July 27, 2009
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Letters to the Editor and other People Speak
Global warming worriers need to go nuclear
By John Dendahl
Sen. Mark Udall claims he's worried about global warming. He wants human production of carbon dioxide radically reduced. Ditto his wife, Maggie Fox, who runs Alliance for Climate Protection, founded by Al Gore with money from his global warming horror flick.
Here we have an inside-outside Udall family partnership working the Senate for votes for the ruinous cap-and-trade legislation President Obama wants.
I wrote to ask Udall's positions on carbon — regulate as a pollutant, cap emissions by statute and/or international treaty — the whole arsenal in this campaign against the economy and American sovereignty.
While awaiting a reply, I sent another note inquiring about nuclear energy, since that choice has several attractions. Among those are a half-century safety record unequaled by any major industry in history, zero carbon emissions, low operating expenses, no dependence on bad guys for fuel — and continuous output 2 4/7.
Udall's reply is boilerplate that any clerk could have sent back to me by return mail, rather than taking six weeks. As members of Congress have claimed ever since the Arab oil embargo in 1974, Udall wants a "comprehensive energy plan." In addition to generous portions of New Energy Economy fantasy, Udall would include "responsible onshore and offshore drilling for oil and natural gas . . . [and] safely expanding nuclear power."
The devil's in the caveats. What offshore drilling would Udall consider "responsible"? What does "safely" mean in the context of expanding industrial safety's crème de la crème?
This apple didn't fall far from the tree. Read on.
Preserving the myth that radioactive waste cannot be safely disposed has been a major goal of organized "environmentalists" for decades. When the federal government nearly 40 years ago commenced study of a geologic repository in southern New Mexico's bedded salt, Big Enviro was there to say no. Nonetheless, the study progressed and the proposed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was supported well by New Mexico's 1970s congressional delegation. Then, in 1982, Santa Fe elected Democrat Bill Richardson to the U.S. House.
Santa Fe is about 300 "crow-flight" miles from WIPP, but only about 30 from Los Alamos, where waste destined for WIPP — like that from Denver's Rocky Flats — had been in temporary storage for up to 40 years. Despite his district's need for WIPP, Richardson quickly became a strident opponent, in puzzling contrast to strong support from WIPP's neighbors and their representative in the House.
Naturally, Richardson hid behind public safety. Only slightly smirking, he could tell a reporter, "I'm for WIPP — as long as it's 100 percent safe." Since there's no such thing as "100 percent safe," the statement was a straight-out lie to cover Richardson's pandering to Big Enviro.
As the battles wore on, Udall's father, Morris Udall, D-Ariz., then chairman of the House Interior Committee, gave Richardson a veto over public lands legislation needed for WIPP. The congressional foot-dragging effected by Richardson and Udall Père probably delayed WIPP by five years, added hundreds of millions to its cost, and increased public safety not one iota.
Now cut to the present. WIPP operations commenced in 1999, ironically while Richardson was Bill Clinton's secretary of energy. Its fine safety record is consistent with the industry's, for both its construction and operations.
Surprise! Radioactive waste can be safely transported and disposed.
Democratic U.S. senators from Colorado have a poor record on energy. Former Sen. Tim Wirth, who now sits at Ted Turner's United Nations Foundation, said in 1997, "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right things in terms of economic policy and environmental policy." And just what would those right things be? World government, maybe?
When Wirth, Udall, Gore and the rest of the global warming crowd become true advocates of super-safe, non-carbon-emitting, unmatchably reliable nuclear power, I'll stop dismissing them as liars very likely covering a hidden agenda.
John Dendahl, a Rocky Mountain Foundation senior fellow, is a retired business executive. He resides in Littleton.