Why We Don’t Need a National Energy Plan

Former Senators Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, and Byron Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, have teamed up to form a Bipartisan Policy Center that is putting out the word that what we is need a Bipartisan National Energy Plan.

As an editor at RealClearEnergy, I must admit I see this story about twice a day.  Every editorial writer in creation has already written his piece about how we need a National Energy Plan.  But bipartisan, hey that must be something new, right?  The two parties working together?   That will do the trick, no?

Well, no.  You see the whole idea of a National Energy Plan is that decisions will be made in Washington.  Then the word will go out telling everyone what to do.  The one thing you can be certain of is that if decisions are made in Washington, not much of anything will get done and the whole thing will become politicized.

Take nuclear energy, for example.  What we have today in the nuclear industry is essentially a huge monopoly organization run out of Nuclear Regulatory Commission headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.  It’s impossible to get anything done today in the nuclear industry without clearing it first through headquarters.

For instance, when I was touring the Cooper Nuclear Station in 2006 in preparation for writing my book, Terrestrial Energy, I saw a large tricycle sitting in front of the administrative building.  I asked my guide what purpose it served.  He explained that no cars were allowed “inside the fence” and employees often found themselves walking long distances around the site in the winter cold.  So they had finally asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission if they could ride bicycles.  The NRC considered the matter for eight months before coming back with a word that bicycles would be too dangerous but it would allow a tricycle.  So there it was.

Read more at Nuclear Townhall. By William Tucker.

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