Energy is going to play a larger part in the 2008 election than I think anybody suspected it would a year ago. Suddenly, non-fossil-fuel is at the forefront.
How serious are we?
Amid the rolling hills and verdant pastures of south central Virginia an unlikely new front in the battle over nuclear energy is opening up. How it is decided will tell us a lot about whether this country is willing to get serious about addressing its energy needs.
In Pittsylvania County, just north of the North Carolina border, the largest undeveloped uranium deposit in the United States -- and the seventh largest in the world, according to industry monitor UX Consulting -- sits on land owned by neighbors Henry Bowen and Walter Coles. Large uranium deposits close to the surface are virtually unknown in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River. And that may be the problem.
It seems to me that safe and reliable nuclear energy is going to have to play a larger role in our energy supply than it has previously. Instead of "puddle jumper" aircraft that move from regional airports to the hubs, we may have to develop an electric (nuclear powered) train system for that segment of the journey. That, all by itself, would release jet fuel to be used by the hub-to-hub larger planes that would still be forced to use fossil fuels.
Even if coast-to-coast trains were made more "attractive" to the general user (yes, it would take LOTS more time...but it could be made more feasible. An iPod charger, wireless [satellite] internet, a curtain placed around the seat row for night-time sleeping, etc.)
As a society, we might have to slow down a little bit. We might have to buy more locally grown crops. We might have to start to ride bikes...I'm not sure that would be a bad thing.