SOTU Follow-up: Energy Policy

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and founder of the blog Joseph Romm; and David Kreutzer, Senior Policy Analyst in Energy Economics and Climate Change at the Heritage Foundation, discuss the energy and climate elements of last night's State of the Union address, from nuclear to offshore to cap and trade.


David Kreutzer and Joseph Romm

Comments [21]

Mr. Xyz

This spoof of climate science may be of interest:

Feb. 01 2010 01:10 PM
hjs from 11211

you forgot about the refugees. we will morally be obligated to resettle these climate refugees in our nation.

Jan. 28 2010 12:43 PM
kai from NJ-NYC

What a foolish response: The science is not clear? Virtually all, and I mean ALL, climatologists, glaciologists, and scientists in the field throughout the WORLD, agree that anthropogenic climate change is here and it is only a matter of how things will play out.

Right-wing deniers trot out their "lists" of "accredited" scientists not in the field and believe that movies like "The Day After Tomorrow" illustrate the apocalyptic nightmare that climate scientists are trying to purport.

Of course such portraits of our changing climate aren't what climate scientists are expecting. It will be more like this: rising sea levels with greater periodic flooding; longer and more durable droughts with greater rain deluge; smaller snowfall and snowpacks which lead to retreating glaciers on whose freshwater runoff much of the world's populations depend; etc.

Jan. 28 2010 11:34 AM
Moshe Feder from Flushing, NY

I tried to get on the air to talk about this, so kudos to the previous posters here who raise the subject of the thorium cycle.

Like Frank in Westchester who did get on air, I used to see the nuclear power industry as a government subsidized pet that had to be stopped. If nuclear power couldn't pay its own way in the marketplace we shouldn't have been helping it to create a waste problem that would last millennia.

But science and engineering have moved on and the thorium cycle offers the hope of a sane approach to nuclear power that might have a chance of working in real capitalist terms, that wouldn't entail the same proliferation threats, that could even be used to get rid of dangerous old plutonium, that would require waste storage for a doable 500 years instead of an inconceivable tens of thousands, and that doesn't cost as much to build.

I'm against offshore drilling and the hoax of 'clean' coal, but I'd be willing for the President to let the GOP have those for a while (offshore drilling on a state-option basis) if it would get us a major investment in developing thorium (and long-term fusion research, while we're at it) and some kind of carbon pricing.

Jan. 28 2010 11:33 AM
Michael from NYC

hm.. maybe the cost of getting more staff to review the new modular designs would save the Billions for building old large scale behemoths....

Jan. 28 2010 11:24 AM
bob from brooklyn

Does the Fed s pick up insurance policy for Nuke plants - is that considered part of
fed subsidy??

Jan. 28 2010 11:21 AM

Robert Bryce the energy journalist, says there are modular designs out there, it's just that the Dept Energy doesn't have the staff to review and approve them.

Jan. 28 2010 11:20 AM
Michael from NYC

On Nuclear. Why is nobody talking about small scale nuclear powerplants?

pebble bed technology I think it's called...?

I wouldn't mind having one of those behind my house!

Jan. 28 2010 11:20 AM
Edward from NJ

There was an interesting article in Wired on thorium as a nuclear fuel. According to the story, it's got a much shorter half-life of hundreds, not thousands, of years. It can't melt down and can't be used to make a fission weapon. It's been tested and works, but lost backing in the U.S. because, historically, we wanted the uranium for weapons.

Jan. 28 2010 11:20 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

As your guest hast stated, Obama has been pretty clear that he wants all options on the table with regards to a comprehensive energy program.

As for the offshore gas drilling, nuclear power, and continued support of the corn-based ethanol boondoggle (which is environmentally, economically, an agriculturally detrimental), there are serious concerns from left, right, and center, obviously on different grounds.

Republicans like the nuclear industry because it is tied to the one branch of the government they LOVE! The military-industrial complex.

...and nuclear CANNOT make it without the government, as with many, many other infrastructure and services in the good ol', free USA. Plus, there's only so much natural gas which is, in the end, like all fossil fuels, unsustainable.

Jan. 28 2010 11:18 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

and....what will?!!

Jan. 28 2010 11:18 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

"Nuclear will not work" - How do they know???

Jan. 28 2010 11:17 AM
ben from brooklyn

Why does Obama not mention Thorium power? Nuclear reactors based on Thorium apparently can not melt down, do not produce weapons grade material, have much less waste which is much cheaper to deal with, and Thorium is a plentiful resource.

Jan. 28 2010 11:17 AM
Zen from South Salem

If the refineries in this country are already running 7 days a week 24 hours a day, would more crude do much good ?
Besides what about the millions of gallons of crude being held by the storage tankers in the gulf, isnt excess crude already costing a fortune to store ?

Jan. 28 2010 11:16 AM

Do we have enough natural gas in the USA to fuel automobiles? I am wondering why not use nuclear power for electricity and natural gas for cars.

Jan. 28 2010 11:14 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

I don't know a whole lot about this topic but I will say that we do need to move toward independence from oil and fuel efficiency. Lessen the need for oil and decrease the fighting over it in the middle east.

Jan. 28 2010 11:14 AM

Stewart Brand, the notorious ecologists' new book "Whole Earth Discipline" makes and modern case for nuclear power. Must read on this subject.

Jan. 28 2010 11:10 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

You know, it's not that I don't think Barack Obama is incompetent-just very very young and new to Washington.
I HOPE he can do some good in energy policy.
High speed rail and less emphasis on Airlines would help a great deal-much much cleaner.
Helps for terrorism issue, too.
Hey, train does not fall from the sky.
I hope he gets a second term, or a BLOOMBERG, I MEAN, third term.

Jan. 28 2010 11:10 AM
db from nyc

"Safe" nuclear and "Clean" coal???

What warp in the space/time continuum occurred to allow these fantastical, physical impossibilities to come to fruition???!!!

Has "O" drank the Kool-Aid™???

Jan. 28 2010 11:08 AM
Colin Young from Brooklyn

Again with the myths of clean coal and safe nuclear power. Mr President - how can you chide those who don't believe in climate change science yet fall for the bogus science of the coal industry, and the unfulfilled promises of the nuclear industry?

Jan. 28 2010 11:07 AM
hjs from 11211

nuclear power requires huge state subsidies and high carbon costs to mine, refine, and ship this fuel. also who wants the waste to be stored in their back yard. who need this trouble.

Jan. 28 2010 11:06 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.