Germany announced on May 30th that it will shut down its nine nuclear power stations by 2022 — in a major policy change that follows the recent nuclear accidents in Japan.  Germany’s action reminds us that the U.S. has no energy policy.  Or industrial policy.  Or climate change policy for that matter.

And while our country continues its gridlock on many issues, Germany is already awash in solar technology.  While America waits for an end to political divisivnous, Germany is investing a billion Euros per month in solar installations.  Germans have jobs, benefits and vacations — and their economy is working.

Republicans are all in favor of tax payer subsidies for nuclear power plants — despite the evidence that nuclear power is both dangerous and expensive.  By masking the true cost of nuclear power, subsidies also allow the industry to exaggerate its economic competitiveness; consequently, they diminish or delay support for more economical and less risky alternatives like energy efficiency and renewable energy.

So the next time you’re at a gathering and you overhear people criticizing the fledgling renewable energy companies, by claiming that “renewable energy just isn’t economically viable,” please remind them that the rest of the world seems to understand that we’re quickly running out of oil — and that support for nuclear power plants is just “so yesterday.”

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