Skip to main content

The Dirty Energy Sector

susquehanna_nuclear_plant We were expecting a little better from a story called U.S. Energy Industry Is Wary of Obama, although we think almost all industries are wary of a major change in political authority. Priorities are bound to shift and they have to hope it isn’t away from them. But this story seems to want to go further in its Cassandra-like warning:

President-elect Barack Obama hasn't appointed a single person from the dirty energy sector for his energy team. I'm referring to the oil, coal and nuclear energy industries. This has these industries concerned albeit their statements to the contrary.

Dirty energy sector! We’ll have to have words with writer Dave Giza on that drive-by slur. But when it comes to explaining how nuclear may be facing difficulties, the result is some pretty translucent milk:

Obama said during the presidential campaign that nuclear energy has a role in the nation's energy future but also pointed to its high costs and concerns about properly disposing waste. Dr. [Steven] Chu's most recent job was head of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, which began as one of the government's premier nuclear research facilities and still does fusion and radiation research. Chu signed a paper last summer along with the heads of other national energy labs, extolling the importance of nuclear power's role for the U.S. and the world.

None of that sounds all that dire and is actually pretty accurate. In fact, if anything, Giza’s article seems intended to keep everyone calm, including coal folks:

Others believe that Obama will be lax regarding the regulation of coal-fired power plants. After all, coal is the cheapest energy source next to conservation. The coal mining industry employs more than 500,000 people in a direct and indirect fashion.

We wonder who those “others” are – you may as well say that “others” believe the world is flat.

We hoped for better. We’ll have to settle for being consigned to the dirty energy sector.

Susquehanna’s towers. Dirty, oh so dirty.

Comments

Jim Slider said…
Mark,
In reply to a comment on his article, Dave Giza says, "...I wouldn't completely eliminate coal, oil or nuclear energy. Let us have the complete energy enchilada along with conservation." (URL: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/263906#tab=comments&sc=0&local=)

This suggests the "Gizan taxonomy of energy" may look like the SAT exam question: "clean" is to "-------" like "dirty" is to "enchilada".
Joffan said…
Answer: "tequila"

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …