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About this blog: Climate change, despite its outsized impact on the planet, is still an abstract concept to many of us. That needs to change. My hope is that readers of this blog will develop a better understanding of how our climate is evolving a...  (More)

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"One of the biggest failures in 50 years of energy policy"

Uploaded: Feb 20, 2022
Stanford recently invited John Deutch, a Professor Emeritus at MIT with decades of experience in energy policy and energy security, to do a short series of lectures on 50 Years of Energy Policy -- Lessons for the Future. The lectures are live streamed for the public, so I was happy to watch the first two, and something caught my attention.

Deutch seems like a pretty low-key guy, but he got agitated when talking about the failure of the Waxman-Markey bill during the first years of the Obama administration. He called it “one of the most flagrant mistakes by a president” and “one of the biggest failures in 50 years of energy policy”. I am embarrassed to say that I had no idea what it was, so I read up on it and thought it would be interesting to consider in this blog what lessons we should take away from its failure.

Brief overview
The Waxman-Markey bill was developed in 2009 by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA). It was an ambitious piece of legislation (1000+ pages!) designed to rein in greenhouse gases. It contained critical support for reducing emissions and easing the energy transition, including a progressive cap on emissions covering 85% of the economy, a renewable electricity requirement, and funding for energy efficiency, EVs, the grid, job transitions, equity, adaptation, and innovation. Billions of dollars were set aside for carbon capture and storage. Funds were allocated to help other countries preserve forests and adapt to climate change. The bill also called for the expansion of offshore oil drilling, natural gas production, and nuclear energy.

Deutch referred to it as a “Christmas tree bill,” with a little something for everyone. This was by design to get enough votes and votes from key people. For example, the cap-and-trade structure was chosen in part to appeal to Republicans. (They supported a similar market mechanism in 1990 to cap the sulfur dioxide emissions that were causing acid rain.) The bill’s funding for carbon capture helped win over representatives from coal-dependent states, and expanded offshore oil drilling sweetened the deal for representatives of the gulf states and Alaska. Companies including PG&E, Shell Oil, General Electric, and Ford were supportive of it, as were some unions, including the United Mine Workers and the United Auto Workers. Union of Concerned Scientist representative Liz Martin Perera approved: “Henry Waxman and Ed Markey did a masterful job getting this bill through a very tough Energy and Commerce Committee that includes climate science contrarians and members of Congress who are sympathetic to coal and oil interests.”

The bill passed the full House on June 26, 2009 with a vote of 219-212. (44 Democrats voted against it and 8 Republicans supported it.) But after that it ran into headwinds, and the bill died in the Senate on July 22, 2010 when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to take it up because the votes just weren’t there, despite a Democratic majority of 59 Senators. What happened?

Some of the complaints about the bill
There were a variety of complaints about the bill. Representatives for the oil and gas industry called it “draconian” and said it would “trigger destructive change in America’s economic climate.” The Tea Party and Fox News referred to it as a “gas tax” and a “jobs killer”, a bill that would start a trade war and take money from the American people while China and India continued to pollute.

At the same time, representatives for some environmental organizations said it was too weak. The emissions caps were too generous, there were far too many free allocations in the cap-and-trade scheme, and in a major giveaway to the coal industry, the bill stripped the EPA of its authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions via the Clean Air Act. (1) The concern was that the bill was too generous to industry, and in particular to the biggest corporate polluters, while doing relatively little for the general public to reduce emissions or prepare for the energy transition.

In between these far-right and far-green opponents of the bill were most Democrats, some Republicans, and the remaining environmental organizations. Their sense was that the bill was as good as we could get and it would be a fine starting point with programs that could be adjusted over time. As David Jenkins of the Republicans for Environmental Protection said: “The Waxman-Markey bill is an imperfect product of the legislative sausage factory and contains plenty of unsavory political byproducts, but lawmakers — Republican and Democrat alike — should work constructively to improve and pass it. Every year that we fail to enact legislation to reduce carbon emissions, climate change becomes more difficult and costly to address. The responsible, and conservative, course is to act now.”

In retrospect, that seems pretty on the nose. Although the bill was indeed weak in some respects -- we have already reduced our emissions 22% below 2005 levels without the bill, which called for a 17% reduction -- many states continue to lag on renewable electricity, we have no mechanism to ratchet up emissions reductions, and funding for innovation, the grid, and EV infrastructure has been anemic while China has leapt ahead.

Why did Waxman-Markey fail in the Senate?
There was a lot of analysis after the bill died in the Senate. Critics cited the usual structural problems with the Senate: two-party polarization, obstructionism, and the need for a super-majority amidst many thinly-populated fossil-dependent states.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) promised to “take dead aim at the cap-and-trade bill”. Source: Joe Manchin on YouTube

There was also the undue influence of lobbyists. Lee Wasserman wrote in a New York Times op-ed: “If President Obama and Congress had announced that no financial reform legislation would pass unless Goldman Sachs agreed to the bill, we would conclude our leaders had been standing in the Washington sun too long. Yet when it came to addressing climate change, that is precisely the course the president and Congress took.” One study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago estimated that lobbying decreased the bill’s chance of passing from 55% to 42%. The resulting complexity of the bill made it more susceptible to attacks because people couldn’t understand it. The weakened economy at the time (the Great Recession spawned by the mortgage crisis) didn’t help either, with job and financial insecurity raising fears about the impacts of such a wide-ranging bill.

But most of the blame seemed to be directed at (a) Obama and (b) the general public. Yes, you and me.

Many critics blamed President Obama’s hands-off approach for the bill’s failure. While Obama dove into the negotiations over the bank bailouts, healthcare legislation, and Wall Street reform, helping to craft compromises and move the legislation ahead, he stayed “above the fray” with climate change and largely delegated it to Congress. Journalist Andrew Revkin documented his lack of assertiveness in an op-ed for the New York Times, saying his middle-of-the-road stance meant he did little to challenge misinformation, he didn’t bring in experts to educate his staff, and he didn’t give speeches about the dangers of climate change once in office. When the administration did talk about Waxman-Markey, it was more about creating jobs and less about addressing the threat of global warming.

Obama may well have chosen that approach because the public showed little interest in climate change. An in-depth analysis in The New Yorker pointed out that a Pew Research Center poll done in January 2010 ranked climate change dead last in importance of 21 issues.

Top priorities of the public for 2010. Source: Pew Research Center

Instead, the main influence on Senators were the vested interests (e.g., the American Petroleum Institute) who stridently opposed the bill because they had the most to lose. Paul Saunders, who at the time was Executive Director of the Nixon Center, summed it up as follows: “Who killed the climate-change bill? Lots of people. At a tactical level, Senate Republicans, with help from coal-state Senate Democrats. At a strategic level, President Barack Obama, who decided to make health-care reform his No. 1 priority. At the most fundamental level, however, the American people killed the bill.” Lee Wasserman agreed: “The loudest voices insisted that leaders in Washington do nothing. They obliged.”

Can a carbon price ever be successful?
What lessons do we take away from this? Can another attempt have a different outcome? More people seem to care now about climate change, but we still seem to have many more pressing issues.

Top priorities of the public for 2022. Source: Pew Research Center

The Senate is no different than it was ten years ago, and neither party is close to a 60-person majority. But there are differences. Financial institutions and big corporations are increasingly aware of the financial and economic risks of climate change, and people are less trusting of what the big oil companies have to say. More people are directly experiencing the effects of our changing climate. And there is much more information about climate change in the media. So I believe there is hope.

My lessons learned from the failure of Waxman-Markey would be:

1. The President needs to lead, with more attention to the financial and economic impact of climate change on states, some of which we are already seeing. Tout the opportunity for workers, residents, and industry of a green transition. The cost of doing little is high, and the benefits of a well-funded transition are many.

2. The bill must be substantially bi-partisan, not only to pass but also to persist through subsequent administrations. Focus on benefits that matter to both parties, such as well-paying jobs, the economy, and innovation. (2)

3. Small and simple is better than big and complex. People can better understand, trust and support a simpler bill, and built-in checks and ratchets can ensure it has teeth over time. It is better to start somewhere and get people pulling in the same direction than to not start at all. (But then we need to keep a lid on the concessions.)

4. The public must speak up, especially in rural and fossil-dominated states, to counteract the moneyed fossil interests. Economist James Boyce says: “Fossil capital is likely to oppose any policies that would sweep its assets into the dustbin of history. The only way to overcome this opposition is to build a broad and deep alliance among everyone who puts the long-term well-being of our children, our grandchildren, and humankind ahead of the short-term greed of those who profit in the fossil-fuel status quo.”

