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Friends Don't Let Friends Turn Out The Country's Lights
The environmental watchdog Friends of the Earth (FOE) has launched a campaign to "stop the nuclear power hustle." The campaign, complete with an animated cartoon to distract attention from project's complete lack of intellectual substance, opposes provisions in the Senate energy bill that would promote nuclear power.

As anyone who remembers the old "Split Wood Not Atoms" bumper stickers can attest, opposition to nuclear power is certainly a traditional mainstay of the environmental movement.

However, what provides a delightful touch of unintentional irony is the juxtaposition on FOE's website of the NukeRetro campaign next to their "What's New" opposition to "logging, mining and oil drilling." At least the old anti-nuclear activists offered their support for an alternative (if impractical and not very environmentally sound) power source. FOE opposes splitting not just atoms but also wood, coal, hyrdrocarbons, and most anything else they can think of.

Although it may be possible that FOE supports the construction of massive hydroelectric projects to make up the energy that would be lost from the reduced use (or elimination) of nuclear, coal and petroleum resources, that is not likely to be the case. Instead, it appears that the friendly folks at FOE are simply pursuing policies that, if enacted, would effectively turn out the country's lights. While FOE may mean well, Winston suspects that there could be some significant negative externalities associated with returning to a pre-Edisonian society. For one thing, how on earth would FOE run their website?

Ultimately, any effective national energy strategy will include the safe and responsible development of diversified energy sources including coal, oil, gas and, yes, nuclear power. Opposition to these sources of energy could only lead to higher energy prices and substantial economic disruption. All of which makes Winston ask a basic question about Friends of the Earth. Friend or FOE?

  • Click for FOE website.

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