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Politics & Power

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Short-Term Thinking for Long-Term Problems

The most incredibly dumb statement of the Presidential Campaign to date was uttered by Barack Obama a short while ago in response to John McCain's suggestion that we open up offshore drilling areas to new exploration. Barack showed his complete lack of understanding long-term planning when he said, "But that won't accomplish anything for at least 5 years." Not only is he wrong, but he's also a true politician in that he can only think in short-term thoughts.

Anything done today to lessen our dependence on foreign oil in the future will have an immediate affect the price of oil today. By some estimates up to a third of the price of oil is speculative pricing; pricing which will immediately start to come down when we, as a country, start to show we are serious about a comprehensive, long-term energy policy.

As I have written in the past, my long-term energy policy for the country would be as follows:

Short Term - Drill, Dig, Conservation and Alternative Power
Five to Thirty Years - A Strong Nuclear Program
Long Term - We Need New Technologies

First - Immediate Efforts - Drilling, Digging, Conservation and Alternative Power

We have huge reserves of oil in the Colorado shale beds (up to 5 times what Saudi Arabia has), off our coasts and in ANWR. If our leaders are truly concerned about the terrible toll that gas prices are having on regular Americans they will call for an immediate opening of all potential sources of oil in our own country. That will show the world that we are serious and have an immediate impact in helping to lower the price of oil.

Conservation comes next and is always a good step to take to help reduce greenhouse gases and lessen our dependence on foreign energy sources: driving a Prius, if practical, is great, turning off lights, lowering the thermostat, all those things are great; but in the grand scheme of things do very little to help us in the long run. As the population of the world keeps growing and becoming more "middle class", more people want the same things we already have and the demand for power and energy worldwide will continue to grow. Conservation slows the growth (slightly), but the growth of greenhouse gases worldwide will continue regardless of what we as a nation try and do. Every little bit helps, but in the mid-run it will not help enough and in the long-run it will be an absolute disaster.

Solar, wind and other environmentally "safe" technologies do exist and should be used as much as practical, but the current state of their technologies cannot produce enough energy to fully solve the long-term problems that we are facing as a nation and a world.

Second - Intermediate Effort - What we can do next.

As I have stated before, nuclear power is strong in Europe with about forty-two percent of their energy produced by nuclear fission. Nuclear generation provides about 17% of world electricity, avoiding the emission of up to 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. France produces 76% and Lithuania produces 85.6% of its energy by nuclear fission.

In the United States, a lot of people and almost all environmentalists are antinuclear because of 3 Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986. However, many experts say that it is a safe, clean, and reliable source of energy. Nuclear Fission produces no greenhouse gases, but does produce highly toxic radioactive wastes. (

As President I would immediately call for the United States to embark on a strong nuclear power building program. We have the land upon which to build the power plants (here in California we could throw a half dozen plants in Eastern San Bernardino County alone and no one would ever see them and taxing the energy might solve California's budget deficit), we have technology that is extremely safe and we have an extremely safe depository for the waste in the Yucca Mountain facility that could be opened very soon if the politicians would quit being politicians and become statesmen and do what is right for the United States and the World.

If we converted almost all of our electrical power generation from oil and coal to nuclear we would go a very long ways towards lowering our greenhouse gas footprint and show the rest of the world that we mean to do what we can to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas production. Such a step would also go a long ways towards lowering our dependence on foreign sources of oil and help bring stability to unstable portions of the globe. We could also use the nuclear power plants to help convert sea water to fresh water which addresses another threat looming just over the horizon - the shortage of potable water.

This, however, is an intermediate step and we can't as a country and a world just continue to sit on our hands and hope for the next step in energy production - we have to go out and make it happen.

Third - The Future - New Technologies

Everything I have talked about in this email so far concerns what we can do with old and existing technologies. NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE CONSERVE, OUR CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES WILL ONLY TAKE US SO FAR AND IT ISN'T FAR ENOUGH. WE NEED SOMETHING NEW.

As I have stated before, as President I would call on the country to immediately start a "Manhattan Project" for energy independence. We put a man on the moon back in the "dark ages" of technology and I firmly believe that we have the brain power to come up with solutions to the world's energy problems if only we apply ourselves and our resources to the task. We have spent over $1,000,000,000,000 (that's a trillion) of your tax dollars on the war in Iraq. If that money had instead been pointed towards new research and development into fuel cells, hydrogen power, solar power, fusion and other technologies, I believe we would already be well on our way towards major break-throughs in renewable and alternative energy solutions. The world and the United States will be much better off if we weren't all relying on a small region of the world for the lifeblood of our economies and we had a new technology to take us into the future. That is my proposal for the long-term energy policy of the United States and, quite honestly, the world.

Why don't we have a long-term energy policy in United States now?

Because it doesn't make for interesting sound-bites and it requires politicians to be statesmen rather than politicians. Politicians aren't interested in something that may be a success after they leave office, but statesmen are because they understand that their job is to do what is best for the nation they lead, not for their political career.

Elect me as President and I'll make sure we have a long-term energy policy that is good for all Americans - now and in the future.

Frank McEnulty - Independent Candidate for President | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to:

Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to

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