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Novice – 1AC 1AC – Houston Advantage 1: Leadership US nuclear leadership is in demise locking-out US influence in emerging safety and non-proliferation – federal action is vital to restore US influence. Wallace & Williams, 12 [Michael & Sarah, a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), which advises the president on matters related to homeland security. He is also a member of the Nuclear Sector Coordinating Council under the Department of Homeland Security’s National Infrastructure Protection Plan and a member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), the Naval Historical Foundation Advisory Council, and the Marquette University College of Engineering National Advisory Council, Nuclear Energy in America: Preventing its Early Demise, 2012, Global Forecast, April 17, 2012, http://csis.org/publication/nuclear-energy-america-preventing-its-early-demise] America’s nuclear energy industry is in decline. Low natural gas prices, financing hurdles, new safety and security requirements, failure to resolve the waste issue and other factors are hastening the day when existing reactors become uneconomic, making it virtually impossible to build new ones. Two generations after the United States took this wholly new and highly sophisticated technology from laboratory experiment to successful commercialization, our nation is in danger of losing an industry of unique strategic importance, unique potential for misuse, and unique promise for addressing the environmental and energy security demands of the future. The pace of this decline, moreover, could be more rapid than most policymakers and stakeholders anticipate. With 104 operating reactors and the world’s largest base of installed nuclear capacity, it has been widely assumed that the United States—even without building many new plants—would continue to have a large presence in this industry for some decades to come, especially if existing units receive further license extensions. Instead, current market conditions are such that growing numbers of these units are operating on small or even negative profit margins and could be retired early. Meanwhile, China, India, Russia, and other countries are looking to significantly expand their nuclear energy commitments. By 2016, China could have 50 nuclear power plants in operation, compared with only 14 in 2011. India could add 8 new plants and Russia 10 in the same time frame. These trends are expected to accelerate out to 2030, by which time China, India, and Russia could account for nearly 40 percent of global nuclear generating capacity. Meanwhile, several smaller nations, mostly in Asia and the Middle East, are planning to get into the nuclear energy business for the first time. In all, as many as 15 new nations could have this technology within the next two decades. Meanwhile, America’s share of global nuclear generation is expected to shrink, from about 25 percent today to about 14 percent in 2030, and—if current trends continue—to less than 10 percent by mid-century. With the center of gravity for global nuclear investment shifting to a new set of players, the United States and the international community face a difficult set of challenges: stemming the spread of nuclear weapons-usable materials and know-how; preventing further catastrophic nuclear accidents; providing for safe, long-term nuclear waste management; and protecting U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness. In this context, federal action to reverse the American nuclear industry’s impending decline is a national security imperative. The United States cannot afford to become irrelevant in a new nuclear age. Our nation’s commercial nuclear industry, its military nuclear capabilities, and its strong regulatory institutions can be seen as three legs of a stool. All three legs are needed to support America’s future prosperity and security and to shape an international environment that is conducive to our long-term interests. Three specific aspects of U.S. leadership are particularly important. First, managing the national and global security risks associated with the spread of nuclear technology to countries that don’t necessarily share the same perspective on issues of nonproliferation and nuclear security or may lack the resources to implement effective safeguards in this area. An approach that relies on influence and involvement through a viable domestic industry is likely to be more effective and less expensive than trying to contain these risks militarily. Second, setting global norms and standards for safety, security, operations, and emergency response. As the world learned with past nuclear accidents and more recently with Fukushima, a major accident anywhere can have lasting repercussions everywhere. As with nonproliferation and security, America’s ability to exert leadership and influence in this area is directly linked to the strength of our domestic industry and our active involvement in the global nuclear enterprise. A strong domestic civilian industry and regulatory structure have immediate national security significance in that they help support the nuclear capabilities of the U.S. Navy, national laboratories, weapons complex, and research institutions. Third, in the past, the U.S. government could exert influence by striking export agreements with countries whose regulatory and legal frameworks reflected and were consistent with our own nonproliferation standards and commitments. At the same time, our