Letter: End our reliance on foreign oil
Vail CO, Colorado
I would like to address two of our problems ” global warming and energy independence. First of all, the most effective action against global warming would be to produce all of our electricity without generating any CO2. That is only possible by using nuclear power instead of coal or natural gas.
I would like to remind you that we now have 104 nuclear reactors providing 20 percent of our electric power. They operate reliably and have not experienced any “incident” during the past 28 years. (In 1979 the Three Mile Island plant had a problem, which in fact caused no deaths or injuries). Most importantly ” nuclear plants generate NO atmospheric pollutants!
As of now, the operating costs for nuclear power are reasonable, however the construction costs for new plants are high; the basic reason being that they are being ordered and manufactured in very limited quantities. (Imagine the cost of a new computer if the manufacturer was only producing one or two at a time.) Therefore, my suggestion would be that the government order a large quantity of plants of one of the already approved designs. The plants would then be re-sold, at government cost, to various utilities. The end result would be no atmospheric pollution, much less expensive plants for the utilities and therefore lower electricity bills for the consumers.
Since we would then be producing clean power, we should promote the manufacture and use of electric cars. For many of us who drive locally, owning an electric car, albeit with limited mileage between re-charges, would not be much of an inconvenience. For those folks whose usage of their automobile precludes them from frequent re-charging, the use of a hybrid would be a viable alternative.
The net effect of the two programs would be to eliminate atmospheric emissions from power plants (which is the major cause of atmospheric pollution) and drastically reduce emissions from automobiles. Furthermore, the reduced use of gasoline would enable us to achieve complete independence from Middle East oil. And finally, I believe that lower costs for both electricity and gasoline would result.
I do understand that jobs in the coal mining and railroad businesses would be eliminated, however jobs in manufacturing and construction would be added. I also understand that there are other considerations (like the storage of nuclear waste ” which, incidentally, we are storing now without incident), but I do not believe that any of them are “show stoppers.”
Could all this be accomplished quickly? The clear answer is yes! I would remind you that during World War II we started from scratch”and within four years we were producing 90,000 airplanes, 30,000 tanks and 14 million tons of shipping per year.
Do I really believe that we should get serious? Yes and now!
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