... Sometime in the next 18 months, Obama will finally bring his carbon emissions program to Congress. At that point, the Democratic Party will split in two. Senators and representatives from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois, which get huge portions of their electricity from coal, will never consent to hiking their electrical bills in the midst of a near-Depression.I think he'll be right. Many European and Asian countries have already gone through this energy debate exercise and concluded that they need to build many more nuclear plants. It's only time until the U.S. comes to the same conclusion...
Obama and Democratic liberals will be at wit's end. After twenty years of yammering about global warming, they will find themselves unable to do anything about it. Will they skulk off in defeat, blaming the Bush Administration? Perhaps. But I think there's a more likely scenario.
Someone in the administration -- probably Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who knows in his heart that wind and solar can't cut it -- will suggest that that a carbon tax be coupled with the revival of nuclear power. Suddenly, the dam will break. NRC regulatory mazes that are still trying to protect us from Three Mile Island will be swept aside. Construction schedules will be accelerated. (The TVA just built a new reactor at Watts Bar in three years and under budget, using a license granted in the 1970s.) Tens of thousands of construction jobs will be created overnight. The French and Japanese will provide the financing. We may even revive the steel industry in the process.
Then, after decades of backing and filling, the nation will at last be back on the road to creating a stable and economical energy infrastructure. It'll be the best thing that's happened to American industry in twenty-five years.
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