A national energy strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions yielded from the burning of fossil fuels requires the use of nuclear energy, determined Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, offering his analysis in a Tuesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
Those opposing the use of nuclear energy — or neglecting to highlight its value within a national energy policy — cannot be “serious” or “sincere” in their stated concerns to address carbon dioxide emissions, stated Brouillette.
“It’s hard to know what to make of that, except it’s nonsense, for the most part,” said Brouillette of opposition to fracking and broader fossil fuel development.
Increasing domestic production of fossil fuels and alternatives increases American autonomy in the dimension of energy, explained Brouillette. “[We must reduce] our dependence on countries that, candidly, do not have our interests in mind. … In the ’70s [and] ’80s we were highly dependent [on the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries]. These were countries that were adversaries, quite frankly, and I am very proud of the work this president [and] administration has done to turn that around.”
“I’m happy to report that in 2019, the United States is now the world’s largest producer of natural gas and oil, and we surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest exporter of oil in the world, so we’ve turned this around quite dramatically,” noted Brouillette.
Democrat presidential candidates such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) oppose development and use of nuclear power.
Sanders’s campaign calls for an end to the use of nuclear power, deriding it as a “false solution”:
[The Green New Deal] will stop the building of new nuclear power plants and find a real solution to our existing nuclear waste problem. It will also enact a moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals in the United States to protect surrounding communities. We know that the toxic waste byproducts of nuclear plants are not worth the risks of the technology’s benefit, especially in light of lessons learned from the Fukushima meltdown and the Chernobyl disaster. To get to our goal of 100 percent sustainable energy, we will not rely on any false solutions like nuclear, geoengineering, carbon capture and sequestration, or trash incinerators.
Warren also called for a ban on nuclear energy development during CNN’s Democrat event billed as a “Climate Crisis Town Hall.” CNN wrote:
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that she would oppose nuclear energy as a way to combat climate change should she be elected president in 2020.
“We’re not going to build any nuclear power plants and we’re going to start weaning ourselves off nuclear energy and replacing it with renewable fuels,” Warren said, adding that she hopes to phase out nuclear power by 2035.
Warren said that while nuclear energy is not carbon-based – and therefore cleaner than some energy sources – there is a clear danger with storage.
“It has a lot of risks associated with it,” Warren said.
“[The Trump administration will] continue to diversify our energy sources,” said Brouillette. “Again, that’s another point of disagreement, if you will, between this administration and other administrations. In the past, for whatever reasons — perhaps a climate goal they may have had at the time — they would revile certain types of energy, for instance, coal. This administration has taken quite a different approach. We’re not going to eliminate these important resources that this country has and enjoys.”
Brouillette continued, “Now, we can use technologies to make coal burn cleaner. We have established … the goal should not be to eliminate coal from the portfolio, so we’re approaching this from a very different standpoint.”
“The president’s approach is, we’re going to develop all forms of energy,” added Brouillette. “We’re going to be diverse in our energy supply. We’re going to create renewables. We’re going to continue to push those important technologies. We’re going to invest in and support battery technology to make these renewables work better.”
Diversification of America’s energy supply increases national security, noted Brouillette.
“We’re also going to support nuclear energy,” Brouillette remarked. “We’re going to support fossil technology. It’s very important that we be diverse because, just like your financial portfolio, if you’re diverse in your investments, you have a lower risk profile, and that’s our approach.”
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions without nuclear power usage is “impossible,” said Brouillette.
“If you care about the environment — if you care about carbon emissions — you must be a supporter of nuclear energy or else you will never be able to meet the goals established by some of these European countries,” said Brouillette. “France and Germany and others signed onto this Paris Accord, and we’ve received some diplomatic criticism for backing away from that. The bottom line is they’re moving away from nuclear, and as they do, they’re moving further away from those [emissions targets] they said they wanted to establish.”
Brouillette went on, “You have to compare and contrast that to the United States, which has reduced its carbon emissions over the course of the last 12 or 15 years. The time frame of, let’s say, 2005 to roughly 2017, we’ve reduced carbon emissions by 14 percent. This is while the economy has grown by 17 or 18 percent over that same period.”
“We’re doing that, again, because of our diversity of energy supplies, which includes zero-emission nuclear energy,” continued Brouillette. “Now, is it expensive? Of course it is, but you know what? We’re developing technologies in our national laboratories that will allow some of these smaller modular advanced reactors to come online. … Their fuels are … what we refer to as ‘walk-away safe.’ The days of a meltdown, if you will … we can move away from that with some of the newer technologies, and that’s an exciting feature for nuclear energy.”
Brouillette said, “In my personal view, if you are sincere about your desire to reduce carbon emissions, you’re going to be a supporter of nuclear energy.”
“The Green New Deal — I’ve read through it a couple of times, now — it’s a political document,” assessed Brouillette. “It’s not a serious document. I don’t think it was ever intended to be a serious document. It doesn’t fundamentally address views that they say they care about. … You are not going to achieve any of the environmental goals that are established in that document without nuclear power. It’s as simple as that. I wish them well in their endeavors, but that’s not a serious proposal.”
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