wastes brings up an additional set of tough problems, including the production of some greenhouse gases. Nuclear power is an alternative to electricity, but not oil and gasoline. Furthermore, would the US agree to IAEA control of US facilities? Would the US agree to cease production of nuclear weapons? Would Israel agree to the same? Other countries?

There is a huge technological step between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. It is extremely difficult to hide the process needed to produce nuclear weapons, and difficult to produce weapons that work.

If a country is dedicated enough to nuclear weapons, such as Pakistan and perhaps North Korea, they will probably find a way to do it.

And if a country is obsessed with doomsday deterrents, biological warfare could be developed in lieu of nukes.

So while we should definitely discourage other countries from developing nukes, that genie is out of the bottle.

The only large scale alternative energy solution that makes sense is solar energy, and there is still a lot to be done in order to make it the solution of choice.

Posted by: phx8 at May 16, 2008 5:38 PM
Comment #252983

www.americansolutions.com is an interesting site and publishes its findings on national issues which is compiled from votes of all three voting blocks, Republican, Democrat and Independent. In parenthesis are the percentage of votes who agree and disagree. This is just a slice of their polling data I find interesting since its cuts across all political lines.

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

* We have an obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation for future generations. (95 to 3)
* We can have a healthy economy and a healthy environment. (73 to 18)
* We can solve our environmental problems faster and cheaper with innovation and new technology than with more litigation and more government regulation. (79 to 15)
* Entrepreneurs are more likely to solve America’s energy and environmental problems than bureaucrats. (72 to 18)
* If we use technology and innovation and incentives we do not need to raise taxes to clean up our environment. (68 to 29)
* We support giving tax credits to companies that cut carbon emissions as an incentive to cut pollution. (76 to 21)
* We want to encourage businesses to voluntarily cut pollution and give them financial incentives to do this but, if necessary, we will require them to do so. (66 to 25)
* We should give tax credits to homeowners and builders who incorporate alternative energy systems in their homes, like solar, wind, and geothermal energy. (90 to 8)
* We support offering tax credits for people who turn in older, high-polluting cars. (68 to 27)
* Climate change and global warming are probably happening. (82 to 13)
* We support building more nuclear power plants to cut carbon emissions. (65 to 28)
* We should hold city governments to the same standards for cleaning waste water as are applied to private industry. (91 to 5)
* We are prepared to use public funds to preserve green space and parks to protect natural areas from development but especially with public and private partnerships. (81 to 15)
* We favor property tax credits to private landowners who agree not to develop their land and agree not to sell it to developers (65 to 30)

OIL AND NATIONAL SECURITY

* Our current dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security by making us vulnerable to dangerous dictatorships. (78 to 18)
* Our current dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic prosperity by making us vulnerable to dangerous dictatorships. (78 to 19)
* We should build more oil refineries in America to lower the cost of gas and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (77 to 19)
* With appropriate safeguards to protect the environment, we should drill for oil off America’s coasts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (73 to 23).

Posted by: Jim M at May 16, 2008 6:59 PM
Comment #252984

Jim M,
“We should build more oil refineries in America to lower the cost of gas and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (77 to 19)”

This will not happen, and there is no need for it to happen. American refineries have adequate capacity right now, and according to the testimony of oil executives before Congress, they have no interest whatsoever in building more. Instead, they have been expanding capacity at existing refineries.

It is also a questionable move just from the perspective of an economic investment. If the country moves towards greater fuel efficiency and alternative fuels, why build more refineries?

If the US stopped importing oil today, we would only have a three year supply. That’s kind of a shocking number. Drilling ANWAR- which I oppose for the time being- would add to the supply, but I seem to recall that would add about another seven years. Off-shore drilling could add more, and exploiting low quality fields would do the same, but really, is that going to be enough?

The changes that need to be made are more fundamental, hence discussions of nuclear power and other alternative energies.