5. The bill should include substantial funding for R&D in negative emissions. Any bill that passes will be too weak and too slow, so our reliance on this is only increasing.

What do you think? Is it possible to get some form of lasting, effective (over time) climate legislation through Congress? If so, what will it take, and when is the right time?

Notes and References
1. Sadly, this is an authority the EPA now may soon lose, with nothing to trade for it.

2. The economy is currently an example of such an issue, as are jobs and competition with China.

Partisan gaps for different 2022 priorities. Source: Pew Research Center

Current Climate Data (December 2021)
Global impacts, US impacts, CO2 metric, Climate dashboard

How can the US lead on climate when this inequality is so glaring? I think it has to be through innovation. Source: CarbonBrief

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Posted by nancygrove, a resident of another community,
on Feb 20, 2022 at 8:56 am

nancygrove is a registered user.

I have trouble understanding why HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Revenue Act, is not advancing more rapidly as House Dems look for non-budget impactful approaches (read--not adding to budget deficit, which Joe Manchin claims is his big concern). Traditionally, opponents of a carbon tax claimed that it was regressive; equal revenue distribution keeps this from being the case. Republicans (e.g., George Shultz) have traditionally liked this approach because it's simple to administer and doesn't create another big bureaucracy in Washington.
So why isn't it getting more attention now? Or maybe it is? Does anyone know?

Posted by CyberVoter, a resident of Atherton: other,
on Feb 20, 2022 at 9:41 am

CyberVoter is a registered user.

These massive bills are fraught with "pork" and misguided directives that often cause more collateral harm than ever imagined. In business you learn to focus on the actions that can move the needle. Since the advocates demand Carbon neutrality in 20->30 years, focus on:

1) Converting all brown & black coal electric power plants (China, India & even Germany) immediately to natural gas (from the USA?)
a) It is a very easy conversion with very little capital investment or equipment changes
b) The follow-on step is to replace the natural gas with even greener sources as soon as feasible
2) Look at the major projects underway, or in planning, and halt those that are cumulative "net" carbon contributors or 20->30 years
a) Most of the world's pollution comes from constructing new equipment & building/construction
b) California's High Speed Rail is such a Carbon Contributor; It will create more Carbon & other environmental damage than it saves for 60+ years; spend the 100+ Billion on environmentally positive projects

In short, where can we have a real impact in our lifetime?

Posted by TimR, a resident of Downtown North,
on Feb 20, 2022 at 1:48 pm

TimR is a registered user.

Obama may have been above the fray when it came to these negotiations, but he was front and center about increasing natural gas production. The WH web page extolled its virtues, like natural gas was our savior. After reading that one day, I started calling Obama our "Fracker-In-Chief" (of course, the WH webpage deigned to mention that f word). But in the end, that was probably the right call. We might have ended up like Germany: full of blue sky plans for renewables, yet back in the real world, forced to pay billions every year to a ruthless autocrat in order to keep the lights on.

Posted by d page, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 20, 2022 at 2:22 pm

d page is a registered user.

You make a lot of good points (as usual) Sherry, but there's one that stands out as unrealistic, given the current political environment: "The bill must be substantially bi-partisan..."

The graph from Pew Research, which you've included, spells out why. The partisan gap between Republicans and Democrats about priorities is bigger for the global/pollution/climate issue than any other - by far!

Despite all that was learned from Waxman/Markey, the thoughtful, concerted effort to pass Build Back Better hasn't succeeded either.

It's easy to 2nd guess, it's easy to blame, and I wish I had some great "ANSWER", but I believe the worst thing would be to get discouraged.

