Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Upset with the President

Okay. Everyone knows I am a huge fan of our president and have been since early in the last presidential campaign. Now, however, I am very upset with him because of his announcement of a new nuclear plant to be built in Georgia.

I am not convinced that nuclear power is the answer to our energy problems. It isn't so much being afraid of a meltdown as it is the unanswered question of what to do with nuclear waste. And when a site is found for it, the dangers of transporting the waste to the site. An additional fear for me is what that waste will do to the environment where it is disposed of.

I know our energy problems need to be solved and I am in favor of drilling for natural gas such as the Marcellus Shale in my own neck of the woods (and not just because landowners are getting rich from it). Wind power is attractive to me as long as precautions are taken against killing large numbers of birds. I'm in favor of solar power and water power but these things are still expensive.

There has recently been a campaign for something ads call "Clean Coal," also endorsed by President Obama. Hate to tell you, folks, but there ain't no such animal. "Clean" and "Coal" do not belong in the same sentence. I know this because I was born and raised in Illinois coal country and now live in Pennsylvania coal country. I'm also against ethanol, which won't sit well with my good friend, a distant cousin, who is an Illinois farmer, but the reason I'm against it is because it takes so much energy to make a gallon of fuel that it's wasteful.

Needless to say, I don't have the answer to the big problems of what to replace oil with and what to fuel power plants with. If I did, I'd be a millionaire many times over. I just know in my heart that nuclear power is not it. I remember many years ago protesting the Vietnam War; maybe I need to get back out there.

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