Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Oil

How about that. Chevron, with a couple of partners has discovered an oil field under the Gulf of Mexico that might boost known US reserves by as much as 50%. This is very good news for Louisiana.

Now, if we could get some cheap electricity (can anyone say nuclear?), then maybe energy would be assured until my grandkids get old enough to invent something spectacular that will give the world free energy forever. My buddy, who works for CLECO, tells me that nuclear energy is safe, clean, and almost free. He says that if they could get enough reactors online, then electricity costs would go way, way down.

Then we could throw all the environmentalists in a swamp and let the gators have at them. Then we could drain the swamp and turn it into farm land.

It's something to think about.


Standard Mischief said...

Agreed, the reactors made back in the 70's have an excellent safety record, how much better would it be if we had some reactors that weren't designed thirty years ago?

The other smart thing we could do is reprocess all the waste fuel we plan to bury under a mountain, and reuse it in a breeder reactor. It solves a number of waste disposal problem while producing more fuel. Of course we don't do that because the breeder reactors make plutonium, which is a whole lot easier to make into nuclear bombs than uranium. We're trying to set a good example to the rest of the world, but the rest of the world is ignoring us.

Instead, we haven't built anything anywhere near anyone to keep up with the increasing demand, or if we have built new power plants, it's been the type that run off of natural gas. I'm pretty sure everyone can figure out what happens when there's an increased demand for a commodity against a fairly rigid supply. Natural gas is the feedstock for all kinds of important products, like fertilizer, plastics, and ammonia.

Maryland has followed a path right behind California by deregulating the production of power, and when the negotiated price controls expired, our rates jumped 74%. Our local critters have decided on some crazy deferred financing scheme to address the issue, instead of trying to fix the problem, which is that demand has increased, but nothing had been done to address it. A few brand spanking new pebble bed reactors would add much needed capacity and also bring down the average price. It'll never happen.

I doubt any honest, productive debate will occur before we need to resort to the rolling blackouts.

Anonymous said...

Then we could throw all the environmentalists in a swamp and let the gators have at them.

NO NO NO - don't want to ruin all that goood 'gator meat, do you?


Rivrdog said...

The farm land would be very fertile.