History is filled with stories of people who struggled for many years before achieving a beneficial milestone/victory; and what led to the tremendous success only became evident after the fact, not during the campaign.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a DanvilleSanRamon.com blogger,
on Feb 20, 2022 at 2:56 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

@Nancy: One thing that confuses me is the sheer number of these bills. I think there are around ten today, including Baker-Shultz which is not HR 763. Even back with Waxman-Markey, there were at least three others in the Senate. Barbara Boxer had one, Kerry/Graham/Lieberman had one, and Cantwell/Collins had one.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Feb 22, 2022 at 6:51 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

In the Wall Street Journal 02/19/22 - "The Power Struggle". Lengthy multipage article which shows how each state uses coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear, solar, hydroelectric, wind, and other. The weighting of these choices is different in each state. There is also a U.S. Overall composite profile. This is not a D or R issue - it is a state-by-state profile of what each state has available and what they are using. California is a high percentage of natural gas. Coal is used more in the northern states where it is mined.

My opinion - the word "fossil fuel" is not telling any story and it used as a political talking point with no discussion as to which fossil fuel is being addressed. Not all fuels are equal.

This whole topic is going to become front and center with events in Europe. Russia provides the oil and gas used by Western Europe. Given the extreme weather they are currently experiencing now that is their heat, their mobility, and their ability to keep the lights on.

In California the electrical grid is extremely old and we are losing water for hydropower. One projection for the Anderson Dam in Santa Clara County - it would not be fixed until 2030. Givern the so-called riches we have in this state that does not make sense. Between fire and loss of water and waterpower we are not in a good place right now. Let's not box ourselves into self-destructive actions which would reduce our ability to keep the lights on. Note that the Googles, and FB's do not have people in their buildings right now - when everyone returns to work the impact will be very big on our ability to maintain electrical, water, and sewer support.

Posted by chris aoki, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Feb 23, 2022 at 3:17 pm

chris aoki is a registered user.

Thanks Sherry for providing a list of good takeaway points
and a forum for open, constructive comments. Here are some of
my responses:

1. Sherry writes: "Tout the opportunity for workers, residents,
and industry of a green transition." Exactly what do we mean by
"green"? If "green" is intentionally left ambiguous in order to be
a catch-all for omnibus legislation, that leads inevitably to endless
political arguments. On the other hand, replacing "green" by the
less ambiguous "carbon-free" will focus attention on the mission
of cutting atmospheric carbon pollution, which is clearly required
for limiting global climate change.

Moreover, it exposes the conflict inherent in shutting down carbon-free
nuclear power plants in order to entrench fossil gas as an emergency fuel
for relief of grid blackouts, in cases where intermittent renewables fail
to provide reliable 24/7 electrical power.

2. Sherry writes: "Focus on benefits that matter to both parties, such as
well-paying jobs, the economy, and innovation.". To be specific, the nuts
and bolts of jobs and infrastructure include manufacturing, steel, aluminum,
and concrete, as well as clean water, sewage treatment, and medical care,
all of which need reliable, 24/7 electrical power. Not intermittent renewables,
but always-on "baseload" power. Replacing coal and fossil gas for this class of
power requires nuclear energy.

3. For getting all of our brains around real issues and unstuck from artificial
exclusionary ratchets like "Renewable Portfolio Standards", I recommend
two books and a documentary:
"Shorting The Grid: The Hidden Fragility Of Our Electric Grid", by Meredith Angwin;
"A Question of Power: Electricity And The Wealth Of Nations" by Robert Bryce;
"Juice: How Electricity Explains The World", documentary by Robert Bryce

That's all for this message. More to come.

Posted by chris aoki, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Feb 23, 2022 at 5:33 pm

chris aoki is a registered user.

Continuing my previous message:

4. Sherry quotes Economist James Boyce, who wrote: "The only way to
overcome this opposition [from fossil-fuel capitalists] is to build a broad
and deep alliance among everyone who puts the long-term well-being of
our children, our grandchildren, and humankind ahead of the short-term
greed of those who profit in the fossil-fuel status quo."

I think the way forward along this path is through improved STEM education.

To be specific, everyone needs to understand basics of atoms, nuclei, nuclear
chain reactions, how nuclear reactors work in the 2020s, and how they should
work in the 2030s and beyond. The problem I see is that the most popular
STEM education outlets (PBS NOVA, Science Friday, Scientific American)
are turning their heads away from the physics of nuclear reactors, when
they should be focusing on questions like:

- What makes controlled fission chain reactions possible?
- What makes nuclear reactors accident-prone?
- How can they be made safer?
- What is nuclear waste made of?
- Why does it take so long for its radioactivity to dissipate?
- How can nuclear reactors get more energy out of their fuel?
- If we could solve that, could we stop mining uranium?
One data point I have about this turning of STEM heads is from
PBS NOVA. Back in 2017, they broadcast a NOVA episode titled
"The Nuclear Option" which has been removed from circulation,
though fortunately you can still buy a DVD or download the transcript.
Last year I tried to persuade them to produce a follow-up episode
addressing questions like the ones listed above. Dead silence.

