Monday, August 3, 2009

Climate Change and Government Policies—An Unethical Connection?

When hearing news about global warming, and seeing so many politicians inexorably cling to the theory—despite polls and science showing the issue is far from settled, have you ever wondered, “Where did all this come from?

The pro nuclear aspect of this posting aligns with CARE’s position. It does, however, bring up some ideas outside of CARE’s scope, but it does point out an interesting—if not unethical—connection between some of today’s loudest political voices and the personal benefit received from their promotion of the policies. We believe you will find the connections drawn here to be most insightful. Plus, there is a definite New Mexico element despite the fact that a version of this posting was first published in the Denver Post.
The author, John Dendahl, has an extensive background in nuclear power on which he elaborates in response to comments from Denver Post readers.

Global Warming Worriers Need to Go Nuclear
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., 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 Pres. Obama wants.

The parallel is admittedly imperfect, but I’m reminded of the $2.5 million that Global Crossing blew into the pocket of Anne Bingaman, wife of U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.. That was for six months’ lobbying the U.S. government shortly after she left her position in Bill Clinton’s Justice Department. (See “Global Crossing Tossed More Cash Around Town Than Enron,” Business Week 2-11-02, here.)

Imagine the fit thrown by, say, The New York Times and its Copycat Chorus as to either of these situations if the senator in question weren’t solidly Left.

I wrote to ask Udall’s position(s) 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 24-7.

Udall’s reply is boilerplate 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 NM’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.

Democrat 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, CO.

1 comment:

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