nation set the global standard for effective, independent safety regulation (in the form of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission), led international efforts to reduce proliferation risks (through the 1970 NPT Treaty and institutional other initiatives), and provided a model for industry self-regulation. The results were not perfect, but America’s support for global nonproliferation goals and the regulatory behaviors it modeled clearly helped shape the way nuclear technology was adopted and used elsewhere around the world. This influence seems certain to wane if the United States is no longer a major supplier or user of nuclear technology. With existing nonproliferation and safety and security regimes looking increasingly inadequate in this rapidly changing global nuclear landscape, American leadership and leverage is more important and more central to our national security interests than ever. To maintain its leadership role in the development, design, and operation of a growing global nuclear energy infrastructure, the next administration, whether Democrat or Republican, must recognize the invaluable role played by the commercial U.S. nuclear industry and take action to prevent its early demise. Civil nuclear leadership catalyzes nuclear non-proliferation – EVEN IF – US remains a hegemon nuclear power leadership is key. Begelsdorf, 7 [Harold, Principal with the consulting firm of Bengelsdorf, McGoldrick, and Associates, held numerous senior positions in the U.S. government, including the Energy Department and its predecessor agencies, the State Department, and the U.S. Mission to the IAEA, American Council on Global Nuclear Competitiveness, THE U.S. DOMESTIC CIVIL NUCLEAR INFRASTRUCTURE AND U.S. NONPROLIFERATION POLICY, May 2007, White Paper, http://www.nuclearcompetitiveness.org/images/COUNCIL_WHITE_PAPER_Final.pdf] If the United States hopes to continue to exercise strong and specific influence internationally in nonproliferation matters in the future, it can best achieve this objective by remaining an active player in international nuclear affairs by providing advanced nuclear power systems, uranium enrichment services and nuclear fuel to other countries; and by maintaining its ability to develop and apply advanced nuclear technologies. A revival of nuclear power in the United States with new nuclear power plant orders should greatly help enhance U.S. power and influence in international nuclear affairs , but we must also seek to once again be a major supplier of nuclear power technology and equipment world-wide. Conversely, if the U.S. nuclear power program starts to diminish significantly through the retirement of old nuclear power plants without new replacements, then its voice in civil nuclear matters and nonproliferation will decline internationally, even though the U.S. may remain a superpower on the political level. It is easy to exaggerate the risks of nuclear weapons proliferation associated with the use of civil nuclear power programs and peaceful nuclear cooperation. States with civil nuclear power programs could divert nuclear material to nuclear weapons; they could exploit a civil nuclear power program as a cover for acquiring materials, equipment and technology for a nuclear weapons program; they could also try to use peaceful nuclear cooperation as a means of acquiring skills for developing nuclear weapons. There have been instances in which states have misused civil nuclear programs and peaceful nuclear cooperation in these ways. However, these abuses of peaceful nuclear power programs have been few in number, while the vast majority of states have adhered faithfully to their nonproliferation obligations. In addition, it is easy to overstate the role that civil nuclear cooperation can play in advancing nonproliferation goals. U.S. collaboration in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with other states has been a crucial catalyst for the acceptance of the international safeguards system as well as other aspects of the nonproliferation regime. However, peaceful nuclear cooperation is only one of several tools that the United States and other states have used to prevent the orderly growth of nuclear power and the pursuit of spread of nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, the nonproliferation objectives must go hand in hand and can be made mutually reinforcing. Prolif will trigger preemptive nuclear wars around the planet Utgoff ‘2, Deputy Director of Strategy, Forces, and Resources Division of Institute for Defense Analysis [Victor A., “Proliferation, Missile Defence and American Ambitions,” Survival, Summer, p. 87-90] Further, the large number of states that became capable of building nuclear weapons over the years, but chose not to, can be reasonably well explained by the fact that most were formally allied with either the United States or the Soviet Union. Both these superpowers had strong nuclear forces and put great pressure on their allies not to build nuclear weapons. Since the Cold War, the US has retained all its allies. In addition, NATO has extended its protection to some of the previous allies of the Soviet Union and plans on taking in more. Nuclear proliferation by India and Pakistan, and proliferation programmes by North Korea, Iran and Iraq, all involve states in the opposite situation: all judged that they faced serious military opposition and had little prospect of establishing a reliable supporting alliance with a suitably strong, nuclear-armed state. What would await the world if strong protectors, especially the United States, were [was] no longer seen as willing to protect states from nuclear-backed aggression? At least a few additional states would begin to build their own nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to distant targets, and these initiatives would spur increasing numbers of the world’s capable states to follow suit. Restraint would seem ever less necessary and ever more dangerous. Meanwhile, more states are becoming capable of building nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. Many, perhaps most, of the world’s states are becoming sufficiency wealthy, and the technology for building nuclear forces continues to improve and spread. Finally, it seems highly likely that at some point, halting proliferation will come to be seen as a lost cause and the restraints on it will disappear. Once that transition to a highly proliferated world would probably be very rapid. While some regions happens, the threats posed by wildfire proliferation in most other areas could might be able to hold the line for a time, the create pressures that would finally overcome all restraint. Many readers are probably willing to accept that nuclear proliferation is such a grave threat to world peace that every effort should be made to avoid it. However, every effort has not been made in the past, and we are talking about much more substantial efforts now. For new and substantially more burdensome efforts to be made to slow or stop nuclear proliferation, it needs to be established that the highly proliferated nuclear world that would sooner or later evolve without such efforts is not going to be acceptable. And, for many reasons, it is not. First, the dynamics of getting to a highly proliferated world could be very dangerous. Proliferating states will feel great pressures to obtain nuclear weapons who succeed in outracing an opponent may and delivery systems before any potential opponent does. Those consider preemptive nuclear war before the opponent becomes capable of nuclear retaliation. Those who lag behind might try to preempt their opponent’s nuclear programme or defeat the opponent using conventional forces. And those who feel threatened but are incapable of building nuclear weapons may still be able to join in this arms race by building other types of weapons of mass destruction, such as biological weapons. Second, as the world approaches complete proliferation, the hazards posed by nuclear weapons today will be magnified many times over. Fifty or more nations capable of launching nuclear weapons means that the risk of nuclear accidents that could cause serious damage not only to their own populations and environments, but those of others, is hugely increased. The chances of such weapons failing into the hands of renegade military units or terrorists is far greater, as is the number of nations carrying out hazardous manufacturing and storage activities. Worse still, in a highly proliferated world there would be more frequent opportunities for the use of nuclear weapons. And more frequent opportunities means shorter expected times between conflicts in which nuclear weapons get used, unless the probability of use at any opportunity is actually zero. To be sure, some theorists on nuclear deterrence appear to think that in any confrontation between two states known to have reliable nuclear capabilities, the probability of nuclear weapons being used is zero.’ These theorists think that such states will be so fearful of escalation to nuclear war that they would always avoid or terminate confrontations between them, short of even conventional war. They believe this to be true even if the two states have different cultures or leaders with very eccentric personalities. History and human nature, however, suggest that they are almost surely wrong. History includes instances in which states ‘known to possess nuclear weapons did engage in direct conventional conflict. China and Russia fought battles along their common border even after both had nuclear weapons. Moreover, logic suggests that if states with nuclear weapons always avoided conflict with one another, surely states without nuclear weapons would avoid conflict with states that had them. Again, history provides counter-examples Egypt attacked Israel in 1973 even though it saw Israel as a nuclear power at the time. Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and fought Britain’s efforts to take them back, even though Britain had nuclear weapons. Those who claim that two states with reliable nuclear capabilities to devastate each other will not engage in conventional conflict risking nuclear war also assume that any leader from any culture would not choose suicide for his nation. But history provides unhappy examples of states whose leaders were ready to choose suicide for themselves and their fellow citizens. Hitler tried to impose a ‘victory or destruction’’ policy on his people as Nazi Germany was going down to defeat. And Japan’s war minister, during debates on how to respond to the American atomic bombing, suggested ‘Would it not be wondrous for the whole nation to be destroyed like a beautiful flower?” If leaders are willing to engage in conflict with nuclear-armed nations, use of nuclear weapons in any particular instance may not be likely, but its probability would still be dangerously significant. In particular, human nature suggests that the threat of retaliation with nuclear weapons is not a reliable guarantee against a disastrous first use of