Monday, March 14, 2011

Bagger reality: Of nukes and nuts

Just for laffs, I clicked on one of those Newsmax polls. One line here popped out at me: When, exactly, did Obama become involved? Did I miss something? If he did involve himself, which side was he on?

In teabagger-land, reality can be whatever you want it to be.

You can trust baggers when they talk about nukes. A few days ago, conservatives told us not to worry about a meltdown in the Dai-Ichi nuclear plant because, even in the worst case scenario, the containment building would, you know, contain everything.

Okay. So, um, where's that containment building now?

I was curious to see what the baggers had to say about nuclear reactors before the tsunami did what it did. From last November:
Will the Tea Party go nuclear?

Among the special interests that see the outcome of this week's mid-term elections as a win for themselves is the U.S. nuclear power industry.

NRG Energy, the New Jersey-based power company that's seeking federal subsidies in the form of Department of Energy loan guarantees to build two more reactors at the South Texas Project near Bay City, has already told Bloomberg that it expects to benefit from Republican gains in Congress...
Loan guarantees? Federal subsidies? Gosh. I'm confused. What about the ideology of "No gummint is good gummint"? I guess we are required to sidestep that question when doing so allows billionaires to make more billions.
NRG invested heavily in this election, with its political action committee contributing more than $323,000 to various House and Senate campaigns and its employees donating more than $137,000, according to The Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's lobby group, spent another $451,000.
And what about President Obama? In bagger-vision, he's a "socialist" who hates American business. Well, lookee here...
During his post-election press conference yesterday, President Obama -- who has close ties to the nuclear industry and who has already proposed tripling DOE's loan guarantee program to $54 billion -- also talked about additional financial support for the nuclear power industry as a potential area of compromise in a divided Congress...
From a post on a bagger site, published in January:
This tea partier sees continued reliance on oil and traditional fossil fuels as a direct funding source to OPEC and indirectly to Islamic terrorism.

The only practical response for the states is to embrace nuclear power production and to regain the American lead in nuclear power.
The problem, y'see, is government regulation of the nuclear industry. All of those pesky safety requirements make it impossible to build new plants.
Certain nuclear energy supporters are trying to weaken regulation of new nuclear reactors in any proposed climate and energy or energy-only legislation.

“Even as tens of thousands of gallons of oil continue to erupt each day from BP’s botched oil well, federal lawmakers are weighing legislation that includes BP-style deregulation of new nuclear reactors, which are the only energy source where the damage from a major accident would dwarf the harm done by a ruptured offshore oil well,” experts from The Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Safe Energy program wrote yesterday.

PSR has listed four provisions that are part of the proposed American Power Act that could set us up for a nuclear-style BP oil spill.
Here's how the Heritage Foundation saw the nuclear issue last December:
EPA Regulations Killing Clean Energy
Arizona pol "Atomic" Al Melvin wants to see lots and lots new nuke plants across his state. Call it the Starbucks approach.
Nuclear energy is a water intensive industry, which is why the plants are usually placed near large bodies of water. Arizona is a water-poor state. The misfit could hardly be more dramatic.
Melvin thinks we should cut down on all that regulation and red tape that slows down nuclear plant construction. His model? China. I guess he admires China's recent hybrid of no-holds-barred capitalism and autocratic socialist rule. That's how you get things done! According to Melvin, China can get a nuke plant up and running in two years, while it takes eight years here.
By the way: All conservative sites repeat the mantra that nuclear energy is the cheapest form of energy available. However...
A nuclear plant will cost $7,000 to $10,000 per kilowatt, says Mark Cooper of the University of Vermont. That’s more than wind, solar, storage and other renewables—and the price tag will continue to climb.
Rand Paul wants to cut the EPA from $7.939 billion to $3.238 billion. As for Michele Bachmann: Here's what she said in 2008...
Now, the overnight energy expert has declared that she would “welcome” another nuclear power plant in the 6th Congressional District—and specifically in her own backyard.

