To Nuclear or not to Nuclear?

In the three pieces attached, we see the complexity of the nuclear power argument. Two respected former Governor’s have differing views on whether or not the proposed PSE&G subsidy proposal is a good idea. The current Governor has forced a change in the prior legislation to include more perks for renewable energy.

So what is a legislature to do?

nuclearThe issue is certainly complex and it raises an interesting question about the entire issue of subsidies for power generation. We have discussed this before. Some of my Libertarian friends think that renewables receive too many subsidies at the expense of older forms of power generation. My Green friends think that this is necessary to even the playing field.

Clearly, nuclear does not generate greenhouse gases…but it does generate very dangerous waste with no plan on how to store it safely. All forms of energy generation get some form of subsidy…some for more than 100 years…So, it seems to me, if New Jersey wants to subsidize its existing nuclear plants, than it has to make a policy call…

Do we want multiple forms of non-greenhouse gas power generation or do we want to continue with fossil fuels?

I think that the new legislation partially answers that question.

Of course, the devil is in the details as they say. Should there be transparency? Should Rate Counsel be involved? These questions are too complicated for this post…

Read the full articles:
N.J. nuclear bill returns — amid new controversy
Gov. Kean: Don’t rush bailout of PSEG’s nuclear plants. Wait for Murphy


Fear of the Federal Government

The Times Magazine ran a feature piece on why people in the west fear the federal government. It is a well written piece that brings the perspective of the rancher into focus. The fears outlined are perfectly logical. Specifically that their livelihood is threatened.

Of course, when read in detail, the article also shows why federal land protections are needed. In one part of the article a rancher notes that he cannot see any damage to a stream that the government wants to protect for trout breading. Since he cannot see any harm, he should be allowed to send his cattle through the stream..In fairness, he did fence off the he is simply exercising his right to voice an opinion.

In the same discussion, he notes that he could not log areas where Bald Eagles were nesting and that was a waste. There are plenty of eagles as far as he can see.

In another part of the article, ranchers note that Yellowstone has all this wonderful grass that is going to waste and that they should be allowed to take advantage of it for grazing.

All of these statements make a strong point. They point to the fact that when people have a limited view of the world, they tend to reinforce the old economic principal, the tragedy of the commons.

It is true that many of these ranchers have been on the land for more than 100 years. By their logic, the time spend has earned them the right to use it and they would never over use it. History does not side with them.

Indeed, if we base a decision on time on the land, then it should all be given back to the Native Americans from whom it was stolen by, in some cases, the ancestors of the ranchers there today.

A broader perspective is needed.

HOWEVER, it is important that we work with people to help them steward the land and to keep their livelihoods wherever we can. That does not mean giving them unfettered access.

Read the full article:
Fear of the Federal Government in the Ranchlands of Oregon
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Let’s Just Throw Safety Rules For the Environment Into the Ocean

Yet again, this administration is showing its true colors. Green…and not for environmental, health or safety, but for greed and profits. You would think that after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the embarrassing response by a supposedly environmentally responsible company, our Government, a government charged with protecting all of us, would adopt more stringent safety standards.

deepwater horizon spill

Well, it did. At least the prior Administration did. So what does the current compilation of greedy snake oil salesmen do? They announce that they are going to scrap these rules.

Oh why not…after all, this group is clearly of the opinion that the taxpayer should subsidize industry for the benefit of the few.

This is shameful.

U.S. to Roll Back Safety Rules Created After Deepwater Horizon Spill
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Why not Simply Burn the Mona Lisa if we are Cold

Mr. Trump has taken yet another step to destroy that which is really owned by all of us. His logic is that we need to get more oil and gas as well as other minerals out of all of the land as quickly as we can so that we can make the cost of these items as low as we can. Of course, his real goal is to simply enrich archaic and dying industries so that he can also enrich himself and his friends.

Destroying Bears Ears National Monument with the arguments that we need to get into this area for the good of the Country is the equivalent of saying let’s burn the Mona Lisa because we are cold. Both result in the destruction of a masterpiece. Both result in irreparable harm.

Bears Ears National Monument

This is just another shameful action that will harm future generations.

This man reminds me of a character from a famous book, The Lord of The Rings…and I am paraphrasing…

The end of the book shows a disgraced megalomaniac doing all that he can to destroy a beautiful area…and when confronted, he states that he does not care about that, but he is happy that it will take many years to repair his damage.

Sound familiar?

Trump Slashes Size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Monuments
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.