Protesters Claim War is About Oil, Yet Oppose Safe Nuclear Energy & Domestic Energy Alternatives

 

DATE: March 23, 2003

BACKGROUND: As the war to replace the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq continues, protesters on the political left continue to claim that the U.S. government's military action is designed to acquire Iraqi oil.
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TEN SECOND RESPONSE:
Gulf War II is properly understood as the continuation and completion of Gulf War I. The U.S. could buy Iraq's oil for less money than the war will cost.

THIRTY SECOND RESPONSE: If American war protesters genuinely believe the U.S. has gone to war for oil, they should advocate the use of economically and technologically feasible energy alternatives. Yet, many of these protesters not only oppose U.S. domestic oil drilling, such as in ANWR, but other pollution-free energy alternatives, such as nuclear power.

DISCUSSION: Anti-oil war protesters tend to oppose domestic oil drilling while supporting alternatives to oil such as hydrogen.

In a March 17 Weekly Standard article, writer William Tucker notes that replacing oil with hydrogen ignores a critical fact: "...there is no source of free hydrogen in the world. Supplies will come from either 1) the electrolysis of water, which requires electricity, or 2) stripping hydrogen from natural gas."2

Option #2 is made unnecessarily difficult by the political left's opposition to domestic natural gas drilling. The left also objects to measures necessary for generating electricity, such as coal mining and burning, building and operating dams, and/or building and operating nuclear power plants.

Political opposition on the left has stalled development of alternatives to oil. Ironically, given that peace activists are involved, it also has made the world more dangerous. The new generation of nuclear power technology, so-called "fast" reactors, don't pollute, leave little nuclear waste to be stored or shipped and generate no byproduct that could be used to build nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we don't have any "fast" reactor plants and none are scheduled for construction. Nuclear power isn't politically correct.

Peace activists who genuinely believe the war in Iraq is about oil should love nuclear power and the possibility of a new generation of "fast" nuclear reactors even more.

Strangely, they don't seem to.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

"The Permanent Energy Crisis and the Solution we Keep Ignoring" by William Tucker, Weekly Standard, March 17, 2003, available to registered users of the Weekly Standard's website at: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Protected/Articles/000/000/002/337hxxgp.asp as of March 22, 2003.

"Reprocessing, Waste and Bombs: Good News on the Energy Front" by Gerald E. Marsh and George S. Stanford, National Center for Public Policy Research National Policy Analysis #364, available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA365.html.

"Integral Fast Reactors: Source of Safe, Abundant, Non-Polluting Power: by George S. Stanford, Ph.D., National Center for Public Policy Research National Policy Analysis #378, available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA378.html.

"Government Restrictions on Domestic Energy Development Contribute to U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil" by John Carlisle, National Center for Public Policy Research National Policy Analysis #305, available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA305.html.

 

by Amy Ridenour, President
The National Center for Public Policy Research

Contact the author at: 202-543-4110 x110 or [email protected]
The National Center for Public Policy Research
501 Capitol Court, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002

 


Footnotes:

1 See, among other sources, the Associated Press description of several anti-war protesters in front of the White House on March 22, 2003 chanting "no blood for oil." The protesters then pushed a policeman off his bicycle, and two were arrested. This AP story was available on the Foxnews.com website at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,81890,00.htmlunder the heading "Tens of Thousands March Against War in New York, Washington" as of March 22, 2003.

2 William Tucker, "The Permanent Energy Crisis and the Solution we Keep Ignoring," Weekly Standard, March 17, 2003.

3 Gerald E. Marsh and George S. Stanford, "Reprocessing, Waste and Bombs: Good News on the Energy Front," National Center for Public Policy Research National Policy Analysis #364, September 2001, available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA365.html.