Energy Independence?

The flourishing of human society that I envision and hope for will be fueled literally by nuclear power.  I am not interested in using less energy personally, as a family, as a nation, or as any other group that can be imagined.  Nor, do I ask others to use less energy.  I also do not support schemes that exclude large portions of humanity from access to clean, abundant energy.  I consider wind and solar power, in their actual, current embodiment, to be such schemes.

I want to use more energy.  I want a nuclear heated swimming pool and a nuclear cooled house.  I would greatly enjoy a nuclear powered car. (powered by wires in the roads, connected to nuclear reactors, with the appropriate electrical pick-ups in my car).

How can I consume more energy?  By making energy more abundant and therefore cheaper.  From economics it is known that when the price of something is lower, more is demanded by consumers, all things being equal.

Occasionally, a writer comes along that understands this.  Here is a quote from Dr. Gary North:

Anyone who uses the phrase “energy independence” does not understand the division of labor economy. In other words, he does not understand economics.

What we should be hoping for is not energy independence. What we should be hoping for is an energy breakthrough that dramatically increases our dependence on energy, both as individuals and as citizens of the nation. What we want is for all Americans to consume more energy, but in today’s prices or even lower prices. We should not pursue energy independence; we should pursue policies that will enable us, as individuals, to buy more energy than we do today.

Do not be misled by people who promise energy independence. They simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

I am not promising energy independence for the US through nuclear power.  I don’t care where the uranium, thorium, or plutonium comes from. (I lie a little. I hope the plutonium comes from previously fabricated bombs.)

What I am promising is more energy at lower prices. That is the only way that I or anyone else on the planet can use more of it.

Remember, a pound of uranium contains as much energy as 30 tanker trucks (1 million pounds) of petroleum.  A pound of uranium (slightly enriched light water reactor fuel) sells for about $30 dollars.  One million pounds of petroleum sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The hardware to burn nuclear fuel or fossil fuel, at the margin, without rent seeking incumbents interfering in the market, should be comparable in price.  This is the way to make energy more abundant and cheaper.  It also happens to be immensely clean.

Have I been clear enough?  I want to use more energy.  I want others to use more energy.

bwr

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