As regular readers know, I harbor cynical thoughts about the motivations of some anti-nuclear commentators. I honestly believe that many of them are supportive of continued market domination by coal, oil and/or gas. I even have a series of blogs with the keyword of “smoking gun” (go ahead, do a search in that little block at the top left of your Atomic Insights window) that points to places where the source is a bit more open about motivation – “smoking gun” articles on Atomic Insights are generally those where an anti-nuclear comment comes directly from someone with an admitted interest in selling more coal, oil or gas.
In all fairness, however, I need to remind myself that there are some people who sell fossil fuel that say very nice and supportive things about nuclear energy and new nuclear power plant construction. I have decided on a new key word – Kevlar Vest – to indicate a post where I point to a statement or commentary by a person with a clear interest in building markets for coal, oil, or gas who comes out in strong support of new nuclear power plant development. (It is not enough to accept the existence of current nuclear plants with a “damning by faint praise” flavor. That kind of support will not earn a Kevlar Vest.)
The first Kevlar Vest goes to Rich Kinder, chairman and CEO of Kiinder Morgan Energy Partners LLP. According to a recent Reuters article titled Kinder: CO2 policy needs natgas, nuclear focus here is what Kinder Morgan does:
Kinder Morgan owns or operates 35,000 miles of gas and oil pipelines and 170 fuel and coal terminals and is building a major gas pipeline from the Rocky Mountains to the East.
In the same Reuters article linked above he is quoted as saying:
“To think we’re going to solve this with solar and wind power is ludicrous,” Kinder, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, told the Reuters Global Energy Summit.
“If you want to knock this thing,” he said of cutting fossil fuel emissions to slow global warming, “you’d go to more natural gas and you would go to more nuclear. That is far more effective.”
It is not surprising that he put his own product at the top of the list, but at least nuclear came next and he forthrightly dismissed the notion that solar and wind could solve our energy challenges.