Posted by: phx8 at May 16, 2008 7:19 PM
Comment #252987

phx8, the combined votes of R, D, and I say by a 77% to 19% vote that we should. Nearly every writer on this blog wants the sense of the majority of voting American’s to be followed.

The most recent figure I have on Anwar is a 15 year supply of oil. I’ll show you mine if you will show me yours.

Of course, this recent polar bear protected species crap could make it all a mute point. But, a 15 year supply may be enough time for new technologies to come on-line. And we have tremendous amounts of off-shore oil that is still off-limits.

Posted by: Jim M at May 16, 2008 7:56 PM
Comment #252996

Jim M,
The US uses @ 20 million barrels per day, or 7.3 billion per year. Estimates for oil in ANWAR range from roughly 4 billion to 16 billion barrels, but it is estimated there is only a 5% chance of the actual number being either on the low or high end, and that 16 billion means no holds barred- everything gets drilled. Even assuming the high end number of 16 billion barrels, if the US consumes 7.3 billion barrels per year…

Your higher numbers probably come from the assumption that the US would only depend on ANWAR for 5% of its production, and that the rest would continue to be imported.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Refuge_drilling_controversy

Drilling off-shore would add to reserves, but once again, it comes at a price. Spills can and do happen, and they can destroy fisheries and harm tourism. Oil is a depletable resource. Properly managed, fisheries and tourism are can be economically useful for as long as there are people.

Additional drilling and additional refineries may be favored by the public, but they are not sensible paths to pursue. It means attempting to produce our way out of a problem- more, more, more- even as we know the amount of oil which is economically feasible to exploit is limited.

“In little more than two decades we’ve gone from a position of energy independence to one in which almost half the oil we use comes from foreign countries, at prices that are going through the roof. Our excessive dependence on OPEC has already taken a tremendous toll on our economy and our people. This is the direct cause of the long lines which have made millions of you spend aggravating hours waiting for gasoline. It’s a cause of the increased inflation and unemployment that we now face. This intolerable dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic independence and the very security of our nation. The energy crisis is real. It is worldwide. It is a clear and present danger to our nation. These are facts and we simply must face them.”

Jimmy Carter, July 15 1979

Tragically, the US ignored this clear and present danger. Under the stupendously short- sighted leadership of Ronald Reagan, we turned to a “market solution” and tried to produce our way out of the situation. It worked… in a fashion… for a while… if the criteria is low-priced oil, subsidized by an aggressive military policy abroad, and this foolhardy policy only maintained our dependence upon foreign oil.

It really is remarkable, as time goes by, how Jimmy Carter keeps looking better and better, and Ronald Reagan turned out to be so horribly wrong about what is really best for our country.

Now we’re forced to seriously consider nuclear energy. We all know its downsides. It’s a terrible option. Nevertheless, it could be argued that nuclear power is better than Forever War in the Middle East, occupying Iraq and threatening Iran, or damaging our own beloved land with drilling in the desperate search to feed an addiction.

Posted by: phx8 at May 16, 2008 11:47 PM
Comment #253018

Phx8

You recall that Jimmy Carter wanted to solve the energy crisis with his syfuels program. Thankfully, it failed. Otherwise we would have a lot more CO2 creating fuels today.

Carter talked a good game and told us we all should be poor. He didn’t do anything about it except try to control the price of gas, leading to long lines and lots of misery.

Posted by: Jack at May 17, 2008 12:54 PM
Comment #253021

The question of nuclear power is probably the only issue where I depart from my fellow liberals. Having worked in nuclear power plants, I have some understanding of just how safe they are - and they ARE safe.

Yes, I’d like to see much more solar power and wind power, but nuclear power is FAR more efficient than either of the others. As concerns its mining and production, it is FAR less damaging than the mining and production of coal and oil…and nuclear power does NOT contribute significantly to the all-to-real threat of global warming.

