Thursday, April 01, 2010

What we know that isn't so ~ By John Stossel

Stossel sets us straight on a few so-called "facts."
People are ignorant enough about science that it's easy for politicians to scare them into supporting absurd regulations. For my show, I went to Times Square and asked if people would sign a petition demanding a ban on "dihydrogen monoxide," a colorless, odorless chemical that kills thousands. Most everyone signed.

They were embarrassed when they realized that dihydrogen monoxide is ... H2O. They eagerly endorsed a ban on water.

By John Stossel

Posted: March 31, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

Much government interference with our peaceful pursuits is based on junk science and junk economics. Politicians know a lot of stuff that isn't so. So do reporters.

Let me count some of the ways. (I'll elaborate on tomorrow's Fox Business Network show.)

Congress now spends your money on a host of intrusive new programs designed to make America "energy independent." President Obama recently announced $8 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power plants.

I smiled when I heard. Finally, even Democrats woke up to the benefits of nuclear power. But Cato Institute energy analyst Jerry Taylor set me straight:

"If nuclear power made economic sense, we wouldn't need to subsidize it."

Affordable nuclear power, says Taylor, is a Republican fantasy. Promoting it makes no more sense than Nancy Pelosi's promotion of wind and solar power. "Take a Republican speech about nuclear power, cross out the phrase 'nuclear,' and put in 'solar' – you've got a Democratic speech about energy."

All these "alternative" fuels are economically impractical. Natural gas is practical. And plentiful.

I thought the only reason nuclear didn't pay for itself is the burden of excessive regulations and objections from silly environmentalists. Apply for permission to build a plant, and their cumbersome lawsuits impose ruinously expensive delays.

Again, Taylor set me straight. He says the nuclear industry itself is comfortable with today's level of regulation. The big problem today is not environmental rules, but simply the huge cost. The same high costs, he says, are found in countries that have long been friendly to nuclear power.


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