A. The aff must specify the type of incentive they use.
Incentive specification key to policymaking and disad links
David M Driesen. Spring 98. “Is emissions trading an economic incentive program?: Replacing the command and control/economic incentive dichotomy,” Washington and Lee Law review __ articles/mi_qa3655/is_199804/ ai_n8791954/print__ [Takumi Murayama]

Any meaningful theory of economic incentives must address several key questions. What precisely does a proposed program provide incentives to do? Who will create the incentives? A theory that focuses on these questions helps analyze claims that emissions trading offers free market-like dynamic advantages - inducement of innovation and continuous environmental improvement - central to its attractiveness. It clarifies the advantages and disadvantages of traditional regulation. It shows that much more useful things can be done with the concept of economic incentives than trade emission reduction obligations. A theory of economic incentives may help create more dynamic and effective environmental law.

B. The aff fails to specify what type of incentive they use.

C. Standards -

1. Limits–Limits are necessary for negative preparation and clash. The term “alternative energy” is already unlimiting enough we should at least get to know what type of incentive the affirmative is using to limit the topic. Key CP ground is lost; the aff should be able to defend the type of incentive they do in the plan.

2. Predictability–It’s totally unpredictable what the 1AC becomes in the 2AC after the addition of add-ons; there is already in-round abuse from the 1AC, since the aff strat after the 1AC can change 180°.
D. T is a voter for fairness and education. The way the aff defines the round does not reward strategic thinking where the neg can run solvency deficits or counterplans on “incentives” and decrease education on in-depth debates about incentives.

T – Nuclear Energy !

Alt Energy= A. Interpretations: Alternative energy excludes nuclear
U.S. Code, 4/25/08, TITLE 26. INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, 26 USCS § 7701
(D) Alternative energy facility. For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term 'alternative energy facility' means a facility for producing electrical or thermal energy if the primary energy source for the facility is not oil, natural gas, coal, or nuclear power.

B. Violation – the plan offers financial incentives and a combined licensing process for nuclear energy

C. T is a voter for fairness and jurisdiction
1. All forces fall into either incentive or disincentive, allowing disincentives opens the floodgates.
2. Real world—our definition is from US Code, it's normal means for policymaking
3. Trade-off and politics disad links are specific to alternative energy; using nuclear moots neg ground

States CP

Financial difficulties are the ONLY thing preventing nuclear energy. The government likes nuclear power and would use the licensing procedure if others asked..
Pietro S. Nivola, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings. 09-04. “The Political Economy of Nuclear Energy in the United States.” [Takumi Murayama]
The setbacks to nuclear building programs in the United States have not been for want of government support. In varying degrees and stages, the entire nuclear food-chain, from research and development and fuel supply services to liability insurance, waste disposal, and eventual decommissioning, has been backed in one way or another by government policies.
When the infant industry experienced growing pains—unanticipated difficulties such as environmental controversies, waste management problems, or regulatory hardships—Congress was sometimes slow to lend a hand, but at the end of the day, lawmakers did pitch in. True, the decision to provide a permanent underground repository for high-level waste (the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada) is still wending its way through the courts. But in the end, if the storage plan goes ahead, it will be the largest of its kind anywhere. Proponents of nuclear power had long complained about cumbersome regulatory hurdles, most notably the need to obtain from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) separate approvals for constructing and then operating a new reactor. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 ended this two-step licensing procedure. Today, a utility, if granted a building permit, knows that an operating license is assured. Following the 1992 law, moreover, the NRC has pre-certified three technologies for application anywhere in the country. A builder opting for any one of them is all but guaranteed that safety features, for example, will not be open to legal challenges during licensing proceedings. That no new plants have been ordered despite these significant adjustments only furthers the impression that finances, more than regulations, continue to pose the primary barrier.

Elections DA

  1. Obama is winning because he can control the framing on energy
Andrew Ward, 6-22-08
“Energy concerns could swing Ohio result”, 235879bc-4098-11dd-bd48- 0000779fd2ac,dwp_uuid= f2b40164-cfea-11dc-9309- 0000779fd2ac.htm[Ian Miller]
Richard Daley hoped he would spend more time at his Kentucky vacation home in retirement. Instead, the 60-year-old former engineer, has cut his number of visits by half because of the soaring cost of driving the 200 miles from his home in West Chester, Ohio. “On a fixed income, we just can’t keep absorbing these increases,” he says. Mr Daley is one of millions of Americans rethinking their approach to energy consumption as petrol prices hit record levels. According to the Department of Transportation, US drivers travelled 30bn fewer miles between November and April, compared with a year earlier, the biggest drop since the 1979 energy crisis. While Mr Daley’s story is increasingly familiar, his carries added weight because he lives in one of the most important battleground states in November’s presidential election. His heavily Republican county on the edge of Cincinnati helped deliver George W. Bush’s narrow victory in Ohio four years ago and John McCain needs to win by a big margin there if he is to hold the state. Describing himself as an undecided independent, Mr Daley supports Mr McCain’s plan to lift the ban on fresh offshore oil and gas drilling around the US coast. But he also favours Barack Obama’s proposal to levy a windfall profit tax on oil companies and invest the proceeds in renewable fuels: “We need to exploit all the oil we have, but, in the long term, we have to find alternatives,” says Mr Daley. Energy has soared towards the top of the election agenda as petrol prices have topped $4 a gallon for the first time. Three in four voters say the issue will be “very important” in determining their vote – outranking taxes, terrorism and the Iraq war – according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Centre. Asked who they trusted most to handle the energy issue, respondents favoured Mr Obama over Mr McCain by 18 percentage points. “Voters are making the simple conclusion that if you change the party in the White House somehow things will get better,” says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia.