The only real question is the disposal of nuclear waste. We must decide on one disposal site, ignore the NIMBY’s there in the interest of the nation as a whole, embed the waste in glass that cannot deteriorate for millenia, and bury it.

OR we could continue to rely on coal- and oil-fired plants, never mind the pollution at every stage from mining to refining to burning, and continue the world’s Venusian warming trend.

Posted by: Glenn C at May 17, 2008 1:32 PM
Comment #253044

Where are people coming up with this syfuels thing about Jimmy Carter. I’m not saying it’s false, but I look all over the internet every where, and it doesn’t even exist. Please use proper spelling if this is the case. The only thing I think you may be talking about is synfuel or syntheic fuels, which again, we use that already heavily today, although not to the same extent as gas.

Posted by: kujo at May 17, 2008 11:05 PM
Comment #253048

Kujo,
Likewise. I don’t get it. As for alternative energies such as ethonol today, the jury is still out. There are some arguments being fielded against corn as the main source- for example, using it as a source for fuel deprives people of food. I guess it’s my ignorance showing. Why is corn as a source for food and a source for energy a mutually exclusive proposition? I dont’ get it. I do understand the argument that corn is not as efficient an energy source as switchgrass. Does growing switchgrass as a crop take place in lieu of a crop of corn? If producing ethanol requires more energy input than output, how can anyone account for Brazil’s success (which is based upon sugar cane (?). Furthermore, corn is part of the natural carbon cycle. Why would it be a net contributor to greenhouse gases & Global Warming? Intuitively, that does not make sense.

Wikipedia has a pretty good article spelling out the pros and cons of biofuels:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_vs_fuel

The synfuel program of the 1970’s started with Ford, as an obvious way to counteract US vulnerability to OPEC after the 1973 embargo. It was put into place by Carter in 1979. If I understand it correctly, the program was basically a system of tax credits given to the fossil fuel industry for lame efforts related to synthetic fuels. The corporations happily took the credits, but produced nothing useful as a sythetic fuel. Not much of a program.

Glenn C,
Good comment. Like I said, I’m open to revisiting the idea of nuclear power. I’d also like to see a big push in fusion as a source of power, rather than fission.

Jack,
Carter didn’t do anything but try to control the price of gas? If you will recall, price controls started under Nixon. Carter started the process of removing them. The problem was not due to supply and demand within a free or even a regulated market. The problem was due to an oil embargo by OPEC in 1973. If you will recall the Arab states punished the US for its support of Israel in the Yom Kippor War- and later, by problems with Iran in 1979 and 1980.

Posted by: phx8 at May 18, 2008 12:59 AM
Comment #253052

Jack is, indeed, wrong. In addition to trying to control gas prices Carter killed the nuclear industry in this country. He also prevented the operation of two new fuel reprocessing plants as well as the shutdown of West Valley. Now we are having to buy the same reprocessing technology we pioneered from the French (MOX Project).

Nuclear energy is not the solution but it is a part of any comprehensive strategy. I always link Professor McCarthy’s page on Progress and its Sustainability as it has a lot of information on the various sources of energy as seen by a fellow blogger.

Posted by: George in SC at May 18, 2008 10:13 AM
Comment #253063

Jim M Why at this point in time would we want to open ANWAR for drilling when we export oil to foreign countries from Alaska as we speak? Further if we are only using 85% of refinery capacity why would we build more capacity?

If you guys dont mind storing your own nuclear waste in your own backyards Im not against more nuclear energy plants. I just dont want you to store it in my backyard which is also near a fault line. Afterall if you are to receive the benefits of the energy you must be willing to accept the full cost and effects of producing the energy.
I also think that if we are to start a nuclear program of any size it should be tied to the development of electric vehicles and regarging stations as part of a comprehensive energy plan.

The best answer of course is solar and wind power. A decentralized approach that would allow individuals and families a greater degree of control of their lives. Nuclear is so big business and old school monopoly that before long they would have us tied up just as the oil barons do now. Substainability and accepting responsibility for your own energy production is the way to go. Competition from homeowners on supplying the electrical grid with power will cause the power companies to innovate and gain effiencies. A win win for all ideological preferences.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 18, 2008 1:17 PM
Comment #253066

J2t2,
If your backyard is being ruled out for storing nuclear waster, would it be ok to just drive it past our house in a truck, or nearby in a train, or overhead in a plane? After all, it’s a well know fact that trucks, trains, and planes never ever have accidents.

Agreed, if nuclear power is used, it needs to be part of a comprehensive plan. Well said. The auto industry needs to be changed, and everything possible done to advance wind and especially solar.

Unfortunately, the US is saddled with an administration which sees the world through an oil coated lens. We could not be in a worse position to address energy issues because we are crippled by our leadership. Bush and Cheney are utterly unequipped to lead on this issue. Their only solution is ‘more more more’ oil. There are a lot of reasons Bush will be remembered as the worst president in US history, and this is a good example.

Posted by: phx8 at May 18, 2008 1:29 PM
Comment #253090

Paul, nuclear energy will ONLY make sense when all of the following conditions are met:

Safe, permanent, and cost effective disposal of nuclear waste is achieved.

The cost of disposal mentioned above is included fully into the cost estimates and benefits analysis of whether nuclear energy is competitively priced with other alternatives.

We devise some method of preventing nuclear power plants from becoming the targets of choice in violence oriented conflicts.

And lastly, nuclear generated energy is, in the long term, meaning over the life of the facilities, assessed to be the lowest cost and cleanest of all other alternatives, given the other considerations above are met.

Its a tall order. And nuclear energy proponents so far, don’t even want to travel this route for objective comparison of options, for obvious reasons. The profit potential of nuclear power with the advent of taxpayers footing the bill for waste disposal and accidents, is enormous - hence the games nuclear energy proponents play in trying to hide the real costs, dangers, and objective comparisons.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2008 6:44 PM
Comment #253091

j2t2, you are absolutely correct. The profiteers insist on centralized for profit energy distribution systems.

The future demands home based energy supplies that give each building residential or commercial, its own methods of providing all or most of its own energy needs. This provides the smallest possible target for our enemies attempting to cripple infrastructure, provides individuals the greatest flexibility and choice and responsibility for their energy use choices, and lowers the cost of energy for everyone, since shareholders and investors are carving out an ongoing monthly portion of the bill as profits for having done nothing more than lent money to the industry.

Of course, building codes, passive energy designs for homes and commercial buildings, and urban redesign all need to be reviewed and designed to accommodate such a future oriented solution to our energy crisis problem.

The sooner we get started the sooner we can arrive at energy independence.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2008 6:52 PM
Comment #253108

phx8 A nuclear waste driveby huh? I cant quite put my finger on it but it just doesnt sound right. Maybe we should contain waste at the same nuclear facility that generates it.

” All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.
-Ronald Reagan, February 15, 1980”


David, “The sooner we get started the sooner we can arrive at energy independence”

Ya know most Americans have actually started and stopped started and stopped and started and stopped while a few have continued along the energy independence path for years. I agree we do need to continue with and greatly expand upon this previous work as opposed to stopping should energy prices relax in the future. What we really need to start focusing on is water preservation and the wise use of water as part of urban design and energy conservation. Imagine what a couple generations down the road will think of us for using drinking water to make our grass green, wash our cars or to heat our homes.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 18, 2008 11:56 PM
Comment #253109

Actually, Reagan was wrong about the amount of nuclear waste generated in a year at a nuclear power plant. He might be right about the amount of exhausted fuel…but that is not all the waste a nuclear plant generates.

When we worked on nuclear reactors and associated machinery in the Navy, every radsuit (we called them ‘poopy suits’), every piece of plastic shielding, every piece of associated tubing, every drop of primary OR secondary water and every paper towel used to absorb those drops became nuclear waste and would be disposed of as such.

