This I Believe: Nuclear power and proliferation are wedge issues for Big Oil.
Do you think the nuclear power and proliferation are wedge issues to the oil industry? With Big Oil’s expectation of $100+ trillion worth of oil still to come out of the ground, I often imagine they enjoy watching progressives and conservatives argue about nuclear power and new weapons construction. I hate to be so cynical, but the way I see it, Bush and his “ex-Big Oil” appointees have a real win-win situation going for them: Lots of money to be off oil yet to be refined, and lots of supporters and opponents of nuclear power. Like the GOP’s thus far empty promise to Bush’s base to overturn Roe v. Wade (beacuse actually overturning it would be a financial disaster for Big Pharma and the major insurance companies), letting nuclear grow too rapidly would be a financial disaster for Big Oil. It’s Big Oil’s perfect distraction: Nuclear power is ultimately a far more serious pollution and global security problem than oil, and everyone knows that on some level. Therefore, the debate over nuclear can go on and on just like the abortion debate, thus slowing nuclear’s spread while maximizing oil profits. Short of someone inventing ultra-efficient energy transducing paint to convert every house in America to solar, the shrinking middle class is going to have a hard time affording an en masse “critical mass” switch to alternate energy sources with their shrinking incomes. Still, I’m irrationally hopeful, despite my cynicism, that our Faustian bargain with technology will yield solar paint and save us yet!
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