these weapons. While national leaders and their advisors everywhere are usually talented and experienced people, even their most important decisions cannot be counted on to be the product of well-informed and thorough assessments of all options from all relevant points of view. This is especially so when the stakes are so large as to defy assessment and there are substantial pressures to act quickly, as could be expected in intense and fast-moving crises between nuclear-armed states. Instead, like other human beings, national leaders can be seduced by wishful thinking. They can misinterpret the words or actions of opposing leaders. Their advisors may produce answers that they think the leader wants to hear, or coalesce around what they know is an inferior decision because the group urgently needs the confidence or the sharing of responsibility that results from settling on something. Moreover, leaders may not recognize clearly where their personal or party interests diverge from those of their citizens. Under great stress, human beings can lose their ability to think carefully. They can refuse to believe that the worst could really happen, oversimplify the problem at hand, think in terms of simplistic analogies and play hunches. The intuitive rules for how individuals should respond to insults or signs of weakness in an opponent may too readily suggest a rash course of action. Anger, fear, greed, ambition and pride can all lead to bad decisions. The desire for a decisive solution to the problem at hand may lead to an unnecessarily extreme course of action. We can almost hear the kinds of words that could flow from discussions in nuclear crises or war. ‘These people are not willing to die for this interest’. ‘No sane person would actually use such weapons’. ‘Perhaps the opponent will back down if we show him we mean business by demonstrating a willingness to use nuclear weapons’. ‘If I don’t hit them back really hard, I am going to be driven from office, if not killed’. Whether right or wrong, in the stressful atmosphere of a nuclear crisis or war, such words from others, or silently from within, might resonate too readily with a harried leader. Thus, both history and human nature suggest that nuclear deterrence can be expected to fail from time to time, and we are fortunate it has not happened yet. But the threat of nuclear war is not just a matter of a few weapons being used. It could get much worse. Once a conflict reaches the point where nuclear weapons are employed, the stresses felt by the leaderships would rise enormously. These stresses can be expected to further degrade their decision-making. The pressures to force the enemy to stop fighting or to surrender could argue for more forceful and decisive military action, which might be the right thing to do in the circumstances, but maybe not. And the horrors of the carnage already suffered may be seen as justification for visiting the most devastating punishment possible on the enemy.’ Again, history demonstrates how intense conflict can lead the combatants to escalate violence to the maximum possible levels. In the Second World War, early promises not to bomb cities soon gave way to essentially indiscriminate bombing of civilians. The war between Iran and Iraq during the 1980s led to the use of chemical weapons on both sides and exchanges of missiles against each other’s cities. And more recently, violence in the Middle East escalated in a few months from rocks and small arms to heavy weapons on one side, and from police actions to air strikes and armoured attacks on the other. Escalation of violence is also basic human nature. Once the violence starts, retaliatory exchanges of violent acts can escalate to levels unimagined by the participants before hand. Intense and blinding anger is a common response to fear or humiliation or abuse. And such anger can lead us to impose on our opponents whatever levels of violence are readily accessible. In sum, widespread proliferation is likely to lead to an occasional shoot-out with nuclear weapons, and that such shoot- outs will have a substantial probability of escalating to the maximum destruction possible with the weapons at hand. Unless nuclear proliferation is stopped, we are headed toward a world that will mirror the American Wild West of the late 1800s. With most, if not all, nations wearing nuclear ‘six-shooters’ on their hips, the world may even be a more polite place than it is today, but every once in a while we will all gather on a hill to bury the bodies of dead cities or even whole nations. This kind of world is in no nation’s interest. The means for preventing it must be pursued vigorously. And, as argued above, a most powerful way to prevent it or slow its emergence is to encourage the more capable states to provide reliable protection to others against aggression, even when that aggression could be backed with nuclear weapons. In other words, the world needs at least one state, preferably several, willing and able to play the role of sheriff, or to be members of a sheriff’s posse, even in the face of nuclear threats. Advantage 2 - Economy ISM and other indicators show US manufacturing is contracting for the first time in years – putting the economy on the brink of recession. Egan, 7-2 [Matt, Recession Odds Grow After Dreary ISM Report, Fox Business, http://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/2012/07/02/recession-odds-grow-after-dreary-ism-report/] A closely-watched economic gauge revealed on Monday that the U.S. manufacturing sector