In other words, I wouldn’t be afraid to say it’s closer to several tons per reactor…and that’s for the smaller reactors found on nuclear-powered subs and ships.

Don’t get me wrong - I might be a liberal but I’m strongly in favor of nuclear power. All I’m doing here is to set some facts straight.

And btw - the “father of Navy nuclear power”, Hyman Rickover, DID drink a glass of primary reactor coolant water in front of Congress to prove its safety.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 19, 2008 3:34 AM
Comment #253122

Glenn said “Actually, Reagan was wrong about the amount of nuclear waste generated in a year at a nuclear power plant. He might be right about the amount of exhausted fuel…but that is not all the waste a nuclear plant generates”

Of course he was wrong Glenn it goes without saying, hence the term Reaganspeak. Him and his administration were the best at manipulating the language for their personal gain. Why do you think otherwise intelligent people fell for a political ideology and named it after the master of deception and have adhered to it for so long despite the obvious?

“Until now has there ever been a time in which so many of the prophecies are coming together. There have been times in the past when people thought the end of the world was coming, and so forth, but never anything like this.
-Ronald Reagan, December 6, 1983”

“It’s not a lie, it’s a terminological inexactitude.
-Secretary of State Alexander Haig”

“I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version. -Colonel Oliver North, during his Iran-Contra testimony”


Im not against nuclear power in your backyard just my backyard. The plan to use Yucca mountain to store waste just doesnt impress me much either. Fault line aside the transportation of the waste and the “we will take the energy and ship you the waste” plan seems to be short term thinking to me. Let those that want to go nuclear solve this major drawback and then we can start building nuclear plants in your backyard. Myself I would rather have a wind generator and solar panels.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 19, 2008 11:39 AM
Comment #253131

They are now looking at selling 3,000 dollar cars in India. China is putting 2,000 cars a day on the road. Peak oil is in 20 years or less and demand is growing on a curve that is unbelievable. There will never be cheap gas again.

We will have no choice but plug-in cars and we will have no choice but to use carbon-free nuclear power because sun power and wind power aren’t enough to solve our energy needs and never will be.

The only question that remains is how long can the radicalized left keep America addicted to burning things for power and keep our only real option off the table….carbon free nuclear power.

The glaciers are melting boys….to save the planet we need to build those nukes NOW!

Posted by: Stephen at May 19, 2008 1:32 PM
Comment #253132

phx8. Drinking water to heat homes? So? Such systems are closed loop. It’s doesn’t evaporate and go away. It’s not a blip on the radar or even a spit in the ocean.

My neighbor fills and drains his pool every year. Now that’s a waste of water, lots and lots of water. All that pool water.

Nuclear power in inevitable. Just as it was inevitable that the death-ethanol bill the democrats passed would have to be reversed because it’s destructive to the invironment and killing people by helping to push food costs too high. Scientests were putting out the word it was worse on global warming and the environment and others pointed out it would push up the price of food significantly hurting the poor. The UN was begging us not to do it. But the democrats did it, took a big bow, now Hillary and Obama are saying “whoops”…fuel from food, who knew it was a bad idea? LAUGH.

Food to fuel was always a stupid idea. But right now stupidity and propaganda is popular and considered “wise” in some circles until reality comes crashing in. Forcing everyone to use energy saver bulbs….that have mercury in them…whoops…who knew it might be a bad idea? LAUGH.

Rechargeable cars are inevitable. Forget the hydrogen highway, hydrogen has always been a loser, like ethanol from food.

Posted by: StephenL at May 19, 2008 1:52 PM
Comment #253140

“Drinking water to heat homes? So? Such systems are closed loop. It’s doesn’t evaporate and go away. It’s not a blip on the radar or even a spit in the ocean.My neighbor fills and drains his pool every year. Now that’s a waste of water, lots and lots of water. All that pool water. “

Stephen your right, the much better example is the swimming pool. (I think you were actually directing that to my comments not phx8.)

