George Will makes some solid points in his recent column:
20 percent of America’s electricity, and 69 percent of its carbon-free generation of electricity, is from nuclear plants. But it has been 30 years since America began construction on a new nuclear reactor.
France gets 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power. China is starting construction of a new reactor every three months.
Meanwhile, America, which pioneered nuclear power, is squandering money on wind power, which provides 1.3 percent of the nation’s electricity: it is slurping up $30 billion of tax breaks and other subsidies amounting to $18.82 per megawatt-hour, 25 times as much per megawatt-hour as the combined subsidies for all other forms of electricity production.
Wind power involves gargantuan “energy sprawl.” To produce 20 percent of America’s power by wind, which the Obama administration dreamily proposes, would require 186,000 tall turbines—40 stories tall, their flashing lights can be seen for 20 miles—covering an area the size of West Virginia. The amount of electricity that would be produced by wind turbines extending the entire 2,178 miles of the Appalachian Trail can be produced by four reactors occupying four square miles of land. And birds beware: the American Bird Conservancy estimates that the existing 25,000 turbines kill between 75,000 and 275,000 birds a year. Imagine the toll that 186,000 turbines would take.
Obama has approved a loan guarantee to underwrite construction of two new nuclear reactors in Georgia. He should double and triple his efforts. But he spent time on Earth Day talking up Wind Power. Obama knows his decision carries political impact and he is getting ready to implement his plan off Cape Cod. Matrix thinks there will be much fall out from this to come from the good folks on Cape Cod.
Related: Matlock Moor wind farm plan rejected