dipped into contraction territory in June for the first time in nearly three years, once again setting off alarm bells that the nation could be teetering back towards recession. The surprisingly gloomy Institute for Supply Management index is the latest piece of evidence showing the U.S. economy is slowing down amid jitters about the eurozone debt debacle, China’s slowdown and lingering policy uncertainties at home. The index plummeted to 49.7 in June, badly missing forecasts for 52 and marking the first sub-50 reading since July 2009 when the U.S. economy was emerging from the Great Recession. "This is not good. Not good at all,” Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG, wrote in a note. “The ISM Manufacturing Index remains a premier economic indicator and a reading below 50 in June is incredibly, incredibly worrisome.” Recession Looming? Besides the headline drop below the crucial 50 level, economists were alarmed by a plunge in the new orders component of the index to 47.8 from a 13-month high of 60.1 in May. According to John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics, the decline in the new orders index was one of the three largest in the past 32 years. It nearly matched a tumble seen in new orders in October 2001 in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “It fell back to earth with a really big clunk,” said Ryding. He said it’s The not yet clear whether last month’s decline was in response to a May reading that was out of whack or if it signals greater trouble. U.S. joins a slew of other countries that have recently slipped into contraction territory on the manufacturing front, including Brazil, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Most of the eurozone is also in contraction mode, including economic heavyweights France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. The dreary ISM report, combined with the global weakness and other gloomy indicators, appears to have increased the chances of a recession in the U.S. Adolfo Laurenti, senior economist at Mesirow Financial, said he believes the odds of a recession have climbed to 25% after the ISM report, up from 15% earlier. “Investors have to begin, at a minimum, considering the possibility” that the U.S. could succumb to a double-dip recession in the second half of the year, said Greenhaus. 'Seen This Story Before' However, few economists are outright calling for a recession, with most forecasting a continuation of the lackluster growth that has been a hallmark of the recovery that began in March 2009. “This isnot a done deal yet,” said Laurenti. “We still have plenty of chances to escape this outcome, but clearly we are getting in a tough spot where the risks are increasing.” While it fits in the general slowdown theme of recent months, it’s possible the June ISM report was an aberration, painting a darker picture than reality. “These numbers do bounce around and you don’t want to hang your hat on any one number or get bent out of shape about a magic level,” said Josh Feinman, global chief economist at Deutsche Bank’s (DB: 23.47, -0.05, -0.21%) DB Advisors. Feinman puts the chances of a recession at about 20%, up significantly from months earlier. It’s also not exactly groundbreaking for economists and investors to be holding a double-dip debate at this time of the year. After all, the U.S. suffered scary slowdowns in each of the past two years that ultimately failed to send the economy into the red. “We’ve seen this story before in this recovery,” said Feinman. “One of the lessons we’ve learned is don’t extrapolate short-term trends too far, on the upside or downside.” Subject to Downdrafts The constant threat of a short-term shock sending the economy into reverse underscores the sluggish nature of the recovery due in part to a continued hangover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. A more robust recovery that produced gross domestic product growth of 4% to 5% would be able to withstand these obstacles without a constant recession debate. Ryding compared it with hitting an air pocket that causes a plane to drop a few hundred feet. If the plane is flying at a healthy 35,000 feet, “it may churn your stomach” but not put the plane itself at risk. “If you’re in an economic equivalent of flying not that high above the treetops, then you do worry about addition to the hangover from the Great Recession, the U.S. economy is suffering that downdraft,” said Ryding. In from an inordinate amount of policy uncertainty on everything from the looming fiscal cliff and the health-care reform to the 2012 election. “When you don’t know what the tax rates on your business are going to be in six months time that starts to have an impact on the economy today,” said Ryding. Collapse now will make recovery impossible – innovation and new manufacturing opportunities are key. Morici, 7-23 [Peter, economist and professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and widely published column is, The coming economic collapse, FoxNews.com, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/07/23/coming-economic-collapse/] The U.S. economy is teetering on the brink of another recession. The bad news is that if it goes down again, there won’t be much we can do to save ourselves. Like a weary heavyweight, if it hits the mat again, it’s down for good. The expansion has been terribly disappointing—growth is hardly 2 percent and jobs creation barely keeps unemployment steady at 8.2. Manufacturing and exports powered the recovery but are now weakening. Consumer