My eldest sister is in the nuclear business. Fortunately back then (way back then) when nuclear was supposed to be in an explosive growth stage, she went into decommissioning and safety so on, and is still working in the field.
People don't realize that a huge portion of our electrical energy comes from coal and in my opinion will for a long time. All other sources will take a long time to implement and as well be able to bring it to service.
Old but still relevant.
The United States faces an energy crisis of unprecedented magnitude that is getting worse by the day.
The U.S. needs energy -- lots of it. Day in and day out, this country, with only 5% of the world's population, consumes one quarter of the world's total energy supply. About 40% of our energy comes from oil: some 20 million barrels, or 840 million gallons a day.
Another 23% comes from coal, and a like percentage from natural gas.
Providing all this energy to American consumers and businesses, even in an economic downturn, remains a Herculean task, and will only grow more so in the years ahead. Addressing the environmental consequences of consuming fossil fuels at such levels, all emitting climate-altering greenhouse gases, only makes this equation more intimidating.
As President Obama faces our energy problem, he will have to address three overarching challenges:
1. The United States relies excessively on oil to supply its energy needs at a time when the future availability of petroleum is increasingly in question.
2. Our most abundant domestic source of fuel, coal, is the greatest emitter of greenhouse gases when consumed in the current manner.
3. No other source of energy, including natural gas, nuclear power, biofuels, wind power, and solar power is currently capable of supplanting our oil and coal consumption, even if a decision is made to reduce their importance in our energy mix.
This, then, is the essence of Obama's energy dilemma. Let's take a closer look at each of its key components.