Well the title is misleading because we don’t have an official energy policy and have not had anything resembling an energy policy since World War II. We do have a shadow energy policy that inhibits and/or blocks drilling for oil, drilling for natural gas, mining coal, and the building of nuclear power plants.
The green and environmental movements, now augmented with the global warming crowd, all essentially preach for us to switch to enormously expensive solar and wind. Solar and wind have zero chance of fulfilling 100% of this nation’s energy needs. We would be lucky to get 40% of our energy needs from wind and solar in ten years, even if we went all in tomorrow. The wind and solar infrastructure would have to be incredibly massive covering a state or two for us to eventually reach 100% of our needs. An additional downside is that we would have to use important farmland, now used for growing food, for this energy production.
World Oil reported in 2006 that the United States has over 1,124 Billion Barrels (1,124,000,000,000) of oil undeveloped and oil in place combined. For those of you who like big numbers this is more than one trillion. Currently we use 18,690,000 barrels per day. This equates to a 165 year supply domestically, without importing one drop. How about we begin drilling everywhere?
“When the PGC’s results are combined with the U.S. Department of Energy’s latest available determination of proved gas reserves, 238 Tcf as of year-end 2007, the United States has a total available future supplyof 2,074 Tcf, an increase of 542 Tcf over the previous evaluation.”
What does this mean? This is just about a 111 year supply of natural gas without importing one cubic foot.
Let’s talk nuclear energy. We need to talk softly because the naysayers will point to a five hundred year tsunami that severely damaged the external pumping infrastructure of four Japanese nuclear plants of a forty year old design. They will fear monger about the risk of nuclear power generation – the cleanest form of energy production on the planet.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) simply does not approve totally new licenses and has approved a few for development on existing nuclear plant campuses. Even when they approved them, the environmental movement uses every possible means to stall the building of a plant with EPA complaints and challenges in court. You can inscribe the names of the nuclear plants completed and put on line in this country since Three Mile Island, which killed no one, on the head of a pin. How about we begin drilling everywhere?
If we were smart we would have the NRC approve one state of the art design for an underground nuclear plant that would have to be placed far enough from the oceans and fault lines for safety and have Congress, by law, grant that design to be free from NRC review and authorize this design as an exception to all EPA and other environmental challenges. This would fast track the building of the 200 new plants needed in this country.
This sounds like an energy policy to me.