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Thread: Dear AEMan
02-09-2005 01:28 AM #11
It seems strange to keep a fairly lively discussion about nuclear power going on a hybrid car website, so I think this will be the last time I comment on it (maybe ;-) ). Besides, hybrids and energy efficiency investments go together.
I haven't commented on this website for a while since I just picked up my '05 Prius two weeks ago and I am still playing with it.
I'm not necessarily against nuclear power, I just don't think it will make sense--economically, environmentally, etc.--for at least 100 years. The reason I say this is because I believe there is so much waste out there now, whether in gas, electric, gasoline, oil, etc. that we can reduce energy demand for a long time without needing subsidies to increase supply.
I believe it is much better to provide incentives and penalties on the demand side than on the supply side. Encouraging people to reduce demand for energy (raw materials too, etc.) will enhance the free market and let it work its magic much better than incentives on the supply side. Supply side incentives generally go to a few large companies that generally don't have my (our) best interests in mind. But demand side incentives let me (us) decide what we want to buy, and let the corporations supply that demand, which is the way it is supposed to work. Supply side incentives are also hidden and therefore we as consumers don't pay the true cost of a product, since it is already subsidized before we buy it (I'm talking oil, electricity, gas here, but I believe this works for other products as well).
And as I mentioned in previous posts, it is cheaper to give people money to buy efficiency, than to give a corporation money to produce power, or drill for oil or gas. The subsidy would be the same in both cases, but the benefit to the economy and the country is better for the first method. Since windpower is much cheaper than nuclear power, I also think the hydrogen economy can be fueled using windpower and again nuclear power won't be necessary for a long time, it at all.
As a consumer, I would rather put my money into a hybrid car, than keep buying more oil/gasoline. California (I'm from Ohio) pays roughly $21 billion per year on health-care related costs due to diesel particulate pollution alone. (Gasoline vehicles also produce soot, just not as much.) This is from a Union of Concerned Scientists report "Sick of Soot." I may not see a payback from helping to reduce that soot, but the country as a whole does and that's good enough for me.