In his August 2-3 Newsletter, David Korn wrote the following
summary of Bob Brinker's Moneytalk guest speaker,
Dr Bill Wattenburg:
Dr. Bill: The main topic that Bob and Dr. Bill discussed was
In response to Bob addressing the failure of Congress to
address the energy problem, Dr. Bill said Congress has
lost touch with reality. Nancy Pelosi let the cat out
of the bag this week when she was asked in an interview
why she wouldn't allow the American public to not have
access to its own resources. Her response was that she
was there to save the planet. Bob said the Senate
majority leader was asked the same thing and he said that
they need to go on vacation. Dr. Bill said he knows
Harry Reed and thinks he will have trouble in his own
district if this continues.
Dr. Bill: Dr. Bill said he was listening to callers talk
about natural gas and thinks there is some misinformation
being spread by some of the environmental groups who don't
want to use any energy source except wind and solar.
The truth is that if we start using natural gas, or any of
our resources more, the price of oil will come down.
Saudi Arabia has three times as much oil to pump as they
are using right now as do other countries. Dr. Bill noted
that in the last few weeks, President Bush said he would lift
the ban on offshore drilling and the price of oil has fallen
$20 since then. If people in this country would stand up and
say we are going to use our own resources and agreed to power
just 10% of our cars with natural gas, the price of oil
Brinker/Dr. Bill: Bob asked Dr. Bill to comment on a caller
to the show who said he was using solar power cells and
plugging his car in at night. Bob told the caller that
since he was plugging his electric car into a coal-fired plant,
he wasn't helping that much. Dr. Bill said it doesn't pan
out. You must generate the electricity today in filthy
fossil fuel plants if you are going to charge batteries.
Moreover, if you had just 5% of the cars in this country
that were electric that had to be charged by our power
plants, you would have black-outs all over the country.
There is an enormous amount of energy that needs to power cars.
Dr. Bill: The dreams of having electric cars or plug in
hybrids making a big dent only makes sense if we have an
enormous amount of clean and inexpensive nuclear power
not polluting. Otherwise, we will increase global warming
by 10-times the amount through the use of getting the charge
via coal-burning plants. As far as why natural gas prices
are so high, it is because so much of it is being wasted in
power plants that should be non-polluting nuclear plants.
We have more natural gas in Alaska pumped back down in the
ground than we use in the other 49 states because we
aren't using it.
Brinker/Dr. Bill: Bob noted that we produce 70% of
domestic oil production out of the North Slope of Alaska.
We have the ANWR resource to the East or Prudhoe Bay.
It could potentially produce 1 million barrels of oil a
day for a long period of time. What's the deal?
Dr. Bill said on his web page he has posted pictures of
the ANWR plane which is really a baron area that is no
more precious than areas where we are asking other countries to
drill in. The Sierra club, who opposed the Alaskan pipeline,
are against drilling in ANWR and are willing to spend lots
of money and file lots of lawsuits to stop it. There game
is to create hysteria to get people to pay dues. They have
opposed everything. They oppose nuclear everywhere. They can
never admit a mistake. Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer have been
political shills for them.
Bob/Dr. Bill: Bob noted that in France, they get the bulk
of their power from nuclear energy, which must drive the
Sierra Club nuts. The obstructionists don't want you to
hear about this. Dr. Bill pointed out that France uses a
standard design for their plants -- one they took from
the United States. So do the Chinese. Dr. Bill said if
we start building nuclear power plants right now it will
be 8-10 years before they even are operational. Today,
most of us drive to work and will continue to drive to
work using gasoline for the near future. Dr. Bill said
Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace, has been a
voice of reason for using clean nuclear energy.
Bob/Dr. Bill: T. Boone Pickens is talking about using
wind power to create 20% of our power. Bob noted that
wind and solar power provides less than 3% of worldwide
energy. Dr. Bill said they are trying very hard in other
countries to develop wind power and they are finding it
causes enormous disruptions when the wind doesn't blow
hard enough. The British just concluded they can't
rely on it more than 5-7%.
EC: On a previous show, a caller said that Dr. Bill
didn't mention the importance of solar power in three ways.
First, it is an unlimited source of energy. Second, it is
economic power because you are not renting your energy from
a company and third, it is decentralizing politically
because it is available to everyone. The caller referenced
a book by Travis Bradford called, "The Solar Revolution"
which suggests that the cost of solar power will go down
40% in the next 3-4 years and be the cheapest way to power
your home and business. Dr. Bill said he uses it and
knows what it cost. The reason you don't see solar power
everywhere is because it is not feasible on a large scale.
Dr. Bill: Dr. Bill said one of the Democrats top
advisors told Dr. Bill who said they did polls in which
they believe only 30% blame the Democrats for the energy
problems - the other 70% blame Bush. Dr. Bill said if the
Republicans are smart, they will come up with a national
educational campaign to let the public know that 19 times
the House has voted to open offshore drilling in ANWR and
was killed in the Senate by Democratic filibusters and
the one time it passed, it was vetoed by President Clinton.
If the Democrats get their agenda passed, we will see
$10 a barrel for gasoline and be way behind the curve.
Caller: This caller noted that today we have computers
that can shut down a nuclear plant that make them much
more safe than the days of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
Bob said a lot of people got hung up after Three Mile Island
and we haven't built a nuclear facility since then. Dr. Bill
said the problems at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl were
both the result of stupid operators. It was the equivalent
of airline pilots deliberately flying planes into a mountainside.
If a pilot did that, we wouldn't stop everyone from flying planes.
The new nuclear plant designs used around the world do not allow
the operators to override the safety features. As far as
Chernobyl is concerned, Dr. Bill said that was a badly designed
nuclear plant to begin with and we shut down our reactors of
that design right after World War II. In addition, it was
ignorant operators that caused the problems there. Dr. Bill
said France has really come to the forefront on safety by
having common design, common training, no possibility for
operators to shut down safety features. The main thing today
is the improvements in safety controls. Nuclear plans shut
down first, and questions are asked later. That said, there
is nothing that is completely safe and cheap. It cost a lot
to build a safe plant. We have 104 nuclear plants operating
safely, and France has another 80.
Brinker/Dr. Bill: What about nuclear waste? Dr. Bill said
ask any politician what they know about nuclear waste, and
you will find out they know practically nothing. Nuclear
waste is actually a valuable resource. The spent fuel rods
are 96% pure uranium plus a little plutonium has been
generated which is good fuel for the plant. There are some
poisons, and if you recycle them and reprocess like the
French and Japanese are doing, you have a very small amount
to store away. After 60-80 years, the bad stuff disappears
and the rest is valuable and reusable. The anti-nuclear
crowd invented the idea of nuclear waste by saying you can't
do anything with the fuel rods and can't bury them.
Dr. Bill pointed out that if you took the amount of
nuclear energy that a family of four uses over a 20-year
period, the equivalent amount of nuclear waste that it
would produce would fit in a shoebox. If you reprocess
the fuel rods, the only waste fits into a shot glass.
That is what the France is doing. If we reprocess the rods,
its less than the radioactive stuff coming out of hospitals
Caller: A caller asked Dr. Bill when the last time a
nuclear reactor was built without a containment building.
Dr. Bill said the last time was Chernobyl. Today in the
United States, Dr. Bill said no nuclear reactors are
operating without a containment facility. There were
some after World War II but they were shut down immediately.
The caller told Dr. Bill that he was spreading
misinformation and pointed out that in 1977, he put a
containment building up. Dr. Bill asked the relevance
of that, since this is 30 years later. The caller said
he was simply trying to make the point that Dr. Bill
was not being forthcoming. Dr. Bill told the caller he
was wasting everyone's time because today there are
no nuclear plants in the U.S. that operate without a
Caller: This caller said he was in favor of nuclear
power until he read a report by Dr. Templin and Gofman's.
Dr. Bill said he is very familiar with those individuals,
and was within the same University system as Dr. Gofman
who he knew well.
EC: John William Gofman was Chairman of the Committee
for Nuclear Responsibility. The report the caller was
referring to is entitled, "Poisoned Power: The case
Against Nuclear Power Plants Before and After
Three Mile Island."
Caller continued: Dr. Bill said he disagrees with
Gofman's views and asked why they didn't point out
the dangers of coal burning plants which produce
25,000 tons of uranium and thorium each year. Gofman
told people the world was going to hell because of
nuclear plants which produce 1 or 2 tons. The caller
said his findings about nuclear power were negative
and he was a full professor. Dr. Bill said his
opinions were, but that doesn't mean anything.
Dr. Bill pointed out that there is another full
professor on the University of California faculty
that preaches that HIV/AIDS is not caused by a virus,
but by people's bad habits and drug addiction. So
much for what a full professorship means said Dr. Bill!
And he got more press in scientific journals than
Gofman got. The caller said with nuclear it is a very
long term contamination. Dr. Bill said that is a lie.
The French do not have to store even the small amount
of toxic materials for more than 60-80 years. The half
life of strontium and cesium is 30-40 years. Gofman
refused to recognize this fact.
Caller: This caller is in New Mexico and he says
they are primed for geo-thermal energy and nobody
talks about it. Dr. Bill said producing geo-thermal
energy is not cheap. You can't just get energy off of
hot rocks. There are not as many as you think. That
said, Dr. Bill said he believes you should develop all
sources of alternative energies and if you have someone
willing to put money into it, then by all means.
EC: Geothermal energy is heat from the earth.
Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow
ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles
below the earth's surface and down deeper to molten rock.
Did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy has a
"Geothermal Technologies Program." If you did,
you know more about it than me. I read about it
for the first time today......."
David Korn's Stock Market Commentary, Interpretation of
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Copyright David Korn, L.L.C. 2008
Posted with permission by Honeybee, editor of "Honey's Bob Brinker Beehive Buzz." For info about David's newsletter, see links on this page