“Another nuclear power plant would bring down the price of people’s monthly energy bills,” said Bachmann.
Yes. I think she should run on that platform.

Oh, and here's a little factoid that may be news to you:
While pro-nuke evangelists like Bachmann preach that nuclear power can stand on its own without subsidies, they conveniently fail to mention the Price-Anderson Act, which limits the U.S. nuclear industry’s liability in the event of an accident to a total of about $10.5 billion. After that, the taxpayers pick up the tab—and that could conservatively run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Estimates of the value of the Price-Anderson subsidy to the industry vary widely, from $237 million to $3.5 billion annually. However, it’s clear that the subsidy insulates the industry from much of its risk and unfairly distorts nuclear power’s competitiveness in the energy marketplace.
Subsidies? Taxpayers picking up the bill? Oh my god...she's a socialist!

According to a YAF (Yet Another Friedmanite) propagandist named Jay Lehr, Japan has nothing to worry about.
Short version of his message: This is nothing like Chernobyl, and (officially) still qualifies as less serious than Three Mile Island. It was the first “don’t panic” message Jay delivered publicly to the local Fox News station in Chicago on Friday. And others commentators are now repeating it as the MSM starts to catch up to him in its coverage.
Fox News. Why am I not surprised? The rest of the media taking its cue from Fox. Why am I not surprised?
In what might come as a bit of a surprise to our right-leaning readers, Jay has been on MSNBC twice to talk about this crisis, and might be on again tomorrow. A producer for MSNBC said Jay was “just a fantastic guest.”
That was after he established his cred by doing the G. Gordon Liddy show.

Here's Lehr in 2005, explaining that our fears about nukes were created by a librul conspiracy:
Today's nuclear power technology, by any and every measure, provides the best safety performance and lowest risk of workplace accidents among all commonly utilized power sources. Nuclear power plants are not at risk from terrorist attacks: They do not offer exponential damage opportunities and they are the most fortified installations in the nation.

It is safe to say neither the general public nor government officials understand many or any of these facts. Their lack of understanding is primarily the result of an extremely successful fear campaign waged by anti-nuclear activists 30 years ago. In addition, the news media has inaccurately reported accidents and mishaps at nuclear power plants.
Thanks for this. It's depressing, but necessary...reminds me of Obama's lie just before the Deepwater Horizon disaster...about how "safe" the "modern" offshore drilling was.

The "EPA makes clean energy impossible" is a classic rightwing think tank meme. I very much remember how they dedicated one think tank to sending the same "letter to the editor" to papers all over the US claiming that fuel efficiency increased fatal car/SUV accidents.
Funny how all the blabber about the Free Market goes up in smoke when it come to lining their own pockets.

But then you can't be a republican or libertarian type without a healthy dose of cognitive dissonance.
Let's face it: if conservatives and libertarians had always run the country, we would all be dead from DDT.
Look at this lovely piece in the Daily Telegraph by former UK energy minister John Hutton. Apparently the nuclear industry has "a strong safety record". And when we think of nuclear, we should think of how many Chinese miners die in coal mines!

The Torygraph forget to mention that Hutton is a director of Hyperion Power Generation, a company which aims to make billions of pounds of profit from selling nuclear reactors.

Why I'm posting this is because he's also connected with Apco, a PR company that also does scientific propaganda for the cancer-stick industry, and for Philip Morris in particular.

How close are Apco and Heartland?

When it comes down to it, how much of the "green energy shit" is nuke propaganda? It made me sick to see greens calling in Britain to "put coal on the dole". It's all fake, isn't it? Wasn't the rise of greenery a precursor of later PR efforts called "colour revolutions"?

(Britain's nuclear power industry was largely based on a massive Rothschild land deal in Canada, where the uranium is. See the Frederic Morton book, which is superior to Niall Ferguson's effort).
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