I'd sure like to work on an exhibit on the above in one of our local
science museums. Failing that, there are some good web sites
on the subject. Here's my go-to site for general questions about
nuclear energy:

Category: educational web site
Title: What is nuclear energy?
URL: https://whatisnuclear.com

That's all for now.

Posted by Ronen, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle,
on Feb 23, 2022 at 11:42 pm

Ronen is a registered user.

Those hoping for bi-partisanship on climate will be waiting for a very, very long time.

The Republican Party has lost its marbles and is not connected to reality. Climate change is only one example among many that proves this.

If there is to be any action, Democrats have to carry the full load. Unfortunate, it true.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Feb 24, 2022 at 10:55 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I love the commenters that make a comment with no back-up of facts.
Fact - the Keystone pipeline and other projects make the US energy independent and able to sell to Western European countries. Canada also benefits. The "big guy" cut off energy independence for the US and also approved the Russian pipeline that feeds into Western Europe. Does that make sense? NO - Western Europe is now held hostage.

Fact - climate change is affected by the South American and African nations that are cutting down forests. Forests are what provide the air cleaning needed. They are also building dams on major rivers that cut off water to the other states within the countries. That is Ethiopia for one. That is world-wide climate change.

Fact - Russia is selling coal to China - one of the biggest polluters.

Trying to make "climate change" as US only issue is just political chatter.
Try California that is busy trying to build more housing for more people. In the SJM 02/24/22 it reports that CA is not going to get much water this summer and most agriculture is going to be in big trouble. We know that is true. So why is Weiner busy adding more housing and people? Why is an SV Venture group trying to say that we are suppose o look like Manhattan? These are people who come from the east coast trying to impose all type of destructive policies onto this state.

The progressive brain fixes on a topic and refuses to see any other set of facts that prove otherwise. The Opinion pieces in the SJM and SFC are a mixed bag of NY Times pundits. What has that to do with CA? The news is telling you every day that the electrical grid is very old and failing. The news is telling you every day that we have no water. Do you all read a paper or just make comments that have no facts? People are looking at FACTS - not opinions of pundits from other states.

Posted by Jake Taylor, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Feb 25, 2022 at 11:12 am

Jake Taylor is a registered user.

An interesting point...EVs are only as green as the grid that charges them.

If electricity generation is coal reliant, driving an EV generates more carbon emissions.

On the other hand, if the grid is nuclear reliant, driving an EV results in a 96% savings in carbon emissions.

source: The Week/February 25, 2022/page12

Posted by Mondoman, a resident of Green Acres,
on Feb 25, 2022 at 5:47 pm

Mondoman is a registered user.

A quick jump back to the original story topic - why did the bill not pass into law in 2009?

I'm already starting to forget, but 2008/2009 was a scary time in the economy. With so many losing jobs and houses and loan defaults coming fast and furious, I don't see how ANY law that tried to substantially change the economy toward new workings unfamiliar to many could have been passed. It doesn't really matter what the Administration or lawmakers or lobbyists did then -- anything that did anything along those lines was dead on arrival. Look at the close House vote you mentioned -- the Senate would have just laughed.

Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a DanvilleSanRamon.com blogger,
on Feb 25, 2022 at 6:10 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments, and I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I have a couple of thoughts here…

@Cybervoter: One problem with going from coal to gas and then to low-carbon energy “as soon as feasible” is that gas plants have a long lifetime. No one is going to want to build them if they know they will be stranded in 5-10 years. And we can’t just stay on gas for the next few decades (the lifetime of a gas plant).

@TimR: One point that Deutch made is that when you are considering whether to produce gas, you have to consider not only your own needs but also those of your allies. He said Nixon’s “Project Independence” -- an initiative to be independent of imported oil within a decade or so -- was misguided because our allies (e.g., France, Germany, Japan) still depended heavily on imported oil. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s really nice that we have some gas to offer to Europe while they work to accelerate their efforts to move away from gas entirely.

