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What’s the Price for Nuclear Technology?

By Nathaniel Manning
October 28, 2008
File under: Alternative Energy

Nuclear Power

“Energy Independence” is a statement often dissipated recently in the Presidential race. Interestingly, both sides seem to claim that they are the champions who can achieve this magnificent feat. The importance of energy independence in this globalized world was struck home by Barack Obama in the third debate at Hofstra University: “If we invest in a serious energy policy, we will save the amount of money we’re borrowing from China to send to Saudi Arabia.” While both campaigns claim to uphold the banner of energy independence, they are each proselytizing very different answers for achieving this goal. …read more of What’s the Price for Nuclear Technology? here

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Green Economy: Comparing McCain and Obama’s Approach

By Robert Cowin
October 27, 2008
File under: Economy, election 08

election 08

A closer look at the candidate’s plans to grow the US green economy reveals some stark differences, but also, an amazing amount of similarities (especially when you consider the historical positions of the two political parties on energy and the environment).  Both candidates would build more nuclear power plants, drill offshore, and invest in renewable energy and energy efficient technology, Obama’s plan is more aggressive in cutting green house gas emissions and funding renewable technology development, but will it create enough jobs?  McCain’s plan is far more aggressive in pursuing mass electricity generation and energy production, but does it create enough green jobs?  Furthermore, will either candidate’s plan have a “jump-starting” effect on the US economy, and if so, what will that look like?

To start with, both candidates will force fossil fuel-based energy producers to reduce their workforce because the cap-and-trade system which both candidates favor will cut into profits and when profits go down, people get laid off.  Because Obama favors an  80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to McCain’s 66% reduction, more jobs in that part of the energy sector would be lost under the Obama plan.  Furthermore, McCain’s large-scale nuclear energy initiative will create more jobs in the short-term because his plan calls for more nuclear energy production than Obama’s, and unlike jobs created from renewable research and development, nuclear energy infrastructure can be built right now and come on-line quicker.

…read more of Green Economy: Comparing McCain and Obama’s Approach here

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Obama’s Green Cures for an Ailing Economy

By Robert Cowin
October 23, 2008
File under: Economy, election 08

ObamaAt the heart of Obama’s new green economy is the cap and trade system which essentially is a tax on polluters for green house gas emissions.  The thought is that the revenue generated from cap and trade will generate between $30 and $50 billion a year, and would go to funding:

1)    a Clean Technologies Venture Fund ($150 billion over 10 years) which would fund green technology innovation
2)    education and job training in clean technology development and production.

So right off the bat, Senator Obama would channel money that would otherwise stay in polluter’s pockets into a green R&D fund as well as training the workforce to be able to transition into the green jobs which the R&D will create.  On the flip side of that coin, the coal industry (responsible for half our nation’s electricity but also a major emitter of green house gases) is going to get hammered.  People like to talk about clean coal but the truth is the coal industry won’t be able to afford the cap and trade system or the technology necessary to stay profitable while complying.  People in that industry will be laid off, and there will be a void in America’s energy production.  So how on earth can this be good for the economy?

…read more of Obama’s Green Cures for an Ailing Economy here

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McCain’s Push for a Green Economy

By Robert Cowin
October 22, 2008
File under: Economy, election 08

John McCainUnfortunately, McCain’s vision of a new green economy isn’t exactly …well, green.  While he does recognize the positive economic benefits of creating green jobs and investing in renewable technology, the centerpiece of his “green” economic platform is building 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030 with the eventual goal being 100 new nuclear power plants.  While this will indeed create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, it’s hard to call them green jobs.  After all, while nuclear energy is virtually carbon neutral, what to do with radio active waste remains an unanswered question.  Still, McCain includes a cap and trade system as part of his green energy plan, and nuclear power is the major part of bridging the gap between electricity demand and the reduction of fossil fuel-based electricity production.

…read more of McCain’s Push for a Green Economy here

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Governor Palin, no friend to the wolf … or the polar bear … or the whale

By Robert Cowin
October 20, 2008
File under: election 08

Governor Sara PalinThe Governor is a big hunter.  She served on the Alaska Outdoor Council which advocates for the controversial hunting practice known as “aerial hunting”.  Against the advice of over 172 scientists who asserted that her wolf population control programs were not based on sound science, Governor Palin  approved a $150 bounty for each left foreleg brought in to the Department of Fish and Game.  Now that’s an image all animal lovers can appreciate.

The Governor sued the Bush administration after it listed the polar bear as a “threatened species”.  Unfortunately, it now appears that the science she used to justify her case was funded by oil companies.

The Governor also opposes efforts to list Cook Inlet beluga whales as threatened even though they’ve lost about 70% of the population over the last 25 years.

Needless to say, I don’t think she’ll be getting any WWF awards anytime soon.

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Stay current on the latest policies and progress government is making on addressing green issues. Find out what is going on off-camera and in the discussion chambers of government. Advocate your thoughts and ideas.

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