spending and existing home sales are flagging, because policymakers failed to aid underwater is doubling down on slow growth policies—new homeowners as generously as the banks. President Obama restrictions on offshore oil and CO2 emissions, and pushing forward with financial regulations that haven’t stopped Wall Street banks from trading recklessly and rigging markets as indicated by the Libor scandal. Governor Romney has reverted to shop-worn Republican prescriptions—tax cuts, free trade and deregulation. China, by manipulating its currency and shutting out western products, helped cause the Great Recession and is now constraining recovery in the United States and Europe. More free trade agreements won’t fix that. With the federal government spending 50 percent more than it takes in, no sane economist could endorse big rate cuts, beyond renewing the Bush tax cuts. Dodd- Frank may be bureaucratic and ineffective but no sane person could claim banks can regulate themselves—smarter solutions, like analysts ask if another big breaking up unmanageable and unsuperviserable institutions, is needed. Many innovation—like the automobile or computer-- is coming and could save the economy. The problems are many new products are creating more jobs in Asia than in the West , and many technology companies are consolidating or facing extinction—consider the smart phone, Hewlett Packard and Yahoo. A lot of US innovation is starting to look more like French art than American commerce. Icons like Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter have made great contributions to the economy and culture but simply don’t have business models that generate enough revenue and sustainable jobs growth. Google has succeeded by cannibalizing newspapers—the net effect has been to destroy more—and branching into software and media—which merely displaces workers elsewhere. Meanwhile, the profitable core of finance—investment banking—is shrinking. Burdensome regulations are a problem, but many clients—ranging from municipalities to wealth managers to foreign governments burnt by Wall Street schemes and securities—are now less interested in what the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have to sell. To save European governments, several trillion dollars in sovereign debt must be written down. Beyond lacking a plan to equitably distribute the loss, Germany and other stronger states have not come to terms with the fact that market reforms are not enough. They cannot continue to pursue export-oriented growth strategies and trade surpluses if southern Europe is to create jobs and grow without running up trillions in new debt. China holds the West and its own future hostage—export-driven growth runs to ground when customers can no longer finance their purchases and trade deficits. Borrowing and printing money in the United States and Europe on the scale necessary to keep the Middle Kingdom producing and exporting is no loner possible. China must slow down because it is too late to reorient its economy toward domestic consumption without wrenching dislocations. When the United States entered the recent crisis, its budget deficit was $161 billion. Now it $1.3 trillion, and the Federal Reserve is already maintaining rock bottom interest rates. Even if Congress and the President manage to extend the Bush tax cuts, any hiccup in Europe or China could easily throw the U.S. economy into a recession—and the world’s biggest economy could hit the skids on its own. Capital markets simply won’t be able to absorb a $2.5 to $3 trillion federal deficit to further stimulate the U.S. economy, without sucking badly needed capital out of struggling European and developing country economies. The Fed could only print money to finance it and set off hyperinflation, but it can’t really lower interest rates much further. Having failed to adequately address what caused the Great Recession—China’s trade surplus and the imbalance in demand between the Middle Kingdom and the United States, the cowboy culture on Wall Street and the plight of underwater homeowners—not much can be done, having squandered the grace created by stimulus spending and easy money. Get ready for a bad ride. Federal investment in nuclear power key to every sector of the US economy including manufacturing and exports. NEI, 12 [Nuclear Energy Institute, Nuclear Energy's Economic Benefits - Current and Future, April, 2012, http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/documentlibrary/newplants/whitepaper/jobs] A recent analysis found that nuclear plants create some of the largest economic benefits compared to other electric generating technologies due to their size and the number of workers needed to operate the plants. Operation of a nuclear plant requires 400 to 700 direct permanent jobs. These jobs pay 36 percent more than average salaries in the local area. These opportunities will be available to new workers since 39 percent of the nuclear workforce will be eligible to retire by 2016 (about 25,000 employees). According to one recent analysis: “[n]uclear plants create the largest workforce annual income based on both large capacity and being a labor-intensive technology.” 