The economy is by far the No. 1 issue on most Americans’ minds. Gas prices are a close second. The two issues are intimately related. But the spike in oil prices this year is just the tip of the iceberg. Due to similar developments in supply and demand, electricity prices are set to skyrocket next year.
While American oil consumption has grown only 15% since 1973, electricity use has shot up 115%. Right now the U.S. has 760 gigawatts of power to meet consumption. We will need 135 gigawatts of new capacity over the next decade to keep the lights on, but right now only 57 gigawatts of power are planned. No matter what Barack Obama and Al Gore tell you, alternative energy sources cannot meet demand. Solar is still only one-tenth as efficient as the cheapest fossil fuels. Today 97% of our electricity comes from fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro power. Wind provides 1% and solar .01%….
Despite signing the Kyoto Protocol, countries across Europe are rapidly building new coal power plants. Germany plans to build 27 coal-fired plants by 2020. Italy plans to increase its reliance on coal from 14% today to 33% in just five years. In all of Europe, 40 new major coal power are set to be built in the next five years. In 2006 alone, China completed enough coal power plants to match all of Britain’s capacity. India plans to boost coal production by 50% by 2012 and quadruple it by 2030….
A highly organized network of environmental groups such as the Sierra Club have been using every state, local and federal law they can to stop construction of coal power plants nationwide. The environmental coalition, which includes the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund and Environmental Integrity Project, claims 65 victories over the last three years.
The United States has not built a nuclear power plant in 30 years. While there are 30 plants currently being planned, all are tied up in the arcane permitting process the environmentalist left has created. None of the projects has started construction. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is embracing nuclear power. France already gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power. Japan has six nuclear plants under construction and another six planned. India also has six under construction and another 19 planned. China has seven under construction and another 85 planned.
…The nuclear industry does not need subsidies or handouts in order to succeed. The biggest risk the nuclear industry faces is reactionary government regulation. If the federal government could lift the ban on fuel recycling it could safely manage nuclear waste.
There’s a lot more there……enjoy.