Friday, November 7, 2008

Robert F Kennedy Junior?! Oh HELL NO!

There is an ugly rumor ciculating around that Obama is considering putting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency. It is too early to confirm or deny the probability of this happening, but if it does the fate of energy production in the US is in BIG trouble. Not only was he fighting to shut down the Indian Point nuclear power plant, but he also wants to phase out all fossil fuels INCLUDING nuclear power! He feels that solar, wind, and biomass would be enough to satisfy the growing US demand for energy!

This experiment has already been tried by Germany, and look what happened. Der Vaterland is now on its way to being covered by a massive grey cloud as a result of all of the coal smog that is being churned out. Germany outlawed the construction of new nuclear plants back in 1998. This caused a major energy shortage so now new lignite-burning coal plants are being built to take up the slack when the promise of renewable energy fails to deliver which is unfortunately most of the time. If we follow suit, it would be even worse than Germany since we do not have any nearby countries to buy electricity from since Germany is riding on France's nuclear infrastructure.

Why do "environmentalists" keep lumping nuclear power in with fossil fuels? I will say it now, and I will say it again, WE NEED NUCLEAR! Nuclear is the only option if we want to rid ourselves of fossil fuel dependence. If you care about the environment, you are going to have to support nuclear power. It is the only alternative that is free of emissions yet produces enough energy for base load power generation. Wind and solar actually lead to increased dependence on fossil fuels in the form of backup generators using natural gas. Wind and solar power are too unreliable to contribute to the energy grid in any practical fashion. Biomass is the exception in that while it is reliable, it also produces large amounts of pollution in the form of smog and particulate matter as it basically comes down to burning obscenely large amounts of wood and garbage on a daily basis.

I apologize if I have offended any of my dear readers here with my small emotional outburst but I am tired of bad science and bad economics being used to justify impractical energy policies for political expediency. I am not sure if Robert F. Kennedy Junior would make it through the Senate conformational hearing but this is exactly what I meant in my earlier post in regards to my fear of the anti-nuclear politicians of the extreme left.

Perhaps I am overreacting. I do not regret my voting decision, but I am worried that we might see a return of the anti-nuclear brigade in Washington rather than a serious evaluation of our national energy policy. However, it is still better than facing another round of the neo-authoritarian religious right in the form of the current day Republican party. I digress.


Jason Ribeiro said...

Interesting, I was not familiar with RFK Jr as being a vehement anti-nuke. But now that you bring attention to this, I think it sheds light on a bigger issue of the new Obama administration. The issue of energy delegation. Already, Eric Schmidt from Google sits on his economic advisory board. Schmidt has swallowed the Lovins energy philosophy hook line and sinker. As Schmidt's background is in computer tech, I don't see how he is qualified to speak about economic issues as a whole, especially when he has shown that he can be so easily duped into supporting a nonsense energy plan. Moreover, I'm a bit bothered by the inclusion of CEO's in such an advisory board.

If Obama slants a number of appointees as heads of the NRC, EPA, DOE, and so on toward a renewable/anti-nuke crowd, then yes, the nuclear industry could be in for a setback. Giving out positions to noteworthy names such as RFK Jr because of their name reputation is bothersome. I am really hoping that people will be chosen for their qualifications like any other job and not because of name recognition, status, or party.

Neurovore said...

As the appointee for the EPA position is still unknown, I will reserve judgement. RFK Jr. is only one possibility. I know rumors were flying about Hillary Clinton being Obama's running mate for awhile but it never came to pass.

Keep in mind though, this does not mean that I would have been happier with McCain.

George Carty said...

As for Germany, I have made a poster which could be useful to opponents of the nuclear phase-out there.

It likens Gerhard Schroeder (who imposed the phase-out) to Erich Honecker (former leader of the East German puppet regime), calling both "Russia's lackeys".

Neurovore said...

Nice job. I heard that Germany's citizens are having an increasingly positive opinion of nuclear power despite the wrongheaded policies by the current administration. As it is, coal is making a mockery of their supposed dedication to the environment.

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the wrongheaded policies with the current administration. Coal is making a mockery of their supposed dedication to the environment, as it is.
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