Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Obama Energy Policy

I did not expect Barack Obama's energy policies to be impressive, and Mr. Obama has not exceeded my expectation in that regard. Most democratic rhetoric regarding energy has consisted of shallow recitation of the Amory Lovins cult line, with a bone tossed to nucleare. Thus we have all sorts of suppositions about energy that have not been carefully researched. We have contradictions in our carbon goals, cult like faith in energy efficiency, a gross underestimation of the cost of renewable generated energy, and a gross underestimation of the size of the task.

Mr. Obama spent two of his four years in the Senate campaigning the presidency. He simply has not had the time to learn about energy issues. His energy policies worked practically as tools for his quest for the White House. In 2000 Ralph Nader taught the Democrats to not alienate the "Green" voters. Greens are of course crazy, but they do vote. In 2000 Nader and the Greens sold Al Gore, the Democratic Party, and ultimately the environment down the river, with the idiotic claim that Gore was no different on te environment than Bush. The Obama energy policy was designed to not alienate "Green" voters, rather than to confront the nation with hard energy choices. Before he can confront the Nation, Mr. Obama has to on front the choices himself. The Good thing about Obama is not having looked at the issue clearly, it is unlikely that he has formed strong convictions and prejudices about energy. Mr. Obama is very intelligent, he appears to learn his lessons well, and so far he has surroundd himself with tallented advisors. Lets hope hat continues to be so, as he begins to confront energy issues.

My expectation is that energy will gradually become more urgent during the next four years. By 2012 energy will be the number one priority, and the nation will be preparing to go on a quasi-war time footing to meet the energy challenge. This will e a drastic change from the current attitude which is laxidasical. Thinking about energy should be very different by 2012 with many of the current assumptions largely forgotten. If there is not consensus by 2012 that nuclear energy is the primary solution to the American energy future by 2012, then the nation will be in deep trouble. The next four years will be a time for public enlightenment, and Mr. Obama would be well served to both participate inand lead the enlightenment process.


Anonymous said...

Obama will have some key appointments to make early on, specifically appointments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Who he appoints will speak volumes about his real position on nuclear energy. And of course, he will make these appointments in the first 100 days. If these appointments prove to be individuals who have a bias against nuclear power, than the nuclear renaissance will not unfold and contribute to lowcarbon energy generation.

Charles Barton said...

i don't expect Obama's views on nuclear energy will be the same in 2009 as they will be in 2012.


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