The State of the Union? -" Irradiated, Coaled, and All Fracked Up
David Kraft, Director
Nuclear Energy Information Service
January 25, 2011
"I went down to Rio with absolutely no expectations that anything of substance would be achieved. And I returned having all my expectations met."
--environmental delegate to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit--
I suppose the same could be said concerning President Barack Obama's second State of the Union message regarding energy policy.
Last year the President stunned the environmental community by unveiling a "green economy" based on three energy pillars -" clean coal, off-shore oil drilling, and clean safe nuclear power.
Within weeks of the address the first pillar collapsed -" literally -" on 29 coal miners at the Upper Big Branch Massey Mine in West Virginia. Two days before Earth Day, BP strictly adhered to its corporate mission of "bringing oil to America's shores" by creating the Gulf disaster. Mercifully, we did not see Obama's third pillar -- nuclear power -- come crashing down on the Nation in 2010.
So this year, we were all prepared for -" more of the same. And got it, in abundance.
Beware! Radiation by self
Defining nuclear power (as well as coal and natural gas) this year as "clean," it seems that the President still considers 'irradiated' as an acceptable "state of the Union:"
"Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all -" and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen,"  the President said. Like on -" health care, for example.
To "win the future" with his "clean energy sources," the President would "give utilities the flexibility to generate clean energy wherever makes the most sense, all clean sources -" including renewables, nuclear power, efficient natural gas, and coal with carbon capture and sequestration -" would count toward the goal"  of 80% "clean" sources by 2035.
While the tradition among the "small people" to wish upon a star, hope for a pony for Christmas, or blow out candles in anticipation of getting something neat is indulged in youth, the expectation is that, eventually, the real world will impose its unyielding conditions on us, and we will mature, grow up.
But, to maintain this same tradition in the guise of a national energy policy is simply -" catastrophic.