Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

DRILL, BABY, DR… Wait a minute. Maybe this is NOT a good idea


Besides the Arizona Immigration Law (AZ SB 1070), the other story that has drawn just as much attention has been the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, sinking, and resulting large spill (more like a volcano, I agree with Florida Gov. Crist.) that took place in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill, expected to be larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, is impacting the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and could possibly impact Florida. An area that was recently ravaged by Hurricane Katrina five years earlier and still has not economically recovered from it is about to get hit again by a devastating event; this time by something man has created. This oil spill will be detrimental to the fishing industries that are based along the Gulf Coast.

"Drill, Baby, Drill" is not such a good idea, is it?

In fact, Gov. Schwarzenegger (CA-R) has reversed his stance on drilling off of California's coast due to the images of the environmental impact on the Gulf Coast. Hopefully the Obama administration will pause and possibly take similar action in rescinding this policy. I understand the political argument because in order to pass a climate bill in Congress you are going to need some bi-partisan support. Once again, need I ask, how many Republicans were in support of the health care bill and what have I said about them filibustering?

I am in favor of energy independence that includes solar, wind, water, and nuclear energy as I stated in a previous entry (you may have to scroll down….). Let me expand on that: regulated energy independence (I know: contradiction in terms). That's right: energy with some kind of regulation in place. I think that is what got lost in the message of movies like The China Syndrome and Silkwood was not nuclear power itself but the dangers of any UNREGULATED commerce, be it nuclear power, the banking industry, or what we are seeing along the Gulf Coast with the oil industry.

I am in the pro-nuclear power crowd because I had experience with it in my Navy days and I lived close to a nuclear power plant (From March 15, 2004-August 31, 2005 the USS Carl Vinson was my home). I know some Dems disagree with me on nuclear power. However, those that disagree with me, we can come to this agreement as stated above: there does need to be regulation in place, almost Rickoverian (I doubt that's even a word….).

Even though in a year you get more radiation from standing outside than you do operating a commercial nuclear power plant, I will agree that you cannot build one in a neighborhood based on the size of and the logistics needed to support a plant like Comanche Peak. If there are any other concerns about nuclear power that I am not touching on, I am willing to have that discussion.

Anyway, before I get WAY OFF course, I believe that nuclear power can replace fossil fuels as our baseline source of energy while we use renewable energy sources to help boost our grid. At the same time we can be good stewards of both our natural and artificially created environments. As I have stated before in e-mails predating this blog: This country put men on the moon.

With that previous sentence, last night's newscasts offered some unique perspectives about the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News at the end of the broadcast gave this very insightful commentary about the impact of the spill. Later, in a sit down interview on The Rachel Maddow Show, he reiterated to the host those same points. At the end of her program, Rachel Maddow relayed the importance of the Louisiana wetlands and questioned who will fight for the fishermen.

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