Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Barack Obama and Bobby Jindal on Energy: No Love, Love

Here is President Obama's paragraph on energy from last night's not-the-State-of-the-Union:

But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest $15 billion a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.

No Love.

And Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, in his not-response, er, response:

To strengthen our economy, we need urgent action to keep energy prices down. All of us remember what it felt like to pay $4 at the pump and unless we act now, those prices will return. To stop that from happening, we need to increase conservation, increase energy efficiency, increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels, increase our use of nuclear power, and increase drilling for oil and gas here at home. We believe that Americans can do anything and if we unleash the innovative spirit of our citizens, we can achieve energy independence.



Pete said...

I would just like someone in the Democratic party to recognize what base-load electrical power is, and the fact that wind and solar are not base-load. Until then, Al Gore's greens will be in control in the party.

Jason Ribeiro said...

I would hope the nuclear industry does not measure the challenges it faces by who "loves" them best. That isn't a winning strategy or good marketing. I'm not making any personal accusations to the author of the post, but to be fair no mention in a speech does not equal no "love". Obama ought to be criticized for a misplaced expectation that renewable energy will make a difference. The Greens with their "rewewables" have done a better "marketing job" all the way to the top to accomplish this mindset than nuclear has. I hate to say it but its true.

If I was the nuclear industry, I'd be gathering linguists, marketing gurus, PR experts and a warchest of money to build a mega-strategy to (re)introduce itself to the world. Start with nuclear and radiation literacy.

To be fair on Jindal, we know that increasing use of nuclear power will not change the oil market. Not unless small nuclear plants gain a foothold widespread on ships and replace diesel generators to begin displacing it in those markets. Jindal has misplaced his affection but the nuclear industry shouldn't be looking for someone to pat it on its head.

Nuclear can and should be the main energy source for humankind for many millennium to come. We are at a critical turning point to learn that lesson. I think learning that the hard way, the "renewable" way, could be avoided if the nuclear industry stands up for itself and grows into that role.

Marcel F. Williams said...

There are strong pro-coal and pro-renewable energy advocates in the Democratic Party. Although a plurality of Democrats support more nuclear power plants, there's a strong anti-nuclear contingent in the Democratic Party especially amongst women who are the majority of the Democratic Party.

However, support for nuclear expansion is very strong amongst Republicans and Independents. That's why I was hoping that the Republicans would help to amend the stimulus package with more support for nuclear energy. Unfortunately, the Republicans felt it was more important to oppose the stimulus package instead of fighting for increased loan guarantees for nuclear energy in the package.

Hopefully, this will not be the case when a comprehensive energy bill is finally decided on in the near future. Without nuclear energy, CO2 cannot be halted and energy independence from foreign energy sources cannot be achieved.

Marcel F. Williams

Matt said...

Jason: 10% of the diesel fuel used in the US is to power trains and ships which transport coal to power plants.

Egy Azziera said...

First off we would like to congratulate you on your fine public speaking skills. It looks like those who said the Obama Administration would strike while the iron is hot may have been correct, and the Administration may be doing it in a way that does not require them to even get a vote in Congress.