Government has a role in energy's future

I support Vernice Thompson's letter to the editor (Oct. 6) and I must echo her words criticizing Robert Bradly. The American government must lead by example in providing guidance on moving us forward into a future where the mix of sources of energy we use are environmentally sound, safe to use and affordable.

Coal and oil are proven to destroy lives and the environment ,so using those raw materials needs to have all of the expense of their use factored into the costs beyond site cleanup after extraction is complete. Sadly, with one side still denying the changes in the world around us and believing we can dig and drill ourselves into a future of plentiful energy, I won't hold my breath waiting for it to happen. Once our current leadership forfeits the future of energy to China and others, we will never again rise to the top of the mountain.

Tax incentives should be given to encourage better construction practices, from housing through commercial and industrial structures to assure that we get the best bang for the buck from where we live, work and play.

The roofs of big-box stores are a resource that is largely going to waste although some, such as Walmart, are adding skylights to many of their stores. Large flat, open spaces are a place to locate solar collectors, and the tens of thousand acres of roof throughout the country could add substantially to the supply of electricity.

Lenders also need to be brought in so long-term savings from more efficient construction are factored into the value of new construction, not just the idea of build it fast and cheap.

The replacement of aging nuclear plants with modern ones is a proposal which should be looked into. That having been said, there should be a plan to use a standardized generating plant throughout the new system where the only custom work is external to the plant.

The U.S. Navy has a very safe record of nuclear power with subs and aircraft carriers, and while the reactors onboard them have evolved over the years, they are substantially the same across the fleet. This leads to an economy of scale and a much lower cost of training operators and sourcing repair parts. And, since the Navy has experience in using small reactors, there could be a line of "pocket" reactors that could be built and operated close to where electricity is needed without the costs to the environment of building huge distribution networks crossing the countryside.

William L. Maner, III

Norge

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