It's the Environment, Stupid.

Monday, February 20, 2006

G.W.'s change of heart - or is it?

What's up with the Bush Admin's sudden 180 on oil? (Well, I suppose it isn't all that sudden, considering that the push for drilling in ANWR was promoted as an effort at reducing dependence on foreign oil.) But why the shift in focus to tech and R&D and renewables?

AP didn't pick up on it in its article about Bush's speech in Milwaukee , but tucked away in his speech about how great hybrids are, and how great all this new technology is, and how he wants to fund more physical science R&D - is the push for a global nuclear agenda.

Thrown in between coal and solar power is nuclear:
"I think we ought to start building nuclear power plants again. I think it makes sense to do so. Technology is such that we can do so and say to the American people, these are safe -- and they're important. To encourage construction of nuclear power plants, there's new federal risk insurance for the first six new plants that will be built in the country. That's part of the energy bill I signed. This insurance helps protect the builders of these plants against lawsuits or bureaucratic obstacles and other delays beyond their control. In other words, there's an incentive to say, let's get six of them started."

And not just in the U.S. - the Bush Admin is pushing for a nuclear world, in what he calls a global nuclear partnership:
"We're also going to work with other nations to help them build nuclear power industries. And the reason why is this is a global world in which we live and demand for oil in China and India affects price here in America. And so, therefore, if we can help relieve the pressure off of demand for fossil fuels, it helps the entire world."

He also says that nuclear is not only good for the environment, but somehow it encourages economic growth!
"So here is an initiative that affects us here at home, and an initiative that will help others develop nuclear power so they can generate their economic growth. We want people growing in the world. We want people -- economies to be in good shape. And we also expect others to help us protect the environment, as well."

So there you have it. Nuclear power will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Which is interesting because I was under the impression that oil had really very little to do with energy.

Oh, and just a note, (since I seem to insist on referring to the lack of an acceptable solution to nuclear waste in all my previous postings about nuclear power) - there was no mention about nuclear waste in his speech.

Read Bush's speech here

3 Comments:

  • It all makes me very uneasy...

    By Anonymous David, at 00:41  

  • I saw Bush's '180' speech on renewable energy too. Gotta wonder what's going on with his policies...

    By Blogger vishakha, at 11:09  

  • Quote from the speech:

    "And so, therefore, if we can help relieve the pressure off of demand for fossil fuels, it helps the entire world."

    Note, the President said fossil fuels, not oil. And when it comes to relieving pressure on natural gas markets, nuclear energy can do that by displacing natural gas-fired electric generation.

    It's important to remember that CNOOC wanted to buy Unocal for its natural gas reserves as much as anything else. Use less natural gas, decrease international tensions...

    As for the oil substitution, that's already happened, as nuclear energy displaced oil-fired electric generating capacity in the wake of the Arab oil embargo. So much so, that there's hardly any oil-fired electric generating capacity left in the U.S. at all.

    By Blogger Eric McErlain, at 16:26  

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