@dpage and @Ronen: FWIW, back in the Waxman-Markey days, Boxer had a bill (with Kerry) that was not bi-partisan. “The Senate can’t be paralyzed” was her justification, which we can all relate to. But it got nowhere. I think it morphed into the Climate Protection Act with Bernie Sanders in 2013. Do you really think bipartisan is impossible? What about the recent Clean Energy Week sponsors? FWIW, I thought the Collins-Cantwell cap-and-dividend proposal (CLEAR Act) was pretty appealing in its simplicity. And how can the Russian threat not encourage more energy independence?

@Resident1: Not sure which “self-destructive actions” you are referring to? Re housing and immigration, I think that if you don’t want people moving to California, then you have to ensure that other places remain livable, which means pushing very hard on climate mitigation and funding adaptation in other places. Are you up for that? Climate migration is already happening and California will remain livable for a long while. (We have plenty of water imo, we just don’t use it efficiently -- too much for agriculture, esp water-intensive crops and cattle, and irrigation for thirsty types of landscaping like lawns.)

@Chris: We do need reliable, 24x7 power (!!) And nuclear energy plays an important role today. Illinois’ electricity has less than half the emissions of Indiana and Ohio because of its nuclear energy. But I don’t see nuclear as necessary for all grids, or as a panacea of some sort, at least at this point. We continue to have significant risks with nuclear energy (proliferation, security threat, accidents, waste, etc), so pursuing alternatives is a good idea imo while we also look for ways to mitigate those risks and invest in R&D for the longer term (fusion!). Maybe I’m the only one worried about Chernobyl and Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors during this conflict? I did read Angwin at your suggestion and wasn’t that impressed.

@Jake: Yes, a low-emission grid helps EVs and all other electrification. It doesn’t have to be nuclear (cf Norway, Sweden, and Iceland), but your point is a good one, and it’s why countries are racing to reduce their electricity emissions -- improvements there are very impactful as we electrify.

@Mondoman: Yes, the recession/economy was definitely a part of it, making people very wary.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I am very frustrated by our inability to pass crucial climate legislation at the federal level!

Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a DanvilleSanRamon.com blogger,
on Feb 25, 2022 at 6:18 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

This comment is from Chris Aoki, who was unable to publish it because it had too many URLs.

Continuing my previous message, in response to Sherry's 5 takeaway points.

5. Sherry writes: "The bill should include substantial funding for R&D in negative emissions."

I think I agree, and I think she's talking about reducing CO2 emissions, but it would help
all of us if she would be more specific. One example from the Department Of Energy (DOE)
is an overview of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) which needs to be quantified:

Source: US Dept of Energy
URL: https://www.energy.gov/sites/default/files/2021-11/Carbon-Dioxide-Removal-FactSheet.pdf

As a practical and important matter, I'd say that R&D in zero-emission electrical power
is also needed, at equal or higher priority. Surprisingly, carbon sequestration shares a
potentially important technology with nuclear waste disposal: deep boreholes produced
by repurposing machinery developed for shale oil and gas fracking. "Deep Isolation" is a
company that is exploring the use of deep boreholes for smaller, distributed used nuclear
fuel repositories, in contrast to the large mined repository ("Yucca Mountain") approach.

For starters, here's a podcast interview with Deep Isolation CEO Liz Muller:
URL: https://atomicinsights.com/atomic-show-295-liz-muller-co-founder-and-ceo-of-deep-isolation/

Deep Isolation has its own series of podcasts, to provide useful information to the general public:
URL: https://www.deepisolation.com/nuclear-waste-podcast/

For any of this to work, a logjam between Federal and Nevada State legislatures needs to be
broken. Specifically, Federal law requires Yucca Mountain to be the nation’s one and only
repository, while Nevada State law specifically prohibits nuclear waste disposal in the
State of Nevada.

Standing on this logjam, Senator Bernie Sanders proclaims, “We must stop building
new nuclear power plants, and find a real solution to our existing nuclear waste problem.”
URL: https://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-energy-policy/#ban-nuclear-energ

I don’t agree that we must stop building new nuclear power plants. I do agree that we
must find a real solution to our existing nuclear waste problem, but I don’t think we
see eye to eye on what a real solution entails.

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