Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Michael C Burgess MD (R-TX)
Washington, D.C. – There has been a lot of talk on both sides about the future of energy policy. To put forward a reasonable solution, Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and former Under Secretary of Energy Bud Albright penned an op-Ed to explain that it is impossible to imagine a zero-carbon future without a component of nuclear energy.
A carbon-free future is a nuclear future
By Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. and former Under Secretary of Energy Bud Albright
October 5, 2020
There was a time not that long ago when electricity was not universally available. Up until 1925, fewer than half the homes in the United States had any electricity, and even then, it was mainly supplied to the cities of America. Today, most of us cannot imagine life without it.
Indeed, prudent planning and responsible regulation ensure uninterrupted electricity on demand throughout the country. The challenge now is transitioning from simply supplying electricity to doing so more efficiently and with fewer emissions. Thankfully, American ingenuity and technological development provide a means to this through advanced nuclear technology. Developing this advanced technology, while preserving and expanding current technology, must be among America’s top national security matters.
Nuclear technology is an often overlooked strategic asset of our nation, both in electricity production and in other industries as well. Nuclear technologies provide fuel for our naval fleet, energy sources for deep space missions, a foundation for essential medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, as well as being a source for the production of hydrogen, which has great potential for use as a clean transportation fuel.
Contrary to what Hollywood might have you believe, nuclear power is one of the safest and most reliable sources of energy in the world, producing approximately 20% of our nation’s electrical power, and more than half of our nation’s carbon-free energy. Despite these benefits, America’s nuclear industry is at a crossroads: evolve into the 21st century or fade away for good. On this troubling issue, there is bipartisan agreement.
Achieving success in all of these areas means coordinating government and private sector entities to regain American superiority in the peaceful use of the atom. Without effective coordination of these efforts, the reemergence of America as the leader in nuclear energy is in peril.
America has held its role as the world’s nuclear energy leader since the dawn of the atomic age. Today’s innovators have opened the door to tomorrow, but we must be diligent and more attendant if the U.S. is to lead the world in nuclear energy.
To read the full op-ed, click here.