18 votes

Green New Deal doesn't include Nuclear. Good? Bad? What do you think?

49 comments

  1. [2]
    Guyon Link
    Similarly pro-nuclear here, but more importantly, a proponent of diverse energy sources. From the article: I bet we could have been there already if nuclear power innovations didn't almost slow to...

    Similarly pro-nuclear here, but more importantly, a proponent of diverse energy sources.

    From the article:

    It sets a goal of shifting the nation to 100 percent “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources,” within 10 years

    I bet we could have been there already if nuclear power innovations didn't almost slow to a halt decades ago. There's so much left to learn in this sector. Note the twenty year gap where no new nuclear reactors were put into commercial operation in the US.

    19 votes
    1. Pilgrim Link Parent
      Yes! Nuclear is part of the solution but is not the solution

      a proponent of diverse energy sources.

      Yes! Nuclear is part of the solution but is not the solution

      9 votes
  2. [13]
    Pilgrim (edited ) Link
    Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-08/how-the-green-new-deal-almost-went-nuclear-on-its-first-day I've been a proponent of nuclear as far back as I can recall. To me it's a...

    Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-08/how-the-green-new-deal-almost-went-nuclear-on-its-first-day

    I've been a proponent of nuclear as far back as I can recall. To me it's a no-brainer - massive amounts of clean energy with low risk. What's not to like?

    EDIT: Hearing some good points but I still think nuclear should be part of the solution, but not the whole solution

    EDIT2: As @dubteedub pointed out, the plan itself doesn't exclude nuclear, but AOC put out a fact sheet stating that. Other backers of the bill have said there is room for nuclear. So this seems to be a point of contention among progressive democratics.

    16 votes
    1. [12]
      Spel Link Parent
      The cost. It's too expensive compared to the alternatives.

      The cost. It's too expensive compared to the alternatives.

      6 votes
      1. [7]
        papasquat Link Parent
        Agreed. There haven't been any actual proposals I've seen to make nuclear economically competitive, besides "cut regulations". Even if that course of action made sense (in my opinion it doesn't),...

        Agreed. There haven't been any actual proposals I've seen to make nuclear economically competitive, besides "cut regulations". Even if that course of action made sense (in my opinion it doesn't), there's zero public appetite in poorly regulated nuclear plants. Unless there's some sort of major breakthrough in reactor construction, I don't see nuclear being installed much in the future when you can just put up some solar panels and windmills for one fourth the cost and even it out with grid scale storage and still come in significantly cheaper.

        7 votes
        1. [4]
          Pilgrim Link Parent
          See my response to OP that provides some numbers if you're interested in the nitty gritty.

          See my response to OP that provides some numbers if you're interested in the nitty gritty.

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            EightRoundsRapid Link Parent
            Toshiba and Hitachi have both halted building nuclear plants here because they can't make the numbers work. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46122255 https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46900918

            Toshiba and Hitachi have both halted building nuclear plants here because they can't make the numbers work.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46122255

            https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46900918

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              my_mo_is_lurk Link Parent
              Your comment is misrepresenting the information from your sources. For starters, it implied that Toshiba and Hitachi are out of the game completely when that is not necessarily the case (as...
              • Exemplary

              Your comment is misrepresenting the information from your sources. For starters, it implied that Toshiba and Hitachi are out of the game completely when that is not necessarily the case (as there's still one plant that's continuing construction, and two of them are trying to get a green light but haven't been written off, as per your second article). And it's not that they "can't make the numbers work" it's that they can't get them to work with the government. Considering how the UK government is having a ball with Brexit, I'm willing to bet that they're not on top of their game when it comes to their nuclear energy policy.

              Unfortunately, I can only bet, as the articles are scant on the details of the negotiations.

              I did notice this little snippet:

              The UK has 15 nuclear reactors, generating about 21% of its electricity

              Which seems to cast some doubt on the implication that nuclear isn't a viable alternative from an economic perspective.

              6 votes
              1. Amarok Link Parent
                We're at around 450 operating reactors globally with another 50ish under construction. It's just shy of 20% of the world's total power generation. Can't remember where I read that statistic, it...

                We're at around 450 operating reactors globally with another 50ish under construction. It's just shy of 20% of the world's total power generation. Can't remember where I read that statistic, it might be a little bit out of date.

                2 votes
        2. [2]
          unknownkadath Link Parent
          As someone with experience with the nuclear industry, the biggest cost sink in building nuclear plants isn't the technology itself or its accompanying regulation. The problem is that a handful of...

          As someone with experience with the nuclear industry, the biggest cost sink in building nuclear plants isn't the technology itself or its accompanying regulation. The problem is that a handful of huge contractors (e.g. Bechtel, D&Z, etc) have trapped most of the industry in a sort of vendor lock-in trap. These contractors then use their leverage to negotiate brutal cost-plus contracts that reward them for finishing work years late and billions of dollars overbudget.

          This problem isn't limited to nuclear alone, however. It seems like every large infrastructure project is getting caught in this same quagmire.

          You make a good point with the cost scaling, too.

          1 vote
          1. Amarok Link Parent
            The clean up and decommissioning is a right bitch, too. That's a major part of the cost and it has to be built in to the business plan. The thorium options hold out the promise of reducing that...

            The clean up and decommissioning is a right bitch, too. That's a major part of the cost and it has to be built in to the business plan. The thorium options hold out the promise of reducing that cost in some gen-iv designs but they won't eliminate it.

            Right now everything nuclear is based on making money from uranium enrichment. The vendors sell you a plant and lock you in to a multi-decade fuel contract because it's the only way to make money. Nuclear power makes so much electricity so cheaply that it isn't profitable enough to sell the electricity. Quite the catch-22.

      2. [3]
        Pilgrim Link Parent
        I was trying to investigate this a bit more and dismayed that it's easy to find sources to back up either POV. I found this from the USEIA that seems me to be an impartial source:...

        I was trying to investigate this a bit more and dismayed that it's easy to find sources to back up either POV. I found this from the USEIA that seems me to be an impartial source:

        https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=19&t=3

        Specifically this paper goes into more detail:
        https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/assumptions/pdf/table_8.2.pdf

        First, let me say that I may not be reading this right as this is certainly not my expertise. If we look at the "Total Overnight Cost" column I think we get a good idea for cost comparison purposes (please someone let me know if I'm not reading this right).

        Looking at that, we can see that nuclear and off-shore wind energy are about on par for cost, while on-shore wind is substantially cheaper than nuclear, as is traditional solar. So I'd have to agree with @Guyon that nuclear should be part of the equation, especially for those regions where wind and solar are not as viable, and to supplement other power sources that cannot create enough energy to meet demand.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          Staross Link Parent
          I think the costs are quite complicated. In France at least the dismantling costs have been underestimated and it's not yet very clear how much the whole life-cycle of a central will cost. Plus if...

          I think the costs are quite complicated. In France at least the dismantling costs have been underestimated and it's not yet very clear how much the whole life-cycle of a central will cost. Plus if we build today we have to predict how much it will cost to maintain/dismantle in the next 50 years, which is pretty hard.

          On the other hand if we go full renewable the grid problems might also end up costing an arm and a leg (you can find estimates about 5-10x the cost of nuclear), because you need to produce much more electricity in total to absorb the consumption peaks, and you need a lot of storage.

          1. Pilgrim Link Parent
            Even more reason to have a balanced approach involving many types or renewable energy so we're spreading out the risk of unforeseen costs.

            Even more reason to have a balanced approach involving many types or renewable energy so we're spreading out the risk of unforeseen costs.

            1 vote
      3. super_james Link Parent
        Are there actually viable alternatives for low-carbon base load though? Are pumped, train or crane storage and excess renewable power generation really cheaper than nukes?

        Are there actually viable alternatives for low-carbon base load though? Are pumped, train or crane storage and excess renewable power generation really cheaper than nukes?

  3. [5]
    demifiend Link
    As far as I'm concerned, solar power is nuclear power. There's a perfectly good sustained nuclear fusion reactor 93 million miles away that we could be using to fuller advantage instead of digging...

    As far as I'm concerned, solar power is nuclear power. There's a perfectly good sustained nuclear fusion reactor 93 million miles away that we could be using to fuller advantage instead of digging up uranium, dicking around with fission, and arguing about what to do with the radioactive byproducts. The sun has been running for 4.5 billion years and should run for at 4.5 billion more, so let's take advantage.

    14 votes
    1. [2]
      mb3077 Link Parent
      It is true that solar has seen immense improvements in the past decade, and currently is competitive with other methods of energy production. However solar energy has some clear drawbacks that...

      It is true that solar has seen immense improvements in the past decade, and currently is competitive with other methods of energy production.

      However solar energy has some clear drawbacks that should not be ignored.

      • It is dependent on location and sunlight availability.
      • Electricity can't be generated at night, so it requires excess energy storage using batteries or other methods, which increases it's price.
      • It is relatively inefficient, the standard energy conversion of solar panels being around 37%

      Some sources:

      2 votes
      1. demifiend Link Parent
        Thank you, but I know about these drawbacks and consider them irrelevant.

        Thank you, but I know about these drawbacks and consider them irrelevant.

    2. FreeLunch Link Parent
      I'd round down a bit more on the expected lifespan of the sun, just because it's projected to expand a bit as it nears the end of its life (on an astronomical time scale anyways). Still, another...

      I'd round down a bit more on the expected lifespan of the sun, just because it's projected to expand a bit as it nears the end of its life (on an astronomical time scale anyways). Still, another billion years of essentially free energy is nothing to scoff at!

      Of course, we should be supplementing solar with hydro, wind and geothermal power as well. No reason to not use all of the options available to us!

      1 vote
  4. [17]
    Diet_Coke Link
    I just don't think you can qualify Nuclear as green until you come up with a practical way of dealing with the waste that is acceptable by all the stakeholders, including communities that will...

    I just don't think you can qualify Nuclear as green until you come up with a practical way of dealing with the waste that is acceptable by all the stakeholders, including communities that will have radioactive waste being trucked down their roads.

    6 votes
    1. [8]
      Amarok Link Parent
      We've had a foolproof practical way of handling the waste since the 1960s. We've simply never bothered to use it. The 'correct' method is to build nuclear reactors that burn the fuel down until...

      We've had a foolproof practical way of handling the waste since the 1960s. We've simply never bothered to use it.

      The 'correct' method is to build nuclear reactors that burn the fuel down until there's nothing left but lead - nuclear incinerators. The waste that comes out of these reactors has a half life of three hundred years, rather than the current ten thousand year half life of uranium fuel cycle reactors. The 'waste' from our current reactor designs is just lightly-toasted fuel for these systems, which will happily burn all of it up.

      The waste from these newer reactors can be locked up in glass bricks forever where it will never, ever leech anything back into the environment. We can stack the bricks in yucca until they are ready to be sold as souvenirs or we can throw them into any of dozens of fault lines where they'll be subducted back into the earth's core. Either way, these bricks present no real problems.

      Whenever anyone brings this stuff up, all people do is whinge about uranium waste, because people are completely ignorant on these issues. Given most nuclear PhDs don't even know about this (as it isn't taught in any school) one can hardly blame them. There are as many ways to make a nuclear reactor as there are ways to build engines, and we talk about nuclear power as if there is only one way to do it, and we only teach the one way to do it. That must change. The public misconceptions about nuclear power are the real enemy to progress.

      7 votes
      1. [7]
        TheInvaderZim Link Parent
        Can you provide further insight on what these incinerators are? The name suggests that we're somehow burning the metal, so best-case scenario, we'd simply be transmuting the waste into other,...

        Can you provide further insight on what these incinerators are? The name suggests that we're somehow burning the metal, so best-case scenario, we'd simply be transmuting the waste into other, harder-to-contain forms. I'm wondering if the term is a mislabel?

        1 vote
        1. [6]
          Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
          Actually, it goes the other way. The constant neutron bombardment basically blasts everything from dangerous isotopes down to much simpler, shorter lived isotopes that are far easier to contain....

          Actually, it goes the other way. The constant neutron bombardment basically blasts everything from dangerous isotopes down to much simpler, shorter lived isotopes that are far easier to contain. When you bombard radioactive elements with neutrons, that doesn't necessarily make them more radioactive. Sooner or later they fission and split up into other elements. Some of those might be worse than the previous element (more radioactive) but they are still smaller, so you just keep on bombarding them and breaking them down - they'll all succumb to the constant high temperature and relentless onslaught of neutrons in the end. Eventually, lead and a handful of other stable isotopes are what's left. See the black line in this diagram. You leave everything in the reactor until it's burned down to those stable levels, then extract that waste for processing.

          You can find details about the chemistry involved in section 6 here. Note that reference is a bit out of date, this is currently a very active area of research but I don't have a better/more up to date summary handy. It's fair to say that most of the real research in this area has been done in the last five years as interest in these reactor designs has taken off.

          All of the fuel in these reactors is running at extremely high temperatures, far hotter than existing nuclear plants (they are thermal spectrum reactors, not traditional fast spectrum reactors). This changes everything about how they operate. That's why it's fair to call them nuclear incinerators. The exact temperatures vary by design, as do the nature of the byproducts and the ease of refueling, burning up prior waste, and extracting various desirable isotopes for profit. The ballpark is 2500-3000'C, but I've seen designs as low as 800'C and as high as 5000'C. This chemical challenge in the design is the chief area of research and investment at the moment.

          3 votes
          1. [5]
            TheInvaderZim Link Parent
            fascinating, thank you! The subject of energy production interests me greatly and this is super informative.

            fascinating, thank you! The subject of energy production interests me greatly and this is super informative.

            1 vote
            1. [4]
              Amarok Link Parent
              I've been reading about thorium for years, and I've yet to come across any real solid rebuttals to the promise of this technology. The few I've seen have been soundly debunked. The real challenge...

              I've been reading about thorium for years, and I've yet to come across any real solid rebuttals to the promise of this technology. The few I've seen have been soundly debunked.

              The real challenge here is that thorium is a fuel cycle - it's the gas, not the engine. There are literally dozens of designs on paper for how to use this stuff in everything from existing reactors to specialized reactors that burn up waste to portable reactors that are designed to produce almost no waste and a galaxy of ultra-valuable isotopes. At this time, no one knows the 'right' or even 'best' ways to build a reactor around this fuel. We're not going to answer that question until after a couple of billion dollars of R&D and a hell of a lot of prototyping.

              My money is on the molten salt reactors, and even there, they have single, dual, and three-fuel designs on paper (basically isolating the various types of fuel/isotopes from each other physically, but keeping the pipes close enough that they are all bathed in neutrons). There are advantages to keeping things separated, makes for a cleaner, more controllable, more reliable reactor system.

              Another rather annoying challenge is that these reactors are murder on the plumbing. That constant neutron bombardment will break down anything and everything including the reactor materials. Hastelloy-Nickle with a dash of Titanium and Niobium is the current 'winner' for the plumbing, being able to last over a decade before the embrittlement necessitates replacement. There's been some real interest in fancy new modern ceramics for this as well but I'm not aware of any breakthroughs there yet - just that a lot of people working in ceramics think there's probably a better solution there waiting to be discovered.

              1 vote
              1. TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                I've always wondered why we dont toy with ideas like magnetic suspension for such problems. To my extremely ignorant brain, it seems like rather than chasing the conventional brute methods down a...

                I've always wondered why we dont toy with ideas like magnetic suspension for such problems. To my extremely ignorant brain, it seems like rather than chasing the conventional brute methods down a tougher-materials rabbit hole, the solution would be in something more modern and less dependant on simply overpowering the problem.

                The same can be said for the 'engine,' right? Cuz thats the trillion-dollar question. I am basically as ignorant as I can be on such matters but I do know that for most power generation matters our methods of energy capture are stupidly inefficient compared to the total output.

                1 vote
              2. [2]
                TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                On a different thought, if I wanted to begin learning more about this type of science and study, where do you recommend starting? What field of study?

                On a different thought, if I wanted to begin learning more about this type of science and study, where do you recommend starting? What field of study?

                1 vote
                1. Amarok Link Parent
                  Nuclear engineering. The thorium fuel cycle is kinda the 'new hotness' in that area. Ten years ago you could complete a PhD in nuclear engineering and never even hear the word 'thorium' during...

                  Nuclear engineering. The thorium fuel cycle is kinda the 'new hotness' in that area. Ten years ago you could complete a PhD in nuclear engineering and never even hear the word 'thorium' during your entire time studying the field. I expect that's changed, though you may have to do some hunting to find universities that are offering an education that's geared towards thorium over uranium.

                  1 vote
    2. [3]
      Pilgrim Link Parent
      From what I can tell, we're already doing a good job of that.

      From what I can tell, we're already doing a good job of that.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Diet_Coke Link Parent
        This may be worth a watch then: https://youtu.be/ZwY2E0hjGuU

        This may be worth a watch then: https://youtu.be/ZwY2E0hjGuU

        1. Pilgrim Link Parent
          I've seen it before. I found it alarmist (but I like John Stewart generally).

          I've seen it before. I found it alarmist (but I like John Stewart generally).

          4 votes
    3. [5]
      babypuncher Link Parent
      The people at Yucca mountain wanted the storage facility to open up. It's been proven safe, and was going to provide hundreds of long-term local jobs. The facility was even finished being built...

      The people at Yucca mountain wanted the storage facility to open up. It's been proven safe, and was going to provide hundreds of long-term local jobs. The facility was even finished being built and we just decided not to use it.

      Right now we've got nuclear waste piling up at all our reactors because nobody is willing to open the storage facility for it except for the people who actually live by it.

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        Diet_Coke Link Parent
        Like I said, all stakeholders. That includes everyone between Yucca Mountain and the origination point of radioactive waste.

        Like I said, all stakeholders. That includes everyone between Yucca Mountain and the origination point of radioactive waste.

        1. [3]
          babypuncher Link Parent
          I fail to see how people at the origination points of radioactive waste wouldn't want it shipped off to Yucca Mountain. Right now, it's just piling up in spent fuel pools, which is outright more...

          I fail to see how people at the origination points of radioactive waste wouldn't want it shipped off to Yucca Mountain. Right now, it's just piling up in spent fuel pools, which is outright more dangerous for everyone, especially those living near the point of origination.

          1 vote
          1. Amarok Link Parent
            Yeah, it's kinda crazy. We built a state of the art long-term waste storage facility and everyone who isn't directly involved in that facility or the nuclear industry somehow managed to whine...

            Yeah, it's kinda crazy. We built a state of the art long-term waste storage facility and everyone who isn't directly involved in that facility or the nuclear industry somehow managed to whine about it enough that it never actually opened, despite it being the safest/smartest solution to the waste problem at the present time.

            So, now all the waste is sitting inside the reactors a couple yards from where it's made. That is probably the next-best place to put it, but still... it's a bit silly.

            2 votes
          2. Diet_Coke Link Parent
            You've got point A, the origination point. You've got point B, the end destination. People at both areas buy in, because for one it means safety and the other it means jobs. Draw a line from point...

            You've got point A, the origination point. You've got point B, the end destination. People at both areas buy in, because for one it means safety and the other it means jobs. Draw a line from point A to point B. People living along that line have nothing/very little to gain, and potential loss from a catastrophic truck or train accident.

  5. CrazyOtter Link
    Reading the article it seems like this deal has little chance of being implemented due to the Senate and President blocking it. Anyway regardless of that you can't ignore the numbers. Americans...

    Reading the article it seems like this deal has little chance of being implemented due to the Senate and President blocking it.

    Anyway regardless of that you can't ignore the numbers. Americans have one of the highest rates of energy consumption (~250kWh/day/person, though that might be out of date) of any nation. To maintain that style of living (ignoring energy efficiency & tech improvements) renewable energy won't be enough, nuclear is a requirement.

    6 votes
  6. Dumbledore Link
    If the debacle in South Carolina is any indication, new-build nuclear is very very challenging to implement in the US. The fact is wholesale electricity market prices are going down all the time,...

    If the debacle in South Carolina is any indication, new-build nuclear is very very challenging to implement in the US. The fact is wholesale electricity market prices are going down all the time, due to cheaper electrons via natural gas, solar, and wind. This is killing coal and any new-build nuclear, as the start-up costs and man-power and political will it takes to build nuclear is massive. I am also unclear how a jobs/progressive legislation that is about installing tons of renewables would actually include nuclear regulations...Why not just have a separate line of bills about nuclear, fast tracking newer generation designs? I feel the green new deal is a lot about mass employment in the renewables industry, those are decently paying jobs that would be contributing to decarbonization, a win-win.

    4 votes
  7. [3]
    dubteedub Link
    A co-sponsor of the resolution Ed Markey says that there is no anti-nuclear language in the actual bill. It appears that just comes from a factsheet on the GND that AOC's office put out. Nukes can...

    A co-sponsor of the resolution Ed Markey says that there is no anti-nuclear language in the actual bill. It appears that just comes from a factsheet on the GND that AOC's office put out.

    A Congressional resolution on the proposal introduced by progressive Democrats that morning does not target specific generation technologies, said Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a sponsor of the proposal. Instead, it aims to include all options to power the U.S. with "clean, renewable and zero-emission sources" within the next ten years.

    "The resolution is silent on any individual technology which can move us toward a solution to this [climate change] problem," Markey said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "There [are] no individual prescriptions in the resolution which is why we think we're going to be able to get a broad base of support, and then we'll let the debates begin on the individual solutions."

    That sentiment differed from a fact sheet on the resolution circulated Thursday morning by the office of Markey's co-sponsor on the Green New Deal resolution, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

    That document said a Green New Deal "would not include creating new nuclear plants," and said the movement's goal is to "transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible" — potentially within a decade. It also criticized carbon capture and storage, which it said "to date has not proven effective."

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Pilgrim Link Parent
      Correct. I didn't intend to be misleading at all - I'll edit my post to make that more clear. This looks to be a point of contention in the backers of the plan.

      Correct. I didn't intend to be misleading at all - I'll edit my post to make that more clear. This looks to be a point of contention in the backers of the plan.

      2 votes
  8. Amarok (edited ) Link
    Frankly I'd rather keep the green energy and the nuclear energy projects separated from a budget perspective. Let them stand on their own merits separately. We can and should chase all the green...

    Frankly I'd rather keep the green energy and the nuclear energy projects separated from a budget perspective. Let them stand on their own merits separately. We can and should chase all the green we can, but the simple fact is that green energy will never, ever produce enough for all of our needs. There will always be low power generation areas where one can't make enough green energy, high consumption areas where no amount of green energy can run everything, and we lose 75% of all power when the distance it is transmitted is doubled so forget about 'shipping' power around - physics says no. Bottom line, nuclear is the only power solution that can work anywhere and be scaled up to match any power need in any environment. That cold hard fact means nuclear is our future, and opinions don't matter. We can wring our hands about it some more like children, or we can accept the inevitable, get to work, and get good at nuclear power.

    That said, fuck pressurized water systems and fuel cycles that depend on enrichment of uranium (in other words, fuck the entire existing nuclear industry). I've zero interest in seeing those continue to exist when there are, quite literally, hundreds of alternative designs that universally outclass existing reactors in every conceivable way. If we're going to pursue nuclear we must chase after these vastly improved systems, not build more of those dangerous, over-complicated, under-optimized ancient reactors that came out of the last world war. I for one am quite glad to see the USA/NRC blocking each and every attempt to build more of those reactors and I hope to see their continued success blocking every such project in the future.

    What's needed right now (from the USA specifically) is a billion dollar investment in prototyping generation four reactors. Once we're out the other side of that prototyping phase with working test reactors we'll better know which designs are the most likely to bear fruit and what the risks and pitfalls of these new designs are. Then we're in a better position to start building new reactors.

    Bill Gates is offering to double any investment made by congress in this area. Only a government of imbeciles and scientifically illiterate fools would refuse to take him up on that offer. :P

    2 votes
  9. [6]
    Dr_Douchebag Link
    Very bad. To me the fact that they intentionally do not include nuclear is a clear indication that this bill is not really about the betterment of humanity but instead about controlling an...

    Very bad. To me the fact that they intentionally do not include nuclear is a clear indication that this bill is not really about the betterment of humanity but instead about controlling an industry like energy and subsidizing whoever the people in charge want to funnel money to

    1. [5]
      Pilgrim Link Parent
      I definitely didn't read that into it. Rather my thought was that AOC is aligning herself with a wing of the party that's been historically anti-nuclear, that old save-the-whales environmentalism....

      I definitely didn't read that into it. Rather my thought was that AOC is aligning herself with a wing of the party that's been historically anti-nuclear, that old save-the-whales environmentalism.

      subsidizing whoever the people in charge want to funnel money to

      I recall this same talking point when Obama tried to encourage green energy, but it doesn't hold any more water then than now. Republicans have had no problem funneling money to the fossil fuel industry (or the private prison industry, or charter schools, or military contractors, or literal mercenaries) under Bush and Trump. If we're going to funnel money to some group, how about one that improving the world?

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        Dr_Douchebag Link Parent
        There should be no energy subsidies. Fossil fuels or green. Its simple

        There should be no energy subsidies. Fossil fuels or green. Its simple

        1. Amarok Link Parent
          If you eliminate all of the subsidies, fossil fuels would collapse overnight. On an even playing field, green tech is already unbeatable. Fossil fuels are being propped up to the tune of five...

          If you eliminate all of the subsidies, fossil fuels would collapse overnight. On an even playing field, green tech is already unbeatable. Fossil fuels are being propped up to the tune of five trillion dollars in subsidies worldwide. Green is like 1/25th of that investment.

          The libertarian in me really, really does not like subsidies. I get giving them out early on to spur new technology and steer the market in a more beneficial direction, but we keep them going far too long and hand out way too much. Big business can easily capture regulators and governments and use their influence to prop up their business models, which is how we got into this current mess.

          1 vote
        2. [2]
          Pilgrim Link Parent
          I generally agree with free markets (although they rarely exist in reality) but I think in this case it's worth subsidizing green energy due to climate change. I do respect that capitalism has...

          I generally agree with free markets (although they rarely exist in reality) but I think in this case it's worth subsidizing green energy due to climate change. I do respect that capitalism has been the great engine of innovation for humankind though and a big part of that are markets free from government constraint.

          1. Dr_Douchebag Link Parent
            Yeah free markets definitely exist. Just called the black market. I view it as a gradient. The closer we are to a free market the better. It's but an on or off thing

            Yeah free markets definitely exist. Just called the black market.

            I view it as a gradient. The closer we are to a free market the better. It's but an on or off thing

            1 vote