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C-SPAN Video Conference with George Allen March 7, 2011

Posted by acusumano in : Assignments , trackback

Energy reform is one of the top platforms Senate hopeful George Allen brought up in a recent video conference.

Allen, who served Virginia as a Representative, Governor and Senator over almost two decades, joined students participating from the George Mason University Video Studio along with Steve Scully, the political editor for the C-SPAN networks, and students from the University of Denver to discuss his upcoming Senate run and his 2010 book “What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.”

“Oil and gas, we have it in this country,” Allen said. “We ought to let states like Virginia or others explore off the coast and share 37-and-a-half percent of the royalties with the states. In Virginia, we could use that money for roads.”

According to Allen, approximately 41 percent of the ballooning national deficit in 2010 was due to foreign oil trade, and he estimates that that figure has only increased. Allen reiterated that the United States does not need to bring in national gas from outside sources.

“[The United States] need[s] to be the world capital of innovation,” Allen said. “We need to work with top quality, less waste, greater efficiency and using technology and productivity.” He suggests that the country adopt techniques to ensure that we use our resources as wisely as possible.

“Some people may consider it blasphemous but we can learn from the French when it comes to nuclear [energy],” Allen said. “They get about 70 percent-plus of their energy from nuclear. What they do is a much safer, less dangerous, more efficient approach. They recycle; they reprocess that fuel. Our country, nuclear’s impediment beyond its enormous capital cost is what do you do with the spent fuel?”

Allen discussed how, in 2009, the Obama administration effectively shut down the country’s designated national depository of nuclear materials in Yucca Mountain, Nev. which means the United States’ 104 reactor sites must store their own waste.

“I don’t know any community who really thinks that’s a great idea,” he said. “I know darn well that if the French can [recycle nuclear waste], so can Americans.”

Allen also spoke of diversifying the energy supply utilized in order to boost the economy and provide jobs for Americans, in turn making the country more competitive. He talked about how the EPA has carbon dioxide regulations that no other countries have to deal with, another energy policy that ultimately hurts the U.S.

“We really can get our economy jumpstarted, make our country more competitive, keep money here at home and most importantly, keep jobs here at home by utilizing the blessings of our plentiful resources,” he said.

The distance learning course, which is produced by C-SPAN, is a unique opportunity for students to interview guests via video conference. The course airs on C-SPAN3 on Fridays at 5 p.m. and also streams online (http://www.c-span.org/Distance_Learning/). The interview with George Allen can be viewed here.

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