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Romney's "Screw the Future" Energy Plan

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Initial post: Mar 17, 2010 1:12:40 PM PDT
W. Wilson says:
In the section "The Game Changers" in Romney's book, we find the following sentence:

"Nuclear, natural gas, coal, and additional drilling for oil will help a great deal in moving us toward energy security."

(Before people jump on me for not including the rest of the paragraph: I don't because Mitt simply pays lip service to alternative sources of energy. He's not really all that interested in funding alternative energy research, and it shows.)

It would seem that Romney is willing to trade "energy security" for the INsecurities, if not downright dangers, of nuclear, natural gas, coal, and additional drilling!

First, nuclear: VERY expensive and dangerous. Nuclear waste a hazard to future generations.

Second, coal: Dirty technology; causes increase in asthma cases, possibly deaths from particulate contamination, and ruins forest and lakes with acid rain.

Drilling for oil: Wrecks the environment; drives out native species and mars the landscape. The toxicity and expensive clean-up of oil spills.

Imagine the world 8 years after a Romney presidency: more toxic, but with more "dirty energy" millionaires.

Posted on Apr 6, 2010 7:57:05 PM PDT
J. POLLARD says:
I presume you agree with Romney on Natural Gas as an important component of energy security?

Nuclear is the safest, cleanest, most efficient and most reliable from of energy. We understand the dangers of the waste and that can be handled easily. Sometimes the waste can even be recycled and used again. Also, the waste could be used for heating and other purposes and it would NOT be dangerous...the public image of Nuclear is just negative.

Clean coal has come along way in the past decade. The ability to capture the carbon dioxide and store it is huge. Craig Venter & Co are currently working with a bacterial species that can convert CO2 into hydrogen...imagine coupling those two technologies!

Drilling for oil can be done cleanly and is on a regular basis.

Bottom line, we have certain resources that we should use and exploit and retain that wealth in our own country. Also, at no point in the read did Romney state he was against wind, solar, etc...until those technologies are more efficient, they are very unreliable.

Too bad the Obama administration is moving away from has it's disadvantages, but it has great potential. Especially with the new catalysts that make it easier to produce using solar, wind etc.

I do disagree with Romney on subsidizing corn ethanol. That is a big mistake. Ethanol as a fuel is NOT a good idea, especially when combined with hydrocarbons for combustion use.

Anyway, Romney seems to be an open-minded individual when it comes to energy. I think he understands that energy security will not come from a single activity; it will be a combination of multiple industries.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2010 10:04:34 PM PDT
W. Wilson says:
Jake E. Pollard wrote:

"Nuclear is the safest, cleanest, most efficient and most reliable from of energy."

It seems safer than it really is. Let's look at the process of putting a reactor on-line and keeping it on-line:

First, nothing's safe about mining for uranium, one of the first steps in the process. People who work around uranium and its by-products are at a higher risk for developing cancer. No doubt this job will be handed out to some unlucky person(s) in a developing country. Also, trucks that are used to haul the uranium, process it; other trucks that haul construction materials and workers to/from the plant contribute to carbon emissions.

Nuclear plants are storing radioactive waste in dry casks that are nearing capacity at facilities in the United States. Currently, there is no permanent repository in the US for the waste.

Romney and others tout them as "clean" because the plants don't emit CO2; but cases of radioactive water accidentally spilling out of plants into the surrounding area are not unheard of. And some of the older reactors, such as Vermont Yankee, have recently been found to be leaking tritium and even more recently the deadly cesium-137. The latter is water soluble, can cause cancer for 30+ years, and could find its way into the water table.

Further, the National Cancer Institute (I believe that's where I read the most recent report; don't quote me on it) finds higher levels of cancer in individuals living near plants. This flies in the face of other studies I've read, such as the one for the area surrounding Three Mile Island. But I've been reading more bad than good studies about the correlation between living near a plant and developing higher-than-average cases of cancer.

You also wrote:

"We understand the dangers of the waste and that can be handled easily. Sometimes the waste can even be recycled and used again."

I'm not aware that the waste is recycled in the US to the extent that it is in France. Even in French facilities that recycle waste, some residue remains that is not potent enough for further use in a reactor yet is still highly radioactive and deadly. I think that the facility that reprocesses the waste sends the waste that cannot be processed further back to the plant.

"Also, the waste could be used for heating and other purposes and it would NOT be dangerous...."

Not sure what you mean by "heating and other purposes." ... can you elaborate?

I do know that a nefarious use for the waste would be in a so-called "dirty bomb." Since 9/11 security around US reactors has been tightened. Although, to be fair, no dirty bomb has been used.

I hope Romney is open minded enough to consider the impact and the feasibility of proceeding with nuclear. We've already spent billions on this industry since the 1950s (when they said the electricity it produced would be "too cheap to meter"!). Might it not be time to make the same commitment to sustainable energy?
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Participants:  2
Total posts:  3
Initial post:  Mar 17, 2010
Latest post:  Apr 6, 2010

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No Apology: The Case for American Greatness
No Apology: The Case for American Greatness by Mitt Romney (Hardcover - March 2, 2010)
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