August 5, 2003
The Energy Bill: More Addiction to Fossil & Nuclear Fuels
By Harry Braun
While the Republicans are focused on finding the remaining oil and gas reserves in sensitive environmental areas, the Democrats are focused on conserving such reserves by encouraging American consumers to give up their SUVs. In any case, the Energy Bill now being negotiated between the House and Senate will do little to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil - much less make America energy independent of fossil and nuclear fuels that are rapidly diminishing and highly-polluting. In the case of nuclear fuels, seven hours of operation at a 1000-MW nuclear plant generates the same amount of radioactivity as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and some of the most lethal radioactive wastes, such as Iodine 129, are invisible; they are virtually impossible to contain over time; and they will be deadly for 160 million years. One can only wonder how Members of Congress could be so misinformed that they continue to authorize the production of radioactive poisons that will be causing genetic disease and death to humans for the next million centuries.
The Congress should be focused on hearings regarding the Phoenix Project, an integrated $6 trillion energy and economic plan that would not only make the U.S. energy independent of all fossil and nuclear fuels - but allow this "transition of substance" to happen with wartime-speed (i.e., by 2010). The rapid implementation schedule is possible because the Phoenix Project calls for mass-producing state-of-the-art wind and other solar hydrogen production technologies in the depressed automotive, aerospace and ship building industries. And instead of waiting for fuel cells, every existing vehicle (including SUVs) will simply be modified to use hydrogen fuel.
Fair Accounting Act
The "trigger mechanism" for this reindustrialization effort is the passage of Fair Accounting Act legislation in the U.S. Congress that will eliminate subsidies to fossil and nuclear systems, and factor in the environmental and military costs of using such fuels. If such a fair accounting system is used, solar-sourced hydrogen will be the least expensive fuel. This is the critical market incentive for oil and utility companies (not taxpayers) to make the multi-trillion investments for the mass-production of wind and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) systems that will be needed for large-scale hydrogen production. Millions of Americans will be employed in the process as the U.S. is rapidly transformed from being the worlds largest energy importer, to a Saudi Arabia-class energy exporter, with a fuel that is non-toxic, pollution-free and inexhaustible.
Saving Ocean Ecosystems
While Making the America Energy Independent
Deploying Multi-Array "Windships" at sea would not only generate enough hydrogen to make the U.S. energy independent of all fossil and nuclear fuels-but the deployment of such a fleet would provide a critical sanctuary for the remaining fish and other marine organisms that are being exterminated by oil spills and destructive fishing practices. Given that over 90% of the ocean ecosystems have already been destroyed, there is very little time to take corrective actions. We are all like passengers on the Titanic and there is only a limited amount of time to change course. When the U.S. Congress passes Fair Accounting Act legislation, oil and other energy companies will rapidly build and deploy the vast fleets of Windships and OTEC systems that are no more difficult to build than automobiles and oil tankers-providing sustainable prosperity without pollution in the process. For more information and images of Windships, refer to the phoenixproject.net website.