  1. The plan dooms Obama. McCain will pounce on a new energy policy to revitalize the GOP brand – it will tip the election
(Theo Caldwell, President of Caldwell Asset Management, Inc/ investment advisor in the United States and Canada, 6-17-08, “Theo Caldwell: If the Republicans promise to cut fuel costs, 2008 could be their year”, http://network.nationalpost. com/np/blogs/fullcomment/ archive/2008/06/17/theo- caldwell-if-the-republicans- promise-to-cut-fuel-costs- 2008-could-be-their-year.aspx, [Ian Miller])
Drill here, drill now, pay less. This is the mantra of former U.S. speaker of the house Newt Gingrich, whose American Solutions policy group is campaigning for America to begin tapping its own oil resources to combat high gas prices. For all the environmental constraints the U.S. government has placed on domestic oil production (China and Cuba are drilling closer to the U.S. coastline than American companies are allowed to do), polls show Americans would rather pay less for gasoline than fight global warming. Indeed, the price of gas now permeates almost every policy discussion, from foreign affairs to inflation. As we approach the 2008 elections, whichever presidential candidate and party conjures a cogent energy plan — incorporating domestic drilling and defying environmental alarmism — will be rewarded. At first glance, it would seem that spiralling gas prices and frustration at the pumps would hurt the incumbent party. Notwithstanding the Democrats’ majorities in both houses of Congress, it is the Republican party that the public identifies with incumbency, saddled as they are with an unpopular president who catches blame for everything from poor Iraq war planning to inclement weather. But the religious environmental zealotry of much of the Democrats’ base makes them the party of windmills and stern lectures, not practical solutions. Congressional Democrats have contented themselves with browbeating today’s most politically correct villains, oil executives, while reflexively voting down any proposed energy solution, from domestic drilling to nuclear power. The Democrats’ presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, has suggested that high energy costs might carry the benefit of forcing America to change its gluttonous ways, recently chiding his countrymen: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.” Americans did not win the Cold War so they would have to consult Sweden before setting their thermostats. This kind of thinking is anathema to the Land of the Free, and it opens the door for the GOP to capitalize on the energy issue. In 1994, Gingrich’s Republicans achieved a majority in Congress through a simple, common sense platform known as the Contract with America. A one-page roster of eight reforms and 10 proposed Acts, the Contract neatly answered voters’ principal questions of those who seek to govern. To wit, who are you, what do you hope to accomplish, and how will you do it? In 2008, with energy prices fixing to become the top election issue, combining foreign and domestic policy concerns into a monstrous hybrid of a problem, an understandable and workable proposal could help the GOP again. If every Republican running for office, from freshman House candidates to their presidential nominee, Senator John McCain, spoke with a single, sensible voice on this issue, they could snatch victory from defeat. A first draft might read: “We are Americans too, and we know that energy prices have gotten out of hand. We want to reduce fuel costs for all of us, and cut the number of dollars we send to hostile, oil-producing countries in the Middle East and South America. If you elect us, we will do the following three things: We will begin to tap America’s vast oil reserves, using technological drilling advances that protect the environment. We will also promote alternative energy sources, such as nuclear power, to move us away from an oil-based economy. Finally, we will eliminate barriers to the import of cheaper, more efficient automotive systems that have been successful in other parts of the world.” If the Republicans agree on such a platform, 2008 could be their year after all.

  1. McCain will attack Iran
David Edwards & Muriel Kane 1/28/08 (“Buchanan: McCain win would mean war with Iran”, Buchanan_McCain_win_means_war_ with_0128.html)
Says McCain would provoke new wars, 'he's in everybody's face' "More wars" could prove to be the oddest of all presidential campaign slogans. Especially if it works. Presidential candidate John McCain shocked observers on Sunday when he told a crowd of supporters, "There's going to be other wars. ... I'm sorry to tell you, there's going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars." MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asked old-line conservative Pat Buchanan about McCain's remarks, saying, "He talked about promising that more wars were coming. ... Is he so desperate to get off the economic issue?" Pat Buchanan replied that McCain never used the word "promise" but simply said there would be more wars, and that from McCain's point of view, "that is straight talk. ... You get John McCain in the White House, and I do believe we will be at war with Iran." "That's one of the things that makes me very nervous about him," Buchanan went on. "There's no doubt John McCain is going to be a war president. ... His whole career is wrapped up in the military, national security. He's in Putin's face, he's threatening the Iranians, we're going to be in Iraq a hundred years." "So when he says more war," Scarborough commented, "he is promising you, if he gets in the White House, we'll not only be fighting this war but starting new wars. Is that what conservative Republicans want? "I don't say he's starting them," Buchanan answered. "He expects more wars. ... I think he's talking straight, because if you take a look at the McCain foreign policy, he is in everybody's face. Did you see Thad Cochran's comment when he endorsed Romney? He said, look, John McCain is a bellicose, red-faced, angry guy, who constantly explodes." "Not a happy message," commented Scarborough. "Not Reaganesque."
  1. This ends in the destruction of civilization.
Jorge Hirsch, a professor of physics at the University of California San Diego. He is one of the originators of the physicists' petition on nuclear weapons policies started at the UCSD, 1/3/2006, America's nuclear ticking bomb, uniontrib/20060103/news_ mz1e3hirsch.html
If only conventional bombs are used in an unprovoked U.S. or Israeli aerial attack against Iran's facilities, Iran is likely to retaliate with missiles against coalition forces in Iraq and against Israel, as well as possibly a ground invasion of southern Iraq, that the 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq would not be able to withstand. Iranian missiles could potentially contain chemical warheads, and it certainly would be impossible to rule out such possibility. Iran has signed and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (in 1993 and 1997 respectively), however it is still likely to have supplies, as determined by the U.S. State Department in August 2005. Early use by the United States of low-yield nuclear bombs with better bunker-busting ability than conventional bombs targeting Iranian nuclear, chemical and missile installations would be consistent with the new U.S. nuclear weapons doctrine and could be argued to be necessary to protect the lives of 150,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq and of Israeli citizens. It would also send a clear message to Iran that any response would be answered by a far more devastating nuclear attack, thus potentially saving both American and Iranian lives. However, the nuclear threshold is a line of no return. Once the United States uses a nuclear weapon against a nonnuclear adversary, the 182 countries that are signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty will rightly feel at risk, and many of them will rush to develop their own nuclear deterrent while they can. A new world with many more nuclear countries, and a high risk of any regional conflict exploding into all-out nuclear war, will be the consequence. The scientific community (which created nuclear weapons) is alarmed over the new U.S. nuclear weapons policies. A petition to reverse these policies launched by physicists at the University of California San Diego has gathered over 1,500 physicists' signatures including eight Nobel laureates and many prominent members of the U.S. scientific establishment ( petition/). Scientists object strongly to the concept of WMD, that lumps together nuclear weapons with other "weapons of mass destruction" and blurs the sharp line that separates immensely more destructive nuclear weapons from all other weapons. An escalating nuclear war could lead to the destruction of civilization. There is no fundamental difference between small nuclear bombs and large ones, nor between nuclear bombs targeting underground installations versus those targeting cities or armies.

