In Kabuki Theater was discussed the lawsuit brought by the Goldwater Institute against the Arizona Corporation Commission in response to the Commission establishing the Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff (REST) rules. The Goldwater Institute appears to miscomprehend the economic and political dynamics of Arizona energy policy. Or, perhaps, they have other motives?
In an April 2nd “Daily Email” from the Goldwater Institute, titled, “Corporation Commission on dangerous trajectory”, author Clint Bolick states, “Belatedly but commendably, state Representative Lucy Mason is leading an effort to reclaim legislative authority over energy policy and to define "renewable energy" to encompass hydro-generated and nuclear power [emphasis mine]. All very reasonable.”
“THE LEGISLATURE ADOPTS THE RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD AND TARIFF RULES APPROVED BY THE ARIZONA CORPORATION COMMISSION IN DECISION NUMBER 69127 THAT IS EFFECTIVE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS CHAPTER, EXCEPT THAT ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES INCLUDE NUCLEAR ENERGY, HYDRO GENERATION AND ENERGY SAVED THROUGH CONSERVATION AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY [emphasis mine].”
State of Arizona, House of Representatives, Forty-ninth Legislature, First Regular Session, 2009HB 2623, introduced by Representative Mason, 7 30-901. Renewable energy standard
Both the European Union and, more recently, U.S. lawmakers have rejected defining nuclear energy as a renewable energy. Contrary to Mr. Bolick’s opinion, it is very unreasonable to define as renewable an energy source that depends upon a finite resource such as uranium. The transportation and securing of uranium and its wastes consumes a considerable amount of petroleum and methane. Furthermore, the consumption of petroleum and methane in the extraction and refining of uranium will only increase as uranium resources thin and their quality subsequently decreases. Nuclear energy is not even carbon-neutral, let alone renewable.
Still, there is considerable effort and expense being applied to the rebranding of nuclear energy. When the burning of coal becomes severely limited or is abandoned because of its deadly effects, only nuclear energy will remain as a tool of central planning. When more discover that nuclear energy is not only cost prohibitive, but is also resource limited, we will be left with no other option but to stop relying on blunt instruments and to think more deeply.