Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mike Thomas: Florida Needs More Nuclear Power

In today's edition of the Orlando Sentinel, columnist Mike Thomas is connecting all the dots when it comes to nuclear energy, economic growth and energy security.

In short, he's a supporter of plans by Progress Energy to build a new plant in Levy County, and thinks the state needs to build a lot more. On the environment:

When I explained this to one of my liberal editors, he started moaning about radioactive waste plaguing mankind for thousands of years.

Actually, nuclear power forces us to confront our waste in a neatly condensed, glowing brick. We can't just shoot it up the chimney and forget about it.

There is too much pollution for dilution to continue being a solution. The globe is getting too hot. The seas are rising too fast. The hurricanes are getting too strong.

And all of the above have a disproportionate negative impact on Florida.

What kind of high ground will we have in blocking offshore drilling for natural gas when we are a leading consumer of it?
On energy security:
This is an economic necessity as much as an environmental one.

Florida's energy use will grow by 30 percent in the next decade. Like the rest of the country, our plan is to meet the demand by building more plants that burn natural gas. These are the cheapest to build because they don't require the elaborate scrubbers put on coal plant smokestacks to clean pollutants.

They are the easiest plants to get through the regulatory process.

We are repeating the same mistake we made with oil. Once, we could produce enough to meet demand, but those days are over. As it happened with oil, we are getting tapped out.

Our natural gas production has flat-lined while usage goes up. This means we will become more dependent on foreign providers.

The biggest reserves are in the Middle East and in and around the former Soviet Union. Let's become more dependent on tyrants so we'll get sucked into more wars to protect our economy.
Read the rest right now. For more local reaction to the announcement, click here.

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2 comments:

Kirk Sorensen said...

"There is too much pollution for dilution to be a solution..."

That's fantastic---NEI should make that their motto!

Anonymous said...

Seconded. Great Insight, and post.