The Obama administration continues to stonewall when it comes to exploring for new sources of oil in or near American territory. (It has approved just two deepwater drilling sites since the BP oil spill in the Gulf, which, contrary to doomsday predictions, did not foul beaches for a decade or cripple the seafood industry, which seems to have recovered well in plenty of time for the summer vacation rush.) Too many politicians continue to oppose coal exploration, an American natural resource. Without advances in nuclear energy, the U.S. will continue to face not only the petroleum price equivalent of mood swings, but also deepen our dependency on foreign oil, a dependence that will ultimately lead to a host of domestic and international problems.
Cooler heads must prevail and conclusions avoided until a full assessment of the Japan disaster is known. Science cannot prevent earthquakes or tsunamis, but that does not keep people from wanting to live near the shore. Scientists and engineers have made great progress in addressing safety issues raised by Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, but again, nothing is foolproof or there would be no traffic accidents or airplane crashes. And we still drive and fly, don't we?
We need clean energy that can be developed on our own territory. Nuclear power, in conjunction with the discovery of more oil and the use of coal, natural gas, bio fuels, wind and solar power, offers the best option for the foreseeable future.