Fiscal Discipline DA

A. Bush and the Blue Dogs are holding the line on fiscal disc
Housing Wire,7/15/2008, “Bush: Congress Needs to Move on Housing Bill”, 2008/07/15/bush-congress- needs-to-move-on-housing-bill/ , BB
The largest source of Bush’s veto threat had centered around a proposed provision in the Senate that would add $3.9 billion in Community Development Block Grant funding to allow local governments to purchase foreclosed and abandoned real estate for use as affordable housing. The House version of the package contains no such provision, and so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats — a name given to a group of conservative Democrats in the House — have been strongly opposed to the measure, as well.
B. “Must pass” bills collapse fiscal discipline
Istook et Al., a Visiting Fellow in Government Relations at The Heritage Foundation, served 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and was chairman of a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Ernest Istook, Nicola Moore, Baker Spring and Alison Acosta Fraser, May 2, 2007, “Post-Veto War Supplemental Must Eliminate Pork and Support Troops”, Research/Budget/wm1440.cfm, BB
A series of short-term supplemental bills would also destroy any hope of Members' exercising the fiscal discipline that this Congress has promised to provide. In the vetoed supplemental, Congress stuffed in an extra $20 billion of non-emergency spending, much of which likely would not survive outside of "must pass" legislation. Although some special-interest spending was taken out in the conference committee, there was still plenty to beef about: $1.4 billion to the livestock industry, hundreds of millions for dairy producers, $60 million for salmon fisheries, a $650 million SCHIP bailout to states that irresponsibly expanded their programs,[3] plus billions more for programs whose value could be debated--all told, $21 billion more than President's original request. As Charlie Rangel openly admitted on Meet the Press, most of that pork added to the supplemental was used to buy votes. Increasing the number of short-term supplemental appropriations will only serve to increase the extent to which the leadership will need to grease the skids with more pork projects in order to buy more votes to pass the series of supplementals. This two-month strategy would make it all the more vital for the President to require fiscal responsibility by eliminating special-interest projects and parochial spending.
C. Internal Link--Lack of Fiscal Discipline leads to Economic Collapse
Gerald J. Swanson, Professor; Thomas R. Brown Chair in Economic Education @ Eller College, America the Broke, 2004, pg. 13, BB
Because foreign investors view the dollar as nothing more than another asset they buy in hopes of making a return, increasing economic turmoil in the United States would probably provoke them to sell some, if not all, of their dollar assets, causing the currency’s value to drop farther. As this vicious cycle gathered speed, foreign investors might quit buying Treasury securities altogether. They might even start cashing in the bonds they already held. That would force the government to print the money it couldn’t borrow—a surefire trigger for inflation and another blow to the value of the dollar. What would happen then? We can only guess, because such a debacle has never occurred in modern times. At the very least, the United States—and because of our wide-ranging influence the rest of the world, toowould be plunged into economic chaos, all because of our unwillingness to reign in our reckless spending.

D. Impact- Economic Collapse leads to Nuclear War
Walter Russell Mead, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, "Depending on the Kindness of Strangers," New Perspectives Quarterly 9.3 (Summer 1992) pp. 28-30.
Hundreds of millions—billions—of people around the world have pinned their hopes on the international market economy. They and their leaders have embraced market principles—and drawn closer to the West—because they believe our system can work for them. But what if it can’t? What if the global economy stagnates—or even shrinks? In that case we will face a new period of international conflict: South against North, rich against poor. Russia, China, India—these countries with their billions of people and their nuclear weapons will pose a much greater danger to the world order than Germany and Japan did in the ‘30s

Terror Talk K

The horrific image of “terroristic violence” contributes to the escalation of violent images that are the root of all violence. The exceptionalism of 9-11 demands moral complicity in violence in the name of the Crusade against terror.
James Der Derian, Research Professor of International Relations, Brown University; Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2002 der_derian_text_only.htm
Before 9.11 and after 9.11: all social scientists, save perhaps the most recalcitrant positivists waiting for more data points to come in, must now survey international as well as domestic politics by this temporal rift. Yet we seem stuck, it is uncertain for how long, in a dangerous interim that thwarts scholarly inquiry. After terrorist hijackers transformed three commercial jetliners into highly explosive kinetic weapons, toppled the twin towers of the World Trade Center, substantially damaged the Pentagon, killed over five thousand people, and triggered a state of emergency - and before the dead are fully grieved, Osama bin Laden’s head is brought on a platter, justice is perceived as done, and information is no longer a subsidiary of war - there is very little about 9-11 that is safe to say. Unless one is firmly situated in a patriotic, ideological, or religious position (which at home and abroad are increasingly one and the same), it is intellectually difficult and even politically dangerous to assess the meaning of a conflict that phase-shifts with every news cycle, from ‘Terror Attack’ to ‘America Fights Back’; from a ‘crusade’ to a ‘counter-terror campaign’; from ‘the first war of the 21st century’ to a fairly conventional combination of humanitarian intervention and remote killing; from infowar to real war; from kinetic terror to bioterror.
Under such conditions, I believe the immediate task of the social scientist and all concerned individuals is to uncover what is dangerous to think and say. Or as Walter Benjamin put it best, ‘in times of terror, when everyone is something of a conspirator, everybody will be in a situation where he has to play detective.’
Detective work
and some courage is needed because questions about the root causes or political intentions of the terrorist act have been either silenced by charges of ‘moral equivalency’, or, rendered moot by claims that the exceptional nature of the act does not require explanation. It quickly became accepted wisdom, from President Bush on down, that evil was to blame, and that the appropriate political and intellectual focus should be on how best to eradicate evil. Even sophisticated analysts like Michael Ignatieff downplayed the significance of social or political inquiry by declaiming the exceptionality of the act:
What we are up against is apocalyptic nihilism. The nihilism of their means - the indifference to human costs - takes their actions not only out of the realm of politics, but even out of the realm of war itself. The apocalyptic nature of their goals makes it absurd to believe they are making political demands at all. They are seeking the violent transformation of an irremediably sinful and unjust world. Terror does not express a politics, but a metaphysics, a desire to give ultimate meaning to time and history through ever-escalating acts of violence which culminate in a final battle between good and evil.1
By funneling the experience through the image of American exceptionalism, 9.11 quickly took on an exceptional ahistoricity. For the most part, history was only invoked - mainly in the sepia tones of the Second World War - to prepare America for the sacrifice and suffering that lay ahead. The influential conservative George Will wrote that there were now only two time zones left for the United States:
America, whose birth was mid-wived by a war and whose history has been punctuated by many more, is the bearer of great responsibilities and the focus of myriad resentments. Which is why for America, there are only two kinds of years, the war years and the interwar years.2
Under such forced circumstances, of being beyond experience, outside of history, and between wars, 9.11 does not easily yield to philosophical, political or social inquiry. I believe the best the academician can do is to thickly describe, robustly interrogate, and directly challenge the authorized truths and official actions of all parties who are positing a world view of absolute differences in need of final solutions. I do so here by first challenging the now common assumption that 9.11 is an exceptional event beyond history and theory, especially those theories tainted, as Edward Rothstein claimed in the New York Times, by ‘postmodernism’ and ‘post-colonialism’.3 Second, I examine the representations, technologies, and strategies of network wars that have eluded mainstream journalism and traditional social science. I finish by uncovering what I consider to be the main dangers presented by the counter/terror of 9-11.
An Exceptional Act?
On the question of exceptionalism, consider a few testimonials, the first from an editorial in The New York Times:
If the attack against the World Trade Center proves anything it is that our offices, factories, transportation and communication networks and infrastructures are relatively vulnerable to skilled terrorists…Among the rewards for our attempts to provide the leadership needed in a fragmented, crisis-prone world will be as yet unimagined terrorists and other socio-paths determined to settle scores with us.4
Another from a cover story of Newsweek:
The explosion shook more than the building: it rattled the smug illusion that Americans were immune, somehow, to the plague of terrorism that torments so many countries.5
And finally, one from the London Sunday Times:
He began the day as a clerk working for the Dean Witter brokerage on the 74th floor of the World Trade Center in New York and ended it as an extra in a real-life sequel to Towering Inferno…6
It might surprise some to learn that these are all quotes taken from 1993, the first and much less deadly terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. They are presented here as a caution, against reading terrorism only in the light - the often-blinding light - of the events of September 11. Obviously the two WTC events differ in the scale of the devastation as well as the nature of the attack. 9-11/WTC defied the public imagination of the real – not to mention, as just about every public official and media authority is loathe to admit, the official imagination and pre-emptive capacity of the intelligence community, federal law enforcement, airport security, military, and other governmental agencies. Shock and surprise produced an immediate and nearly uniform reading of the event that was limited to discourses of condemnation, retribution, and counterterror. But surely it is a public responsibility to place 9.11 in an historical context and interpretive field that reaches beyond the immediacy of personal tragedy and official injury. Otherwise 9-11 will be remembered not for the attack itself
but for the increasing cycles of violence that follow.
If 9-11 is not wholly new, what is it?
We have a better sense of what it is not than what it is: from the President and Secretary of Defense and on down the food-chain of the national security hierarchy, we have heard that this will not be a war of states against states; it will not be the Gulf War or Kosovo; and it will not be Vietnam or Mogadishu. And they’re probably right – certainly more right than commentators from both the Right (it’s Pearl Harbor) and Left (it’s an
anti-imperialist struggle) who have relied on sloppy ideological analogies to understand the event. In my view 9-11 is a combination of new and old forms of conflict, including: the rhetoric of holy war from both sides; a virtual network war in the media and on the internet; a high-tech surveillance war overseas but also in our airports, our cities, and even our homes; and a dirty war of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, using an air campaign and limited special operations to kill the leadership and to intimidate the supporters of al Qaeda and the Taliban.
I call this
new hybrid conflict, virtuous war.8 It has evolved from the battlefield technologies of the Gulf War and the aerial campaigns of Bosnia and Kosovo; it draws on just war doctrine (when possible) and holy war (when necessary); it clones the infowar of global surveillance and the networked war of multiple media. In the name of the holy trinity of international order – global free markets, democratic sovereign states, and limited humanitarian interventions - the U.S. has led the way in a revolution in military affairs (RMA) which underlies virtuous war. At the heart as well as the muscle of this transformation is the technical capability and ethical imperative to threaten and, if necessary, actualize violence from a distancebut again, with minimal casualties when possible.
Using networked information, global surveillance, and virtual technologies to bring ‘there’ here in near real-time and with near-verisimilitude, virtuous war emerged before 9-11. But it now looks to be the ultimate means by which the U.S. intends to re-secure its borders, maintain its hegemony, and bring a modicum of order if not justice back to international politics. The difference after 9-11 is that we now have an enemy with a face; with 22 faces in fact, all of them available on the FBI’s new website of most-wanted terrorists.9
Network Wars
From the start, it was apparent that 9-11 was and would continue to be a war of networks. Whether terrorist, internet, or primetime, most of the networks seemed equally adept at the propagation of violence, fear, and disinformation. For a prolonged moment there was no detached point of observation: we were immersed in a network of tragic images of destruction and loss, looped in 24/7 cycles, which induced a state of emergency and trauma at all levels of society. It was as if the American political culture experienced a collective Freudian trauma, which could be re-enacted (endlessly on cable) but not understood at the moment of shock. This is what Michael Herr meant when he wrote about his own experience with the trauma of Vietnam: "It took the war to teach it, that you were as responsible for everything you saw as you were for everything you did. The problem was that you didn’t always know what you were seeing until later, maybe years later, that a lot of it never made it in at all, it just stayed stored there in your eyes." (Dispatches, New York: Avon Books, p. 20). And in a state of emergency, as in war, the first images stick. There was no initial attempt by the media or the government to transform these images of horror into responsible discourses of reflection and action. Moving at the speed of the news cycle and in a rush to judgment there was little time for deliberation, for understanding the motivations of the attackers, or for assessing the potential consequences, intended as well as unintended, of a military response.
Networks are not merely nodes connected by wiring of one sort of another. They convey, mimic, and in some cases generate human attributes and intentions, as suggested by Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly, who defined a network as ‘organic behavior in a technological matrix’. But 9-11 knocked akilter this always problematical relationship between meat and wire. Technologically-driven events outpaced organic modes of comprehension, and human actions, whether out of trauma or information overload, seemed increasingly to resemble machinic reflexes. Indeed, the first reaction by most onlookers and television reporters was to deem the event an accident. The second attack destroyed the accidental thesis, and as well, it seemed, our ability to cognitively map the devastating aftermath. Instead, into the void left by the collapse of the WTC towers and the absence of detached analysis, there rushed a host of metaphors, analogies, and metonyms, dominated by denial (“It’s a movie), history (“It’s Pearl Harbor”), and non-specific horror (“It’s the end of the world as we have known it”).
In our public culture, it is increasingly the media networks rather than the family, the community, or the government that provide the first, and, by its very speed and pervasiveness, most powerful response to a crisis. Questions of utility, responsibility, and accountability inevitably arose, and as one would expect, the media’s pull-down menu was not mapped for the twin-towered collapse of American invulnerability. Primetime networks did their best (Peter Jennings of ABC better than the rest) to keep up with the realtime crises. But fear, white noise, and technical glitches kept intruding, creating a cognitive lag so profound between event and interpretation that I wondered if string theory had been proven right, that one of the 10 other dimensions that make up the universe had suddenly intruded upon our own, formerly ordered one, exposing the chaos beneath.
Indeed, after the looped footage of the collapse of the towers began to take on the feeling of déjà vu, I seriously wondered if the reality principle itself had not taken a fatal blow. Like Ignatieff, I discerned a nihilism at work, but of a different kind, of the sort vividly on display in the movie, The Matrix. It first appears when some punky-looking customers in search of bootleg virtual reality software come to see Neo, the protagonist played by Keanu Reeves. He pulls from a shelf a green leather-bound book, the title of which is briefly identifiable as Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation. When he opens the hollowed-out book to retrieve the software, the first page of the last chapter appears: ‘On Nihilism’. Clearly an homage by the two directors, the Wachowsky brothers, it all happens very quickly, too quickly to read the original words of Baudrillard, but here they are:
‘Nihilism no longer wears the dark, Wagnerian, Spenglerian, fuliginous colors of the end of the century. It no longer comes from a weltanshauung of decadence nor from a metaphysical radicality born of the death of God and of all the consequences that must be taken from this death. Today’s nihilism is one of transparency, this irresolution is indissolubly that of the system, and that of all the theory that still pretends to analyze it.10
With the toppling of WTC a core belief was destroyed: it could not happen here. Into this void the networks rushed, to provide transparency without depth, a simulacrum of horror, a much purer form of nihilism than imagined by moralist commentators like Ignatieff or Rothstein. In official circles, there was a concerted effort to fence off the void: the critical use of language, imagination, even humor was tightly delimited by moral sanctions and government warnings. This first-strike against critical thought took the peculiar form of a semantic debate over the meaning of ‘coward’. In the New Yorker and on Politically Incorrect, the question was raised whether it is more cowardly to commandeer a commercial airliner and pilot it into the World Trade Center, bomb Serbians from 15,000 feet, or direct a cruise missile attack against bin Laden from several thousand miles away. The official response was swift, with advertisements yanked, talk-show condemnations, and Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, saying people like Bill Maher of Politically Incorrect should watch what they say, watch what they do’.
Protected zones of language quickly began to take shape. When Reuters news agency questioned the abuse-into-meaningless of the term ‘terrorism’, George Will on ABC Sunday News (September 30), retaliated by advocating a boycott of Reuters. Irony and laughter were permitted in some places, not in others. At a Defense Department press conference Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld could ridicule, and effectively disarm, a reporter who dared to ask if anyone in the Department of Defense will be authorized to lie to the news media.11 President Bush was given room to joke in a morale-boosting visit to the CIA, saying he’s ‘spending a lot of quality time lately’ with George Tenet, the director of the CIA. And then there was New York Times reporter Edward Rothstein, taking his opportunistic shot at postmodernists and postcolonialists, claiming that their irony and relativism is ‘ethically perverse’ and produces a ‘guilty passivity’. Some of us were left wondering, where would that view place fervent truth-seekers and
serious enemies of relativism and irony like bin Laden? Terrorist foe but epistemological ally?
The Mimetic War of Images
The air war started with a split-screen war of images:
in one box, a desolate Kabul seen through a nightscope camera lens, in grainy-green pixels except for the occasional white arc of anti-aircraft fire followed by the flash of an explosion; in the other, a rotating cast of characters, beginning with President Bush, followed over the course of the day and the next by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Meyers, and Attorney General John Ashcroft, then progressively down the media food chain of war reporters, beltway pundits, and recently retired generals. On the one side we witnessed images of embodied resolve in high resolution; on the other, nighttime shadows with nobody in sight.
Strategic binaries were also legion in President Bush’s war statement,
incongruously delivered from the Treaty Room of the White House:as we strike military targets, we will also drop food’; the United States is ‘a friend to the Afghan people’ and ‘an enemy of those who aid terrorists'; ‘the only way to pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten it.’ And once more, the ultimate either/or was issued: ‘Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict there is no neutral ground.’
But the war programming was interrupted by the media-savvy bin Laden. Shortly after the air strikes began, he appeared on Qatar’s al-Jazeera television network (‘the Arab world’s CNN’) in a pre-taped statement that was cannily delivered as a counter air-strike to the U.S. Kitted out in turban and battle fatigues, bin Laden presented his own bipolar view of the world: ‘these events have divided the world into two camps, the camp of the faithful and the camp of infidels.’ But if opposition constituted his worldview, it was an historical mimic battle that sanctioned the counter-violence: "America has been filled with horror from north to south and east to west, and thanks be to God what America is tasting now is only a copy of what we have tasted."
Without falling into the trap of ‘moral equivalency’, one can discern striking similarities.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and others have made much of the ‘asymmetrical’ war being waged by the terrorists. And it is indeed a canny and even diabolical use of asymmetrical tactics as well as strategies when terrorists commandeer commercial aircraft and transform them into kinetic weapons of indiscriminate violence, and then deploy commercial media to counter the military strikes that follow. Yet, a fearful symmetry is also at work, at an unconscious, possibly pathological level, a war of escalating and competing and imitative oppositions, a mimetic war of images.
A mimetic war is a battle of imitation and representation, in which the relationship of who we are and who they are is played out along a wide spectrum of familiarity and friendliness, indifference and tolerance, estrangement and hostility. It can result in appreciation or denigration, accommodation or separation, assimilation or extermination. It draws physical boundaries between peoples, as well as metaphysical boundaries between life and the most radical other of life, death. It separates human from god. It builds the fence that makes good neighbors; it builds the wall that confines a whole people. And it sanctions just about every kind of violence.
More than a rational calculation of interests takes us to war. People go to war because of how they see, perceive, picture, imagine, and speak of others: that is, how they construct the difference of others as well as the sameness of themselves through representations. From Greek tragedy and Roman gladiatorial spectacles to futurist art and fascist rallies, the mimetic mix of image and violence has proven to be more powerful than the most rational discourse. Indeed, the medical definition of mimesis is ‘the appearance, often caused by hysteria, of symptoms of a disease not actually present.’ Before one can diagnose a cure, one must study the symptoms – or, as it was once known in medical science, practice semiology.
It was not long before morbid symptoms began to surface from an array of terror and counter-terror networks. Al Qaeda members reportedly used encrypted email to communicate; steganography to hide encoded messages in web images (including pornography); Kinko’s and public library computers to send messages; underground banking networks called hawala to transfer untraceable funds; 24/7 cable networks like al-Jazeera and CNN to get the word out; and, in their preparations for 9-11, a host of other information technologies like rented cell phones, online travel agencies, and flight simulators. In general, networks – from television primetime to internet realtime – delivered events with an alacrity and celerity that left not only viewers but decision-makers racing to keep up.
With information as the life-blood and speed as the killer variable of networks, getting inside the decision-making as well the image-making loop of the opponent became the central strategy of network warfare. This was not lost on the U.S. national security team as it struggled after the initial attack to get ahead of the network curve. Sluggish reactions were followed by quicker pre-emptive actions on multiple networks. The Senate passed the Uniting and Strengthening America (USA) Act, which allowed for ‘roving wiretaps’ of multiple telephones, easier surveillance of e-mail and Internet traffic, and the divulgence of grand jury and wiretap transcripts to intelligence agencies. National Security adviser Condoleeza Rice made personal calls to heads of the television networks, asking them to pre-screen and to consider editing Al Qaeda videos for possible coded messages. Information about the air campaign as well as the unfolding ground interventions were heavily filtered by the Pentagon. Information flows slowed to a trickle from the White House and the Defense Department after harsh words and tough restrictions were imposed against leaks. Psychological operations were piggy-backed onto humanitarian interventions by the dropping of propaganda leaflets and food packs. The Voice of America began broadcasting anti-Taliban messages in Pashto. After the 22 ‘Most Wanted Terrorists’ were featured on the FBI’s website, the popular TV program ‘America’s Most Wanted’ ran an extended program on their individual cases.
Some of the most powerful networks are often the least visible, but when you add Hollywood to the mix, it’s hard to keep a secret. The entertainment industry journal Variety first broke the news about a meeting between White House officials and Hollywood executives. The stated intention was ominous enough, to ‘enlist Hollywood in the war effort’:

The White House is asking Hollywood to rally 'round the flag in a style reminiscent of the early days of World War II. Network heads and studio chiefs heard that message Wednesday in a closed-door meeting with emissaries from the Bush administration in Beverly Hills, and committed themselves to new initiatives in support of the war on terrorism. These initiatives would stress efforts to enhance the perception of America around the world, to "get out the message" on the fight against terrorism and to mobilize existing resources, such as satellites and cable, to foster better global understanding.12
Although some big media picked up this aspect of the story, none except for Newsweek took note of an earlier meeting organized by the military and the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technology.13 I knew about the ICT because I had covered its opening for Wired back in 1999, when the Army ponied up $43 million to bring together the simulation talents of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and the U.S. military.14 Now it seemed that they were gathering top talent to help coordinate a new virtual war effort:
In a reversal of roles, government intelligence specialists have been secretly soliciting terrorist scenarios from top Hollywood filmmakers and writers. A unique ad hoc working group convened at USC just last week at the behest of the U.S. Army. The goal was to brainstorm about possible terrorist targets and schemes in America and to offer solutions to those threats, in light of the twin assaults on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Among those in the working group based at USC's Institute for Creative Technology are those with obvious connections to the terrorist pic milieu, like "Die Hard" screenwriter Steven E. De Souza, TV writer David Engelbach ("MacGyver") and helmer Joseph Zito, who directed the features "Delta Force One," "Missing in Action" and "The Abduction." But the list also includes more mainstream suspense helmers like David Fincher ("Fight Club"), Spike Jonze ("Being John Malkovich"), Randal Kleiser ("Grease") and Mary Lambert ("The In Crowd") as well as feature screenwriters Paul De Meo and Danny Bilson ("The Rocketeer").15
It would appear that 9-11 christened a new network: the military-industrial-media- entertainment network (MIME-NET). If Vietnam was a war waged in the living-rooms of America, the first and most likely the last battles of the counter/terror war are going to be waged on global networks that reach much more widely and deeply into our everyday lives.
Counter/Terror Dangers
What lies ahead? In the spirit of the season, I think the best statement about what might follow 9-11 comes from that great philosopher and ballplayer, Yogi Bera, who famously said ‘the future isn't what it used to be’. (He actually said ‘ain’t what it used to be’; it was the French poet Paul Valery who said ‘isn’t’, but Yogi wasn’t very big on footnotes). The point is made all the clearer by the ambiguity of the statement: it’s hard to maintain let alone imagine a link between a happy past and a rosy future after a disaster, especially one in which terrorist technologies of mass destruction are force-multiplied by media technologies of mass distraction. My greatest concern is not so much the future as how past futures become reproduced, that is, how we seem unable to escape the feed-back loops of bad intelligence, bureaucratic thinking, and failed imagination.
From my own academic experience, when confronted by the complexity and speed of networks, the fields of political science and international relations are not much if at all better: as disciplines of thought they are just too narrow, too slow, too…academic. This leaves another intellectual void, into which policy-makers and military planners are always ready to rush. Currently the RMA-mantra among the techno-optimists is to engage in their own form of ‘network-centric warfare’. As first formulated by Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski (formerly President of the Naval War College and putatively picked by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to head-up the Pentagon’s military transformation), network-centric war is fought by getting inside the decision-making loop of the adversary’s network, and disrupting or destroying it before it can do the same to yours. In the rush to harden and to accelerate networks, all kinds of checks and balances are left behind. There seems to be little concern for what organizational theorists see as the negative synergy operating in tightly coupled systems, in which unintended consequences produce cascading effects and normal accidents, in which the very complexity and supposed redundancy of the network produce unforeseen but built-in disasters. Think Three Mile Island in a pre-1914 diplomatic-military milieu. Think Paul Virilio’s ‘integral accident’.
My second concern is that social scientific theories are unsuited for the kind of political investigation demanded by the emergence of a military-industrial-media- entertainment network. President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address famously warned the US of the emergence of a ‘military-industrial complex’, and of what might happen should ‘public policy be captured by a scientific and technological elite’. Now that Silicon Valley and Hollywood have been added to the mix, the dangers have morphed and multiplied. Think Wag the Dog meets The Matrix. Think of C.Wright Mill’s power elite with much better gear to reproduce reality.

So, for the near future, I believe virtuous war as played out by the military-industrial-media- entertainment network will be our daily bread and nightly circus. Some would see us staying there, suspended perpetually, in between wars of terror and counterterror. How to break out of the often self-prophesying circles? Are there theoretical approaches that can critically respond without falling into the trap of the interwar? One that can escape the nullity of thought which equates the desire to comprehend with a willingness to condone terrorism? The use of sloppy analogies of resistance, as well as petty infighting (pace [Christopher] Hitchens, [Noam] Chomsky and their polarized supporters) on the left does not give one much hope of a unified anti-war movement. For the moment, we need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans, whether out of patriotism, trauma or apathy, think it best to leave matters in the hands of the experts. I think for the immediate future the task will be to distinguish new from old dangers, real from virtual effects, and terror from counterterror in the network wars.

The alternative is to reject such representations of violence. By viewing these as criminal rather than evil, we can prevent totalizing violence and evaluate a more democratic perspective.
Robert L Ivie, Indiana University Communications Professor and Department Chair, 2003, “Evil Enemy Versus Agonistic Other: Rhetorical Constructions of Terrorism”, Ebsco
If the rhetoric of fighting an evil enemy, especially when reinforced by U.S. military might, economic clout, and presidential resolve, lowers the threshold of war, trumps arguments for pursuing peaceful resolutions, and masks America’s complicity in the spiraling cycle of violence, what alternative to this tragic perspective might prove to be a more serviceable response to terrorism? How can the debate be reframed to privilege the presumption of peace consistent with democratic values, to shift the burden of proof back to the advocates of war, and to increase the force of arguments for diplomacy and against pre-emption? What kind of a perspective might motivate a higher degree of appreciation for the complexities of the human condition, more tolerance of differences, and greater resistance to the legitimization of coerced consent? What conceptualization of the Other promotes the practice of democracy instead of playing the trump card of an evil enemy to diminish and indefinitely defer democracy in the name of defending it? How can the rhetoric of antagonism be transposed into the more constructive discourse of democratic agonistics? In the simplest terms, what is being suggested here is that a basic shift of perspective, achieved by insisting on the primacy of democracy, entails a wholly different order of priorities than the prevailing accent on evil. Rather than reducing democracy to a convenient excuse for war—trading on it as a legitimizing symbol, protecting it as an imperiled and vulnerable institution, restraining it as a risky practice in times of crisis, and promising it as the prize of victory—advocates of pre-emption should be held squarely accountable to meeting the standard of democracy and all that it entails. Similarly, those troubled by the prospect of war mutating into a routine instrument of statecraft and creating a “post-911” dystopia of terror and counter-terror must rearticulate their arguments to feature democratic criteria, repositioning the most salient corollaries of a robustly democratic ethic at the forefront of political consciousness and with sufficient presence to displace an otherwise disquieting image of evil. Democracy, unlike a seamless political ideology of universal values, means, and ends, comprises a multifaceted and situation-specific cluster of simultaneously overlapping and conflicting terms such as liberty, equality, self rule, rights, pluralism, elections, debate, protest, and the rule of law. As Michael Walzer avers, big ideologies do not provide sufficiently concrete and intimate knowledge of society and the world to prompt healthy criticism and promote democratic rule in which delimited perspectives are held accountable to one another and thus kept appropriately humble and suitably open to the force of evidence and the influence of deliberation.25 At its best, democracy manages the human divide peacefully, channeling competing interests and differences among groups of engaged citizens into a continuous struggle for one another’s qualified assent. Persuasion is the paradigm of democratic communication in managing divisive relations. Within this paradigm, adversaries are addressed as rivals who, in Mouffe’s words, “share a common symbolic space but . . . want to organize [it] in a different way,” not as sheer enemies holding nothing in common.26 Sheer enemies hold nothing in common, that is, except perhaps a shared propensity for engaging in rituals of victimization through which they transform one another into convenient scapegoats, thereby alleviating social guilt at each other’s expense and ignoring their own culpability.27 Sheer enemies speak of one another as evil; democratic adversaries speak of one another as wrong, mistaken, and even stupid. Thus, democracy is lost when the agonistic Other is rendered rhetorically into a diabolical enemy, and when democracy vanishes so, too, the rule of law, liberty, respect for diversity, and accountability to the people wane. Put another way, addressing one’s adversary as mistaken rather than evil is requisite to achieving and featuring a democratic perspective. If sharing symbolic space while competing over its organization is the sine qua non of democracy among mortal beings, demonizing the Other is tantamount to throwing Satan out of heaven—a heaven, it should go without saying, that neither exists on earth nor warrants making a living hell of earth. Just as the rhetoric of evil promotes war, the rhetoric of identification, as Kenneth Burke calls it, enacts democracy and advances a positive conception of peace among consubstantial rivals.28 Peace in this sense is not merely the absence of war, which is a hopelessly negative notion of erasing the human divide and ending the struggle for advantage, but instead a positive strategy of crossing conceptual boundaries and articulating common ground in a continuing context of competition, conflict, and division. Indeed, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe allow that “without conflict and division, a pluralist democratic politics would be impossible,” for any democratically derived agreement is the result, not of universal truth and reason, but of a “hegemonic articulation” which is itself incomplete, impermanent, and contingent upon rearticulation

Terrorism Adv.

The odds are stacked against terrorists.
John Mueller, professor of political science at Ohio State University, 1-1-08, “The Atomic Terrorist: Assessing the Likelihood”, faculty/jmueller/APSACHGO.PDF, [CXia]
In seeking to carry out their task, would-be atomic terrorists effectively must go though an exercise that looks much like this. If and when they do so, they are likely to find their prospects daunting and accordingly uninspiring or even dispiriting. To bias the case in their favor, one might begin by assuming that they have a fighting chance of 50 percent of overcoming each of these obstacles even though for many barriers, probably almost all, the odds against them are much worse than that. Even with that generous bias, the chances they could successfully pull off the mission come out to be worse than one in a million, specifically they are one in 1,048,567. Indeed, the odds of surmounting even seven of the twenty hurdles at that unrealistically, even absurdly, high presumptive success rate is considerably less than one in a hundred. If one assumes, somewhat more realistically, that their chances at each barrier are one in three, the cumulative odds they will be able to pull off the deed drop to one in well over three billion--specifically 3,486,784,401. What they would be at the (entirely realistic) level one in ten boggles the mind. One could also make specific estimates for each of the hurdles, but the cumulative probability statistics are likely to come out pretty much the same--or even smaller. For example there may be a few barriers, such as number 13, where one might plausibly conclude the terrorists' chances are better than 50/50. However, there are many in which the likelihood of success is almost certainly going to be exceedingly small--for example, numbers 4, 5, 9, and 12, and, increasingly, the (obviously) crucial number 1. Those would be the odds for a single attempt by a single group, and there could be multiple attempts by multiple groups, of course. Although Allison considers al-Qaeda to be "the most probable perpetrator" on the nuclear front (2004, 29), he is also concerned about the potential atomic exploits of other organizations such as Indonesia's Jemaah Islamiyah, Chechen gangsters, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and various doomsday cults (2004, 29-42).21 Putting aside the observation that few, if any, of these appear to have interest in hitting the United States except for al-Qaeda (to be discussed more fully below), the odds would remain long even with multiple attempts. If there were a hundred determined efforts over a period of time, the chance at least one of these would be successful comes in at less than one one-hundredth of one percent at the one chance in two level. At the far more realistic level of one chance in three it would be about one in 50 million. If there were 1000 dedicated attempts, presumably over several decades, the chance of success would be less than one percent at the 50/50 level and about one in 50,000 at the one in three level.
TURN - nuclear power can provide a cover for weapons programs.
Joby Warrick, staff writer, 5-12-08, Washington Post, “Spread of Nuclear Capability is Feared”, wp-dyn/content/article/2008/ 05/11/AR2008051102212_pf.html
[Crystal Xia]
Nuclear weapons experts say commercial nuclear power plants, by themselves, pose relatively little proliferation risk, although they are frequently mentioned as possible targets for terrorist attacks. But nuclear power can give a country the technological expertise and infrastructure that could become the foundation for a clandestine weapons program. Such covert programs can be successfully hidden for years, as was demonstrated in recent months by U.S. and Israeli allegations that Syria was building a secret plutonium production reactor near the desert town of Al Kibar. Plutonium is an efficient fuel for nuclear explosions, as well as for power generation. Both India and Pakistan built nuclear devices using an industrial infrastructure built ostensibly for nuclear power. Taiwan and South Korea conducted weapons research under cover of civil power programs but halted the work after being confronted by the United States

Blackouts Adv.

Plan doesn’t resolve the issue of waste disposal. Nuclear waste disposal would cost tens of billions
Makhijani 08 (Arjun Makhijani is president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Arjun Makhijani: Nuclear is not the right alternative energy source, Feb. 26, 2008, Dallas News, sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/ viewpoints/stories/DN- makhijani_26edi.ART.State. Edition1.46215a2.html)
New nuclear plants would add to the country's problem of nuclear waste. The federal government has long been in default of its obligations to existing nuclear plant operators to take the waste away from their sites. Nuclear utilities have had to take the government to court to recover added storage expenses, which will cost the taxpayers billions or possibly even tens of billions of dollars over time
High construction costs will translate into high electricity prices- this bombs the economy
Keith Johnson, staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, 08 (It’s the Economics, Stupid: Nuclear Power’s Bogeyman, Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2008, __ environmentalcapital/2008/05/ 12/its-the-economics-stupid- nuclear-powers-bogeyman/__)
It turns out nuclear power’s biggest worry isn’t Yucca Mountain, Three Mile Island ghosts, or environmental protesters. It’s economics. Rebecca Smith reports today in the WSJ (sub reqd.) on the biggest hurdle to the nascent nuclear-energy revival in the U.S.—skyrocketing construction costs. Though all power sectors are affected to different degrees by rising capital costs, nuclear power’s vulnerability puts it in a class by itself. Notes the paper: A new generation of nuclear power plants is on the drawing boards in the U.S., but the projected cost is causing some sticker shock: $5 billion to $12 billion a plant, double to quadruple earlier rough estimates. Part of the cost escalation is bad luck. Plants are being proposed in a period of skyrocketing costs for commodities such as cement, steel and copper; amid a growing shortage of skilled labor; and against the backdrop of a shrunken supplier network for the industry. Over the last five years, cost estimates for new nuclear power plants have been continually revised upward. Even the bean counters can’t keep pace. The paper notes: Estimates released in recent weeks by experienced nuclear operators — NRG Energy Inc., Progress Energy Inc., Exelon Corp., Southern Co. and FPL Group Inc. — “have blown by our highest estimate” of costs computed just eight months ago, said Jim Hempstead, a senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service credit-rating agency in New York. Why is that such a big deal? Coal plants have been shelved recently because of rising capital costs, and renewable energy isn’t immune, either—and the nuclear power industry enjoys healthy loan guarantees and other federal subsidies designed precisely to alleviate those kinds of uncertainties. It matters because nuclear power’s ability to provide electricity at a competitive price compared to regular sources like coal and natural gas depends largely on those construction costs. Fuel costs for nuclear power are miniscule. The only way to handicap the field in nuclear power’s favor is to put a big price tag on emissions of carbon dioxide. Since nuclear plants don’t emit CO2, they win when legislation penalizes carbon-heavy sectors like coal (and even natural gas). The Congressional Budget Office just finished a rosy-glasses report on nuclear economics. Even while acknowledging that historical costs for nuclear plants always doubled or tripled their initial estimates, the CBO took heart from promises made by manufacturers of next-generation reactors and a single on-time and on-budget project in Japan to project cheaper nuclear construction costs in the future. And if those cost estimates are wrong? From the CBO: If those factors turned out not to reduce construction costs in the United States, nuclear capacity would probably be an unattractive investment even with EPAct incentives, unless substantial carbon dioxide charges were imposed. Everybody from John McCain to Newt Gingrich to Patrick Moore is pitching more nuclear power as a zero-emissions answer to America’s energy needs. The question, though, is the same: Who’s going to pay for it?

Natural Gas Adv.

Chemical industry moving to renewables in status quo
M2 Equity Bytes, 6/20/08, “Rentech and UOP enter into an alliance to deploy clean fuels and chemical technologies” pg lexis //EM
Rentech Inc(AMEX:RTK), a provider of clean energy solutions, announced on Thursday (19 June) that the company has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE:HON) company, for the deployment of clean fuels and chemical technologies. Under the alliance, both the companies will use their respective technologies for the commercial production of synthetic fuels, specialty waxes and chemicals. The companies said that the agreement aligns Rentech's proprietary process to convert synthesis gas from biomass and fossil resources into hydrocarbons with UOP's hydrocracking and hydrotreating technologies that process and upgrade hydrocarbons into ultra-clean synthetic fuels, specialty waxes and chemicals. Rentech and UOP expect to increase their market reach and jointly offer proven technologies that can produce ultra-clean synthetic fuels, specialty waxes and chemicals that are cleaner than traditional petroleum-derived fuels and chemicals
A. High natural gas prices are key to LNG.
Amanda Griscom, energy analyst at the environmental consulting firm GreenOrder, 11-6-03, “Liquid Assets”, __ powers/2003/11/06/assets/__, [Crystal Xia]
And that's just the beginning. Natural gas demand is projected to increase by nearly 50 percent in the next two decades, and net imports are projected to increase by more than 200 percent, according to the Energy Information Administration, which develops official statistics for the U.S. Department of Energy. And the percentage of LNG in our total natural gas demand is expected to rise from less than 1 percent today to nearly 30 percent in 2025. "The growth in LNG is viable largely because it is now cost-competitive with piped-in gasoline," said Manning of KeySpan. "If natural gas were as cheap as it was in the '90s -- when it was roughly $2 per thousand cubic feet -- LNG wouldn't be an attractive alternative, but today it's more than double that."
B. LNG is a vital part of the world economy.
Energy Information Administration, 7-10-08, “What is liquefied natural gas (LNG) and how is it becoming an energy source for the United States?”, energy_in_brief /liquefied_natural_gas_lng. cfm, [Crystal Xia]
International LNG trade has grown rapidly in recent years as new export facilities have started operations in several countries. In 2006, 13 countries exported natural gas in the form of LNG to 17 importing countries.__2__ International trade equaled the equivalent of more than 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2006. By the end of 2010, there will likely be five additional exporting countries for a total of 18 LNG source countries, although not all will be consistent suppliers of LNG to the United States.
The United States is not the only country that is turning to new international sources of natural gas. Countries in Europe and Asia also rely heavily on LNG supplies. By far the largest volume of LNG consumption is in Asia, where Japan and South Korea are the largest importers, accounting for more than 55% of global LNG demand. In Europe, Spain is the largest importer with about 11% of global consumption. Prices in these countries in recent years have surpassed market prices in the United States, resulting in the occasional diversion of cargos from the United States to these countries.
C. Cross-Apply Mead 92.


Nuclear power is encouraged by the government to mask military use.
Alan Roberts, instructor of physics and environmental science @ Monash University, 10-13-05, “Unsafe, unsound, and unattainable”, business/unsafe-unsound-and- unattainable/2005/10/12/ 1128796587593.html, [CXia]
These findings emerge from careful studies. Governments know that nuclear power is no magic bullet for the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. So why have government leaders in the US, Britain, France and China advocated nuclear power — sometimes quite forcefully? Because it is an industry essential to sustainability — of the military rather than the environmental kind. Governments with a nuclear arsenal need the services of a nuclear industry. Quite aside from the expanded risks of a nuclear accident — especially in poorly regulated areas such as the developing world or the US — there would be the increased risk of plutonium theft, and the more rigorous security apparatus governments would need to create to counter it. It should be obvious that if you're worried about "dirty bomb" terrorism, you shouldn't scatter nuclear plants around as if they were coffee shop chains.