The Third World - Right Outside Your Front Door...,
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Launchpad McCain's Lexington - A future of dependence on powerful, nuclear armed industrial giants we're not going to be able to just invade when the moment strikes us, willy-nilly:
"In a world of hostile and unstable suppliers of oil, this nation will achieve strategic independence by 2025", said McCain, promising to double our nuclear power capacity by, uh, 2030. Except our nuclear power capacity is already dependent on foreign uranium imports. The entire industry has the same problem as oil: it's a finite extractable resource that will be exhausted faster the larger the industry becomes. Uranium prices have doubled since 2003 and we run about a 5 billion dollar annual trade deficit importing the stuff - 42 million pounds a year at over $100 a pound. This is only going to go up in the long run.
For extra points, McQuack "invokes nuclear power initiatives in China, Russia and India" as a selling point for his "Lexington" plan, which has at it's heart the goal of declaring American energy dependence. He did say he was no good at economics. As those developing economies rapidly expand their own nuclear production they're going to be causing uranium prices to increase just like their growing demand has driven a nearly 500% increase in the price of oil in the past decade. What's he think is going to happen to the price of nuclear fuel? By the time his first 45 plants are miraculously completed in 2030 we'll shortly find ourselves just as dependent on foreign energy as ever.
Promises of $2 billion a year for coal carbon sequesterization would be a good idea in so far as it'd represent a 400% reduction in coal subsidies, but - like Barack Obama - there's no talk of the generous federal incentives already in place for fossil energy.
That along with the massive public financing and investor guarantees that will be required to double nuclear production in 20 years basically amounts to handing the public treasury to the nuclear, gas, and coal giants. McQuacks Big Plan for renewable alternatives that, you know, become exhausted on a time scale of billions of years rather than a hundred, is to... normalize the tax code.
Leaving these decisions up to an unregulated, speculation fueled market would be a holiday compared to putting this crank in charge.
Much the same could be said of the plan McCain quite obviously cribbed: Obama's. Barack promises to increase the public subsidies for biofuels and... coal. While Obama reasonably intends to actually fund his infrastructure upgrades ("Digital Smart Grid" for Obama, "SmartMeter" for McCain), aside stricter demands for cap and trade I'm not sure it's altogether much of an improvement.