ByJustin Gammill

Apr 25, 2014

Imagine that you are walking down the street in Somewheresville, USA, and you see a sign advertising “Low-fat, Gluten-Free, All Organic, and Delicious Ice Cream. At Reasonable Prices!!”
“Gee, that’s everything I could want in a delicious frozen treat”, you say as you head on over.

As you walk through the door the smell of freshly frozen dairy products wafts from behind the counter. Where a friendly ice cream purveyor in an old time paper hat straight out of a Rockwell painting should be, there is instead a sour-faced man in a poorly cut black suit with a wire leading away from his right ear and the bulge of a gun concealed at his hip. The sour-faced man proceeds to inform you that there is an application for the ice cream and a series of regulatory factors involved with the type and amount of ice cream available to each customer. These regulations, therefore, make the process of obtaining the ice cream, which is so boldly advertised on the signs out front, a lengthy and complex ordeal.

“We want you to have it, but we don’t want to give it to you”.
You have encountered the political phenomenon known as “Regulatory Capture.”
Why should we care about “Regulatory Capture”?
Because it is, even as we speak, impacting our future…

If TerraPower’s reactors are the proverbial “ice cream”, the sour-faced man behind the counter is the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The very same commission that promotes nuclear power as a carbon-free, geographically unbound and scalable solution makes it so difficult to obtain new permits for reactor construction that TerraPower projects that its first reactors will most likely be built in China instead of the US.

“We are addicted to super-reliable power,” Mr. Gates says, but also recognizes that it is economically unattractive as well. With the availability of natural gas in the US, no one wants to spend money on nuclear technology of any kind.

So, if that is the case, and no one wants to spend money on new-sustainable energy technology, then I say:
“Quit complaining about the current situation. If you’re not willing to change, then don’t point out the deficiencies of the industries that you willingly support.”
It’s a pretty simple concept. Don’t tell me you don’t like the song on the radio if you’re unwilling to change the station. The next song might not be the greatest musical achievement of mankind, but at least you have a choice. We all have a choice, and companies like TerraPower assure that.

By Justin Gammill

He is "stealthy like a ninja at midnight, yet brazen like a champion Mexican fighting chicken". Justin Gammill approaches his topics in a manner that provokes thought, laughter, and the occasional “did he just say that?”. Chances are, yes, he most certainly did just say that. So, buckle up … you never know where the train of thought is going.