So, who is to blame? Several groups can share blame for the failed U.S. energy policies. There are too many to name here. Unwise legislation passed by easily-swayed elected officials is the first target of blame.
Many environmental groups successfully and vociferously argued the merits of limiting carbon (coal) emissions within industry. And many listened. However, these environmental regulations will achieve a negligible positive global environment effect, to the great detriment of millions of Americans.
At least, some say, we have a couple of years to brace ourselves. That’s good, right? On the bleak side, this delay offers a false hope – the false hope of an alternative energy source magically appearing on the power grid. It also deadens the chance of getting a massive knee-jerk rejection of the new policies. But, on the sunny side, the delay also could prompt citizens to action before forced austerity measures become reality. That only works if citizens stay on their toes and think ahead, realizing 2014 will be here before they know it.
First, citizens must accept the facts. Coal-sourced electricity is being forcibly reduced. Environmental regulators set standards for power generators that were impossible to meet with current levels of coal, or impossibly expensive. Industry consultants estimate 60,000 megawatts of power, enough for 60 million homes, will be taken offline by 2017. The effects will be real and far-reaching.
Second, citizens must become informed about real energy alternatives: new, modern nuclear energy plants must be aggressively supported. Coal is huge in our country. We will not eliminate the use of coal. But we do need to replace a large percent of our coal dependence -- over time. We will pay increased energy fees until we act. What other reliable, safe energy source can replace cheap coal? Solar, wind, biofuels, you name it – they are not bringing 60,000 megawatt style rescue. And, they are not cheap or reliable. Only Integrated Contemporary Energy - “new nuclear” can achieve the environmental standards and provide reliable and inexpensive energy. Only new nuclear can recycle its nuclear reaction byproducts and create desperately needed medical radioisotopes. Only the combined approach of the Integral Fast Reactor and the Light Water Reactor will lead to energy independence.