Build more nukes or head back to the Dark Ages?

If reducing carbon emissions to stave off imminent climactic disaster is really their main goal, you’d think environmental groups would be clamoring to replace coal-burning power plants with nuclear reactors, which don’t emit any carbon. 

Surprise! Not only are they steadfastly opposed to nuclear power, they’re now arguing that building nuclear plants will actually “set America back in the race against global warming” because – get this – thanks to them, there’s no new reactors under construction, and it could take a decade or more to cut through all the bureaucratic red tape.

A new report by Environment America also claims that even if a miracle happened and 100 new nuclear reactors were built by 2030, that still wouldn’t be enough to meet their stringent carbon reduction targets. That gives you an idea of how much existing power plants that burn fossil fuels are under attack . 

“Today we have cleaner, cheaper, faster solutions that we should be investing in before we seriously consider reviving the nuclear dinosaur,” says Dave Hamilton, the Sierra Club’s director of energy programs. 

One of their solutions (besides nuclear power) is energy efficiency (i.e. unplug everything). Another is using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass (which people used before electricity was discovered) that “are far more effective than nuclear power in both cutting global warming pollution and saving consumers money,” claims Anna Aurilio, Washington office director of Environment America. 
 
“That’s nonsense and they know it,” replied Dan Kish at the Institute of Energy Research. “All they have to do is go to the Energy Information Administration’s home page (www.eia.doe.gov

“Clean energy strategy is not just about renewables. Dan should know that and be ashamed of himself,” Hamilton retorted. “We have a Saudi Arabia’s worth of energy that we can reduce with on-the- shelf technology.”

So if cap and trade passes, it’s either unplug everything your own or rely on alternative energy sources that have never supplied more than a fraction of the total demand for electricity in any advanced industrial society. And it will be literally back to the Dark Ages if environmentalists get their way.

). Both solar and wind are significantly more expensive than nuclear energy.”

Beltway ConfidentialenvironmentoilUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A server greets diners in a Shared Spaces outdoor dining area outside Napper Tandy’s Irish pub at 24th Street and South Van Ness Avenue in the Mission District on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. San Francisco could choose to resume outdoor dining in the wake of a state decision to lift a regional stay-at-home order. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Regional coronavirus stay-at-home orders lifted as ICU capacity improves

Change in rules could allow outdoor dining to resume in San Francisco

A statue of Florence Nightingale outside the Laguna Honda Hospital is one of only two statues of women in The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
S.F. still falling short of goal to represent women in public art

City has few streets or public facilities not named after men

Methamphetamines (Sophia Valdes/SF Weekly)
New search launched for meth sobering center site

Pandemic put project on pause but gave health officials time to plan a better facility

Hasti Jafari Jozani quarantines at her brother's San Francisco home after obtaining several clearances to study at San Francisco State University. (Photo courtesy Siavash Jafari Jozani)
Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student’s bumpy path to SF State

Changing immigration rules and travel restrictions leave some overseas students in limbo

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Outside Lands podcast delves into West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

Most Read