“Nuclear power in inevitable.”

Maybe so, but at what cost? Short term Im sure we will see reactors pop up but hopefully in your neighborhood not mine. The nuclear waste problem must be solved with a little better approach than by storage in a mountain near a fault line. I’ll take my chances with and give my support to wind and solar for now. That combined with better insulated housing should keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I may have to pedal my stationary bicycle to generate the energy to recharge my electric vehicle but it would do me good.

“Just as it was inevitable that the death-ethanol bill the democrats passed would have to be reversed because it’s destructive to the invironment and killing people by helping to push food costs too high.”

The ethanol bills have been ongoing for years usually under bipartisan sponsership, why arent you giving credit to both parties? The unintended consequences of higher food costs and less food exported to the poorer countries can be overcome long term dont you think? The less milege and gunked up motors from ethanol should be able to be corrected as time goes on I would also think. However I agree its not the solution to a shortage of oil but it can be part of the solution. Seems to work in South America a little better than here right now dont you think?

“Rechargeable cars are inevitable.”

I agree with you on this Stephen.

Forget the hydrogen highway, hydrogen has always been a loser, like ethanol from food.”
Time will tell on Hydrogen cars, ethanol has a lot of supporters in the mid west and I think it will be a local favorite for some time. Who knows about the future of bio fuels. Maybe it will become the edsel of the energy industry.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 19, 2008 4:20 PM
Comment #253157

Kathy, why would anyone wanting integrity in the White House, or a different future than the past, do what you ask them to do.

Hillary said today, she is not for the American people who own a home, have health insurance, can afford the current gasoline prices, or have a job. She is for those who don’t have one or more of these.

Me, I want a president who will represent all American’s. I want a president who won’t demonize the other part and ALL of the Americans identifying with it, but one who will look for common ground for both parties and all their constituents to create solutions to problems that will last beyond a change in party in D.C.

I want a president who, unlike Hillary Clinton, will stand for principles as long as those principles remain valid and true. Not a president who will say anything to any group, champion this policy then oppose it, depending on which way the polling numbers blow, in order to win popularity and power. I want a president who will stand by their judgments even if it costs them the presidency when they know their judgments are the right ones for our nation and people’s future.

Hillary today chided critics of the 1990’s as opposed to prosperity and peace. She knows better than this, but, will say anything for power. Which makes her no better than GW Bush. She knows the prosperity of the 1990’s was a result of the technology bubble, the Republican House acting as a fiscal constraint on her husband’s budgets, and a result of relative peace for the U.S. largely a matter of timing. Had Clinton been reelected a third term, 9/11 WOULD have happened on his watch, and invading Afghanistan would have been Clinton’s choice.

She will distort, deceive, and twist truth, accuracy, and fact to achieve her ends, which means she is a person who acts in accordance to that Bush tradition, the means will justify the ends.

I understand why many Clinton supporters cannot see her campaign and her speeches for what they communicate and reflect about her personally and about the president she would be. Loyalty is blind, and unobjective, and unwilling to lend a critical and analytical eye to their object of loyalty.

And make no mistake, Obama’s policies are not all positive or fortuitous for the Democrats or the nation. But, Obama does not change his policies for power. He changes them when the realities require them to change. Hopefully his shortsighted views on guns and immigration, legal and illegal, will become better informed.

Clinton has played the race card to get elected. Obama, whose momentum waned a number of times, however, never played the gender card. That is principle. And it is a Democratic Party principle. Clinton attempted to claim McCain would be a more capable president than Obama. Obama would not stoop so low as to engage Clinton as disloyal, too conservative, or a Bush/McCain supporter in Democrat’s clothing which he could have done regarding her position on the Iraq war.

