Environmental Extremism Imperils Nation’s Freedom and Prosperity

Published February 27, 2015

Our American constitutional republic is in peril. Having protected our God-given individual freedoms and our culture of free entrepreneurship that created the greatest economic miracle the world has ever known, these freedoms and this culture are now being markedly diminished by those who want to turn our country away from the principles of our Constitution and Bill of Rights and replace these principles with ubiquitous government control of literally every aspect of our lives.

This attack on our freedoms is being implemented in our local, state, and federal governments by unprincipled politicians and the bureaucracies they create. There is literally no aspect of our civilization that these miscreants are not moving to control and diminish.

One especially important aspect is our access to energy resources and our freedom to build energy industries to maintain and increase the quality, quantity, and length of human life.

Nuclear Power

Nuclear-electric energy provides one example. Conservative estimates indicate American engineers using private capital would have built approximately 1,000 nuclear reactors, contained in 100 ten-reactor power stations, in the United States during the past 40 years; on average, two power stations in each of the 50 states. Political elitists in Washington misused government regulatory power to prevent the building of these power stations. They created and implemented regulations that unnecessarily raised the cost of building this equipment by several-fold, and created a licensing environment that has not only prevented new reactors but is forcing the closure of those built earlier.

One such power station was partially completed at Palo Verde near Phoenix, Arizona. Three reactors were completed before government stopped construction of new nuclear plants. Each of those three reactors today produces twice the electricity of Hoover Dam, electricity that costs less than 2 cents per kilowatt hour. Together, they are the equivalent of six Hoover dams producing electricity at less than one-fifth the current average U.S. price.

Had government not prevented the building of those 100 power stations, there would now be the average equivalent of 40 Hoover Dams in each of the 50 states, providing electricity at such a low cost that it would be almost negligible. The advances in our country this electricity could have made possible would sound like science fiction if we were able to describe them today.

Recently, President Obama bragged about an agreement he made with China that the two countries will produce large amounts of carbon-free energy with solar, wind, and nuclear power. The widely unnoticed feature is that Obama plans we will use solar and wind, while the Chinese intend to use nuclear power. Today China has 50 nuclear power plants under construction.

Our entrepreneurs are to go up against Chinese nuclear power plants with . . . windmills.

Necessity of Fossil Fuels

It is likely mankind will eventually transition largely to nuclear energy, but essentially all of human civilization currently depends on hydrocarbon energy. Coal, oil, natural gas, and methane clathrates (a form of natural gas in the oceans) exist in essentially unlimited supplies, and methods of extracting and processing them are rapidly advancing.

Even if remarkable new and unexpected superior methods of energy supply were invented today, many decades would be required to replace the hundreds of millions of hydrocarbon machines that now power our civilization and make life possible for billions of people. Abrupt, forced reduction in the production of hydrocarbon energy would make life impossible for hundreds of millions of people who are still struggling to lift themselves from poverty and tyranny by means of hydrocarbon-powered machines.

Although reductions in hydrocarbon energy would diminish most Americans’ lives, we would still live good lives. In the Third World, however, abrupt reductions in hydrocarbon energy would kill hundreds of millions of poor people, a genocide of unthinkable proportions.

Yet an abrupt reduction in hydrocarbon energy is exactly what an unprincipled elite is trying to impose on the world. Their excuse is the bogus hypothesis that hydrocarbon energy is dangerously damaging the world’s weather and will cause catastrophic flooding of costal lands. They claim almost all scientists agree with this.

Climate Science Petition

However, at www.petitonproject.org is a petition signed by more than 31,000 American scientists urging the U.S. government to take no action on the basis of this failed hypothesis. This website also provides a scientific review paper summarizing the relevant evidence.

The earth has been in a natural warming cycle for the past 200 years. It has, in times earlier, been much warmer than it is today. There is no evidence human activity is significantly affecting this. The associated rise in sea level during this period, before and after major human use of hydrocarbons, is seven inches per century. In recent years, moreover, the warming has abated even though hydrocarbon use has increased. Detailed data and scientific analysis on this is provided in the review paper at www.petitonproject.org and its 132 referenced articles.

Government control of our energy resources and industries is threatening our nation’s future, our lives, and those of our fellow citizens. This is just one important aspect of the threat to our constitutional republic, a republic necessary to our well-being and that of our descendants.

It is the duty of all Americans who understand this issue to work to prevent this calamity and to preserve and restore our way of life.