I seldom read Tom Crawford’s columns, but when I saw the headline of his Dec. 27 one as “You can’t fix stupid,” I assumed it was his autobiography so it may be humorous reading.
As usual, he uses his same old liberal, tree hugger approach to be critical issue of nuclear power in general and Georgia Power specifically. He uses the same arguments that were used back in the 1950s and 1960s as many utilities, including the Southern Company, made major commitments to nuclear power. These decisions made over 50 years ago saved billions for consumers as OPEC came along in the early 1970s and changed energy economics forever. Natural gas is today’s bargain fuel, but realize it is priced on a global basis and Russia is a major player. How will that go in the future?
As usual, Mr. Crawford is long on criticism and short on solutions. He will pay major lip service to wind power, which is an excellent alternative, but limited as an alternative energy source. But you will never see him address the tax incentives it requires, the thousands of 500-kilovolt transmission lines needed to get the wind power from remote sources to major load centers, or how environmentalists will fight every mile of right-of-way location over millions of acres to build these lines.
He will also pay lip service to solar power, another great but limited alternative energy source. Again he will never mention the tax credits needed to make it economical, how to address limited sunshine areas, or how battery technology is limited to store this energy for peak load needs.
It reminds me of a very old story about President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early stages of World War II when German U-boats were sinking hundreds of merchant ships in the North Atlantic. Roosevelt got together some of the “greatest brains available” and asked them to get together as a task force and determine how to stop the U-boat successes. After days of study the group reported as follows: “We recommend that we heat the North Atlantic ocean to 80 degrees F or higher. At that temperature, the inside of the submerged U-boats will be too hot for the crew to survive and they will have to surface and we can then sink them when they do surface.”
Roosevelt listened to the entire analysis then asked one question: “How do you propose we heat the ocean to 80 degrees?” The group responded: We did not address that. We only look at the big picture and do not worry about details. You will have to organize another group to address that part of our solution.” Roosevelt immediately dismissed the task force.
If Mr. Crawford had been around at that time, he would have been an excellent member of that task force.