By Alan Caruba
It was good news that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the nation’s first nuclear power plants on February 9th, clearing the way for the construction of two reactors by Southern Company at its Plant Vogtle site near Atlanta, Georgia. The bad news is that these are the first new nuclear plants since 1978!
In a nation with a growing population and increasing need for electricity to power homes and businesses, it is nothing less than insane to not include nuclear energy in the mix of providers. Environmentalists immediately attacked the announcement using the usual scare campaigns.
Equally insane is the failure to provide the means to safely store the radioactive materials that result. Highly contested by environmentalists, the Nevada-based Yucca Mountain deep geological repository storage facility for spent reactor fuel was cancelled in 2009. Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid, Majority Leader in the Senate, played a major role in this disgraceful decision. The Obama administration terminated funding for the development of the site in 2011, leaving the nation with no long-term storage site.
In a similar fashion, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has waged a long war on the provision of energy; most recently with the imposition of its Utility MACT rule on plant carbon dioxide (CO2) and mercury emissions, neither of which pose any threat. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, decried the rule as one “intended to undermine the viability of coal, one of our country’s most abundant and reliable energy sources.”
Despite having spent billions to meet the demand for upgrades of the technology to trap such emissions, coal-fired plants all over the nation are in the process of being closed as a result of the MACT rule. These “greenhouse gas” rules are baseless insofar as CO2 is not a pollutant and is vital to the growth of all vegetation on the planet. There is no proof that minor mercury emissions represent any threat to public health.
The EPA use of bogus “computer models” to support wild health claims argues for an end to this agency and the return of its responsibilities to state environmental agencies.
In January, the American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the leading authority, warned that “environmental regulations are shown to be the number one risk to reliability over the next one to five years.”
The Institute for Energy Research has stated that “Beyond the 38 gigawatts of electricity capacity that has already been announced to retire, NERC estimates that another 36 to 59 gigawatts of capacity will come off-line by 2018, depending on the ‘scope and timing’ of EPA regulations. Together, nearly a quarter of our coal-fired capacity could be off-line by 2018, marking the first time in energy history that installed coal-fired capacity has declined.”
This is a threat to the viability and security of a nation that sits atop the largest deposits of coal in the world! It is a nation in which coal provides 50% of its electricity.
In a similar fashion, environmentalists, after a long propaganda war against coal, have launched an equally massive campaign against natural gas, attacking the use of “fracking”, a technology that has been safely used for the last fifty years or more to access equally vast reserves of natural gas.
Likewise the cost of automobiles has been systematically driven up by the wholly false EPA assertion that their CO2 emissions represent a threat to clean air. The imposition of a mandate to mix gasoline with ethanol has resulted in greater CO2 emissions while, at the same time, reducing the mileage of cars. In addition, the use of food crops like corn for the production of ethanol, have driven up food prices.
Anyone who has lost electricity due to a blizzard or a hurricane knows how totally dependent the nation is on reliable and affordable electricity, and knows how totally dependent they are on is provision.
The simple fact is that the present and prior administration’s EPA, the Department of Transportation, and others have been lying to Congress and the American public for years regarding their claims about air pollution and energy provision. The Interior Department just put uranium-rich acres of land off-limits to mining.
Environmental organizations and special interest groups like the American lung Association are a fifth column of enemies within the nation.
The global warming hoax—now called climate change—is on its last legs. Nations around the world that have wasted billions on the claims made for “renewable” energy, solar and wind, are pulling back from further support. The “science” behind these claims has been totally and utterly refuted.
Even the United Nations, the source of the global warming hoax, is now switching its debased claims to a new hoax based on so-called endangered species.
The loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the energy and transportation sectors, as well as energy-intensive industries, is incalculable. EPA demands and mandates are deliberately undermining the nation’s economy.
The lives and safety of Americans are under attack by environmental organizations and, if they are successful, the only outcome would be the deaths of millions here and around the world from hunger and the lack of power to turn on the lights, heat and cool homes, and power industries.
The planet is not running out of oil, coal, or natural gas. It can use more nuclear power, not less.
We are witnessing an environmental attack on American energy and, ultimately, on America.