If integrity and principle as opposed to power and status quo entitlement are what you seek, it is you who may want to consider switching your vote and support over to the less imperfect candidate name Obama.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 19, 2008 10:52 PM
Comment #253159

j2t2, again, you are absolutely correct. Water is as critical an issue facing our future as energy is. I commend your awareness of this fact and situation. Water sales from water tanker trucks have become the new entrepreneurial small business throughout areas of the SouthWest. Which in turn is requiring some oversight and investigation into the quality of this water being sold out of tanker trucks directly to ranchers, farmers, and rural communities in very short supply. The opportunists are out there and water quality is not their primary objective.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 19, 2008 10:57 PM
Comment #253193

j2t2 I’m giving credit to the democrats for the Ethanol death bill because if it had been a big success they would claim that’s what a democratic congress can do for you.

Well, they did it, and it’s a failure. But you are right, BOTH PARTIES are failing us. Democrats and Republicans. And look whose running for president, senators from the congress that is failing us. My how inspiring. Failures from a failed congress come to make change and lead the way.

From what I’ve seen Obama is willing to lie rather than to change…that concerns me. And he’s willing to hide behind an army of radicalized spinners and recontextualizers rather than face up to the reality that he’s saying or doing offensive things.

I think he’s the next president of the United States and I think that’s bad news for us and bad news for the world.

But hey, If Obama comes into office and does what democrats and Republicans aren’t willing to do….balances the budget, fixes medicare, fixes social security, kills off ear marks to get at Washington corruption. I’ll declare he’s GOD and join the Obama cult. Until then, he’s just more of the same with his 6 figure discount on his house, his pork bills, and his radicalized left wing attacks on the right.

Posted by: StephenL at May 20, 2008 10:35 AM
Comment #253232

This “lobby delegates” thing which has been posted repeatedly is spam, now using the name of one of the authors of articles here. If you go to the site, they want you to pay for them to send emails to the superdelegates. This is solicitation, and should be deleted and banned.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 20, 2008 3:12 PM
Comment #253248

We are fine here in sunny CA but tell me, what are you going to do for NY and Chicago when fossil fuels run out and its zero degrees? No nuclear, we would rather freeze to death. Lets put wood burning stoves in NY skyscrapers to heat them. Bottom line is that at some point do we really have a choice?

Posted by: carnak at May 20, 2008 5:00 PM
Comment #253554

A couple of comments on some of the replies here. One person mentioned that nuclear energy does nothing to address our oil concerns. That is not entirely true. We currently generate 20% of our electricity with nuclear energy and about the same with natural gas. If we doubled our output of nuclear, we could eliminate the use of NG, which could then be diverted to transportation uses. The technology already exists to do this. Since the U.S. has vast reserves of NG, any reduction in oil needed for transportation could directly reduce our dependence on OPEC to supply that oil. Since NG also burns cleaner, we’d reduce greenhouse emissions.

Regarding waste, the U.S. has historically opposed reprocessing nuclear fuels because the waste from such reprocessing, though far less dangerous from an exposure standpoint and far more compact, it’s also compatible with production of nuclear weapons. The fear is that easy to hide + relatively safe to transport + weapons-grade = serious terrorist threat. However, there are some new technologies that result in waste that is safer and more compact without being weapons-grade.

An old friend (our kids old babysitter, actually) now has her Ph.D. and works in nuclear fuels research for the Dept of Energy. She visited us just a couple of days ago and was telling us that the U.S. refusal to reprocess fuels not only leaves 75-90% of the potential energy unused, it also leaves huge volumes (a reactor core’s worth) of highly radioactive waste. France’s reprocessing, by contrast leaves an amount of waste the size of a hockey puck - and it decays to safe levels in far less time (measured in centuries rather than millennia). Disposal becomes a far easier task under such circumstances.

Just some thought to consider before dismissing nuclear outright.

Posted by: Paul Szydlowski at May 24, 2008 9:07 AM
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