Josiah Ryan and Andrew Tashjian | Staff Writer | Friday, May 30, 2008
Nader also accused his opponents in the presidential race of being "lip serving politicians."
Speaking at a press conference outside the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) in Washington, D.C., Nader said he does not want to see more nuclear power plants built in the United States to generate electricity. When asked by Cybercast News Service whether more domestic oil drilling on-land or offshore should be allowed, Nader said, "not at all."
"We waste about 75 percent of our energy," said Nader. "Only about 10 percent of the energy we produce actually leads to work. We know that in every area there are huge opportunities for energy conservation. A gallon of gasoline you don't waste is a gallon of gas you don't have to drill for."
Nader also said that Americans should generate the energy they need through solar and wind power.
"What is left that has to be used can increasingly come at an accelerated rate from various kinds of solar energy, from wind power to solar," said Nader. "We have to replace all fossil fuels in this century and nuclear power with renewable energy and energy efficiency."
Nader added that if America started to transition its energy-generation to wind and solar power, with the same type of intensity and commitment used in the 1969 mission to the moon, the energy-transition could be accomplished in 40 years.
Concerning the 2008 presidential race and particularly Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Nader said his opponents are not really serious about switching to clean energy. "These other politicians are lip service politicians," Nader told Cybercast News Service . "They don't really mean it because they aren't willing to take on powerful lobbies like the American Petroleum Institute, the NEI, and et cetera."
Nader announced his independent candidacy for president on NBC's Meet the Press on Feb. 24, 2008. Obama, who is battling Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) for the Democratic Party nomination for president, has said that he favors limited use of nuclear power.
During the CNN/YouTube debate on July 23, 2007, Obama said: "I actually think we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix. But there is no silver bullet to this issue. We are going to have to try a series of different approaches."
In reference to that view, Nader said Obama must be against solar energy. "If you are for solar energy, you have got to be against nuclear power," Nader told Cybercast News Service . "There are only so many federal programs available to support different kinds of energy. If nuclear power is absorbing tens of billions of dollars, you are not going to have enough for this fledging solar energy industry."
In reference to the other candidates currently in the race - Clinton and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- Nader suggested they likely would not bring any real changes to energy policy. "We have to get very serious beyond lip-service and slogans to convert our country into an efficient energy utilization society," he said.
(CNSNews.com Correspondent Andrew Tashjian contributed to this story.)
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