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The World Affairs Discussion Group Message Board › Is U.S. energy policy rational?

Is U.S. energy policy rational?

John Van P.
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 15
Nuclear energy:

According to Wikipedia, France derives 87.5% of its electrical energy from nuclear power:

According to the U.S. govt, the figure for the U.S. is 19.4%:

Are we right to be neglecting nuclear?

Sugar energy:

The ethanol-from-corn initative has been a disaster, raising food prices worldwide, costing the taxpayers a bundle through subsidies to ethanol producers, and not contributing much if anything to our energy independence. On the other hand, Brazil manufactures cheap ethanol from sugar cane. This sugar-derived ethanol is used in the Brazilian domestic market as a source of energy for cars. According to Wikipedia ethanol has a 50% share of the automobile fuel market in Brazil (leaving aside diesel powered vehicles):


This affordable source of energy is denied to U.S. consumers because of a steep tariff on Brazilian ethanol imposed by the U.S. govt. Is this a wise policy?

Off shore energy:

Brazil has discovered massive off shore oil reserves which will make it an energy superpower within the next 10-20 years. The technology for off shore drilling has been developed to a high level by Petrobras, the Brazilian oil major:


In the meantime, most U.S. coastal waters are off-limits to oil and natural gas exploration. Is this the right policy?
Group Organizer
San Diego, CA
Post #: 2
Our energy policy is not rational. We should try to be more energy independent. We should invest in nuclear and alternative energy sources. If France and Brazil can do it, why can't we? The answer is because there is a lot of money invested in maintaining the status quo. America will change when it is more profitable to convert to alternative energy. Also, America is reluctant to make drastic changes. As the 9/11 attacks and the recession show, we are reactive, not proactive. We respond to crises. Hopefully it won't take a crisis to make us seriously consider alternative energy, but our history shows that we only react to crises.
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