"Nuclear power is a dead-end in California, and we shouldn't be wasting resources on such an expensive and problematic energy option," said Bill Magavern, director of Sierra Club California. "We have far cleaner, cheaper and safer energy resources like solar, wind and geothermal, and we should be investing in those."
Well, that's not very positive, is it? After all, the Santa Anna wind doesn't blow all the time, and although they do have some very large deserts, they unfortunately lurk under moonlight half the time. But California, which gets about 15% of their electricity from nuclear energy - from two plants in the state plus another over in Arizona - is becoming uneasy about reaching their carbon emissions goal. Consequently, nuclear energy keeps entering the conversation.
This story from the Sacramento Bee rounds up the attitudes about nuclear energy in the state. Once you've got the Sierra Club out of the way, things start looking up.
"It drives me nuts when I go over to France and they get 80 percent of their power with no greenhouse gas emissions whatsoever from nuclear power. And they have been safe, they have been handling it the right way and they are building some more. So I think we should look at that again and revisit it."
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger then removed thirteen bullets from his stomach and legs and stitched up the wounds with a rusty needle. He's right on the nose, though, about nuclear energy and it's only a shame he doesn't want to expend political capital on overturning the ban on new plants there.
You might call his recent statements trial balloons, though, especially in light of this:
A Field Poll released in July showed that 50 percent of voters support building new nuclear plants in California, compared to 41 percent who are opposed. In 1990, only 38 percent supported new plants.
So that might mean getting the ban overturned by referendum (which they love in California) or perhaps the legislature will just do it on their own account since they have some political cover.
One point not mentioned in the story: however tomorrow's Presidential race turns out, we owe it to John McCain for openly supporting nuclear power and being loud about it - loud enough, in fact, to make his listeners rethink opposition to it. We can't say that this had an effect on this poll or any other (nuclear has seen improvement in the polls for awhile), but we think it a cultural sign that supporting nuclear energy is not a campaign killer.
Okay, you know we wanted to get something from Conan or Predator for our picture, but we couldn't bring ourselves to do it. Besides, with what looks like an official portrait complete with politician pointing - they love to point, the politicians - Schwarzenegger may be considering a less strenuous role if he returns to acting - like, say, Merlin the Magician. (But does any actor-politician ever return to acting - hmm, Fred Thompson, maybe?)