Markey Tells It Like It Is
Representative Markey was on Andrea Mitchell talking about the absurdity of building nuclear power plants on earthquake faults and says that we need to shutter the ones we have and not build any new ones. (Apparently one of the newer designs is said be likely to "shatter like a glass house" if it comes under stress!)
He points out that we have had major earthquakes in the last year in Chile, New Zealand, Japan and that California is the other part of that quadrant. From what I'm reading in the LA Times today, I'm not all that confident in the safety of these California reactors.
At the end of the conversation, she asked him if he had any reservations about Libya:
We're in Libya because of oil. And I think both Japan and nuclear technology and Libya and this dependence that we have upon imported oil have once again highlighted the need for the United States to have a renewable energy agenda going forward...
It is limited ... I think it is consistent with siding with the aspirations of young and educated people who are seeking a new direction for Libya in the 21st century, but it all goes back to the 5 million barrels that we import from OPEC on a daily basis.
And the Republicans in congress, and I'm just going to finish on this note, last week in the House of Representative in the energy and commerce committee stripped the environmental protection Agency of their ability to increase the fuel economy standards ofd the cars and tucks and planes and trains that we put the oil into and by the way on a bill that passed three weeks ago, zeroed out all of the loan guarantee money for wind and solar while leaving in the money for nuclear power.
So this is the time for a great debate. Japan and Libya. Oil and nuclear. What is our future? And if we are going to have one, shouldn't it be one where we tap into our own technologies, our own ability to provide the electricity we need with the indigenous natural resources that we have in our own country rather than dangerously playing games with OPEC countries or with nuclear technology which is inherently unsafe.
Then he said most people agreed that Libya was a good decision as long as no bloodshed was attributed to our troops. But his greater point is where the real debate should be --- but won't be.
The polling on this is still amorphous and inconclusive, IMO. But I have to agree with @ddayen that support for the president seems unusually low for the early days of a military strike. That's mostly because of the incoherence of the Republicans who say they disapprove of the way the president is handling Libya but support his policy, so maybe that's not surprising. But it's hard to see that improving over time.