One of the myths about nuclear energy is that it is unrelated to oil consumption because the US does not burn much oil to produce electricity. That may be true today, but it certainly was not true during the two decade long campaign against the Shoreham nuclear power station. As late as 1978, power plants burning oil produced up to 16% of the electricity in the US. In that year, oil consumption in power plants was nearly 1.5 million barrels of oil per day out of a total oil consumption for the country of about 19 million barrels per day.
Long Island, was a place where virtually all of the electricity and the space heat came from burning oil. The leaders of the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) were being truthful when they told the public that one of the reasons they were building Shoreham was to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
In this second chapter on the Shoreham story, James and Ray describe how their library research efforts helped them to understand more about this issue.