According to this Wall Street Journal interview with Charlie Drevna, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the Obama Administration has been waging war on fossil fuels. Mr. Drevna also claims that the US could double its oil and natural gas production in just ten years. M. King Hubbert would beg to differ with that prediction.
I found it amusing that the clip of the President blamed speculators for creating a perception of a shortage so that they could produce short term profits. The reason for my amusement is that creating false perceptions that energy supplies are scarce and that fuel should be conserved has been the unofficial policy of the US government since the 1970s. That policy has helped to create an environment with incredible long term profits where multinational petroleum pushers garner annual sales volumes measured in the hundreds of billions and quarterly profits that can exceed $10 billion for a single company.
Reliable fuel is not a scarce resource on the Earth. Our world wide supplies of readily accessible uranium and thorium could power a growing human society with increasing quantities of useful power for thousands of years.
Unfortunately, taking the actions required to enable that kind of growth, including reusing the currently unused portion of commercial nuclear fuel in systems like the IFR or the LFTR would be offensive to major political donors.
The entities threatened by the very idea of essentially unlimited quantities of energy produced by effective atomic fission systems also buy a lot of advertising from the commercial media. The story of atomic energy abundance is one that will not be told by either the politicians or the commercial media. It’s a story that will never be told by people like Mr. Drevna; his job is to sell people on the notion that remaining addicted to petroleum products is a better path forward.
The abundance of atomic energy is a story that can only be told by nuclear energy advocates and people who really and truly want to save the world by selling nuclear energy systems.
What do you think? Will current or proposed US government policies actually work to reduce overall fossil fuel consumption or the profitability of fossil fuel suppliers? Will the nuclear renaissance be enabled or hamstrung by appointing Allison Macfarlane, a self-proclaimed atomic agnostic who believes that using plutonium to produce heat and electricity in nuclear reactors is so threatening to world peace that the material should be immobilized in synthetic rock and buried, as the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission?