DOE has spent $13.5 billion since 1983, and figures to spend $54.8 billion on construction, operation and decommissioning of the repository; $19.5 billion for transporting the waste — including building the canisters for holding waste; and $8.4 billion for other program activities.
The report notes that the expenses were based on a repository opening date of 2017 — a best possible opening date that Sproat has already said is no longer possible due to budget constraints, which have pushed it to 2020. The lifecycle estimate also does not include the at least $11 billion in liability expenses DOE expects for breaking its contract with utilities to begin taking away the spent nuclear fuel in 1998.
In a post for The Hill’s Congress Blog, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), defended the conservative energy bill, saying, “I am sick of people saying it’s about oil.” He should tell that to the employees of right-wing think tanks shouting, “Drill! Drill! Drill!” outside the Capitol, and to the oil and gas executives who have given Gohmert $185,663 in campaign contributions over his career.
Gohmert writes enthusiastically about the prospects for increasing the domestic supply of natural gas:
Some people have told me that we could get gas from the InterContinental Shelf within a couple years. . . . We have at least the second highest amount of natural gas off the InterContinental Shelf. Maybe when we get to exploring we’ll find that we have the most. But it’s ridiculous not to use it while we’ve got it.
There is, of course, no such thing as as the “InterContinental Shelf.” Gohmert is evidently referring to the Outer Continental Shelf, but it’s worrisome that a supposed expert on energy issues doesn’t know his geography.
Furthermore, the vast majority of natural gas reserves on the OCS are already available for leasing. And the fact is that a reckless “use it while we’ve got it” policy towards fossil fuels will lead to global ecological catastrophe.
Ironically, Gohmert writes:
But the trouble is around the world and historically, any nation whose economy is struggling, puts the environment on the backburner.
He’s right. The “Drill Here, Drill Now” agenda not only puts the environment on the backburner, it sets it on fire. It’s time for a new direction, with an energy policy that recognizes a healthy environment is key to a strong economy.
Sen. Obama responds to the shameless Republican mockery of energy efficiency.
It’s good to see a progressive presidential nominee stand up for the most important energy strategy we have.
You can’t criticize awarding the Olympic Games to China just because their rapacious coal-building policy has now made them the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions (see “The immorality of China’s coal policy is breathtaking (literally).” By that standard, America should never have been awarded the games.
But awarding the games to a city that is one of the most polluted in the world — let alone in a country that has such a shameful record on human rights — is simply unconscionable. And quite unfair to the athletes. Consider this literally staggering story from the Newshour:
ADAM CRAIG, USA Cycling: I’ve never had any experience even remotely close to what I had in Beijing last fall.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Last September, he was in the Chinese capital to compete in a series of pre-Olympic warm-up races.
ADAM CRAIG: It’s like — it’s a weird bronchial spasm thing that I was getting, that just like — whenever you tried to take enough breath to give your muscles that fuel of oxygen they need, your bronchioles just start spasming and you just like physically can’t do it.
And it’s like akin to drowning, or something, just not being able to take that full breath. And, you know, having your body really require that oxygen and not being able to get it is a pretty unique and pretty terrifying situation, I think.
[Kudos to the International Olympic Committee, its U.S. corporate sponsors -- General Electric, Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald's, Kodak, and Johnson & Johnson -- and the Chinese for turning outdoor endurance sports into torture -- almost literally re-creating the experience of water boarding. I guess it is appropriate that President Bush is attending the games after all.]
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Just 30 minutes after the starting gun of the race, Craig had to quit, but he had lots of world-class company.
ADAM CRAIG: The current world champion and the current Olympic champion, Julien Absalon, same deal, about the same point in the race, 20 or 30 minutes in, actually was sick to his stomach, and threw up, and was hacking, and wheezing, and had to pull out.
And, yes, I think there were 46 starters and eight finishers. So that’s a pretty high attrition rate for a two-hour mountain bike race around a fairly easy course.
China’s much-vaunted air pollution index presents a bizarrely rosy picture of the dirty reality. As the Post noted:
US sales of light-duty vehicles continued their decline in July, dropping to a total 1.136 million units, a 13.2% reduction in volume compared to July 2007, according to Autodata….
The year-on-year decrease came, in general, out of the light-duty truck segment. Sales of cars in July 2008 slightly increased 0.3% on a volume basis (not on a day-sales rate) to 620,213 units, according to Autodata. Light truck sales, however, dropped 25.2% by volume from the year before to 515,963 units.
Sadly, Toyota really screwed up in its planning for hybrid production: