Skip to main content

Focus On the Energy Bill: What Choices Do We Have on Clean Air?

Even among the most educated, there seems to be some debate over whether human activity, specifically the emission of greenhouse gases (or GHGs) is having an impact on global warming. Never absent from the discussion are the "“hockey stick"” graph, movement of algae in the oceans, and "natural" temperature variations. On one end of the spectrum are those who tell us it'’s already too late. On the other end are those who tell us that our global impact is nil. Then there are the climate "agnostics" who aren't willing to say one way or the other.

If you are anything like I am, you probably fall into the category of "“cautiously aware."”

On one hand, the optimistic in me says that no matter how hard we try, we cannot have an impact on our global environment.

On the other hand, the realist in me says that the emission of several billion metric tons of carbon into the air each year, which has been neatly sequestered beneath the ground for a staggering amount of time, cannot go completely unnoticed by mother earth. In these dog days of summer, it doesn'’t take a Ph.D. in environmental science to notice the clouds of haze hovering above our cities. Additionally, even if there is no GHG effect, then how can we ignore the emission of millions of tons of NOx, SOx, mercury, and other pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, but the proper use of renewable energy sources, plus conservation, plus non-carbon-emitting nuclear energy can provide a great deal of help in reducing it. But, until Congress can pass a national energy policy that supports nuclear energy, it appears that we will soon find out who is right about GHGs.

And, the pessimist in me says that the winner will not get any pleasure out of saying, "I told you so."”

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…