According to an opinion piece titled Turn against coal leaves nuclear as power option written by James McGovern and posted on the Asbury Park Press (App.com), the recent flood of political decisions against new coal fired power plants indicates that nuclear power is the more palatable energy supply option.
The article points to a big swing in action since May of 2007, when there were as many as 160 new coal fired power plants in various stages of planning. Actions against coal that Mr. McGovern lists include project cancellations in Florida and Texas. It also includes new rules against coal fired power production in California and a move for similar rules in Nevada.
Side comment: According to Mr. McGovern, Florida has a special reason for leading a charge against coal – it is a very low lying state with a great deal of valuable ocean front property. Though Mr. McGovern is right about current concerns, the fact is that Florida’s concerns about coal fired power are not new.
I had insider knowlege on this issue when I was growing up – my Dad was an electrical engineer with Florida Power and Light who spent a good portion of his career as the supervisor of transmission substations. One of the projects that I remember taking up much of his time for a number of years was building a 500 KVA (translated – Really Big) transmission line to bring power from coal fired stations that the company owned in Georgia to south Florida. He often referred to that effort as “coal by wire”. That power line cost the company about a million dollars per mile. The main reason that the company and the Public Utility Commission thought that was a better solution than a locally built power plant was that air quality in the Sunshine State was considered to be too valuable to sully with the emissions from a coal plant. End of Side Comment.
The conclusion that McGovern reaches is one that makes me smile:
There is only one source that can provide large amounts of “base-load” electricity for our nation’s growing economy and population without emitting carbon dioxide or polluting the air — nuclear energy.
Go and read the article. If you feel so inclined, add a comment.
I hope it will be a supportive one, but you need to reach your own conclusions.)