3 The table below compares the number of jobs, average salaries and workforce income among different energy sources. Manufacturing and Service Impacts in the U.S. The 104 nuclear units generate substantial domestic economic value in electrici-ty sales and revenue — $40-$50 billion each year. From this revenue, nuclear companies procure over $14 billion each year in materials, fuel and services from domestic suppliers.4 Nuclear procurement takes place in all 50 states (31 states have nuclear power plants). The average procurement per state each year is over $270 million. Materials, fuel and services are procured from over 22,500 different vendors across the country.5 U.S. suppliers provide a full range of products and services for the complete lifecycle of nuclear the construction phase, U.S. suppliers pro-vide design, engineering, procurement, facilities. During construction, and consulting services for both large and small reactors, as well as turbine islands and balance of plant systems. In addition, major components, subcomponents, fuel, commodities and consumables are available from U.S.-based manufacturers and vendors for safety-related and general commercial applications. These components include turbines, polar cranes, pumps, valves, piping, and instrumentation and control systems, safety-related batteries and reactor control rod drive mechanisms. Duringthe operational life of the plant, U.S. vendors provide operations, maintenance, repair and inspection services. They also manufacture replace-ment components and perform plant modifications and upgrades. Ongoing maintenance of existing nuclear power plants provides substantial economic benefits for American manufacturers. Over 30 million man-hours are worked by supplemental craft labor each year at the nation’s 104 reactors, translating to over 14,000 full-time equivalent jobs.6 New Plant Construction A new nuclear plant represents an investment of $6-8 billion (depending on plant size), including interest during construction. New plant construction cre-ates demand for skilled labor such as welders, pipefitters, masons, carpenters, millwrights, sheet metal workers, electricians, ironworkers, heavy equipment operators and insulators, as well as engineers, project managers and construc-tion supervisors. In anticipation of new nuclear plant construction, U.S. companies have created in excess of 15,000 new U.S. jobs since 2005. Manufacturing and technical service jobs have been created in Virginia, North and South Carolina, Tennes-see, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Indiana. These jobs include engineering ser-vices and the manufacture of components including pumps, valves, piping, tub-ing, a new nuclear insulation, reactor pressure vessels, pressurizers, heat exchangers and moisture separators. Construction of power plant requires up to 3,500 workers at peak construction. Construction will also provide a substantial boost to suppli-ers of commodities like concrete and steel, and manufacturers of hundreds of plant components. A single new nuclear power plant requires approximately 400,000 cubic yards of concrete, 66,000 tons of steel, 44 miles of piping, 300 miles of electric wiring, and 130,000 electrical components. New U.S. Nuclear Plant Procurement of U.S. Equipment and Services Since 1980, the U.S. nuclear supply chain has contracted because of the lack of new U.S. nuclear plant construction in the U.S. and abroad. Thanks to nuclear ener-gy expansion in the U.S. and around the world, the has a unique oppor-tunity to rejuvenate its nuclear manufacturing sector through investment in state-of-the-art factories and processes to supply the high-precision, high-quality components necessary for nuclear technologies. The demand for these commodities, components and services provides an export opportunity for U.S. manufacturers. Over the past few years, the U.S. has seen a significant increase in the number of domestic nuclear suppliers. Suppliers of nuclear equipment are qualified and quality controlled through an accreditation known as N-stamp (also known as American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Section III Nuclear Certificates). This means that the supplier is authorized to produce the commercial nuclear-grade components in accordance with the AMSE’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel Nuclear Codes and Standards. The number of N-stamps held in the U.S. has increased 70 percent since 2007. NEI has gathered information from companies managing the lead projects in the U.S. Some supply chain and strategic sourcing information is closely The lead projects will obtain between 60 percent and 80 percent of compo-nents, commodities and services from U.S. firms. and services has already been procured from U.S. companies in 17 states. Commercial Nuclear Exports = More U.S. Jobs U.S. companies and workers also benefit from the expansion of nuclear energy underway worldwide. American companies have already booked export orders for billions of dollars in equipment and services, including generators, reactor coolant pumps and instrumentation and control systems. U.S. workers in 25 states – including Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Ten-nessee – are beginning to reap the benefits of reinvestment in the U.S. nuclear supply chain. According to the Department of Commerce, every $1 billion of exports by U.S. companies represents 5,000 to 10,000 jobs. The four Westinghouse AP1000 projects underway in China support over 15,000 U.S. jobs. The direct jobs gen-erated from these exports had an average salary of $84,000. These jobs in-clude design and engineering, manufacturing, information technology and transportation. Further, nuclear investment is key to sustaining economic growth. Aspergis & Payne, 10 [Nicholas & James, Department of Banking and Financial Management, University of Piraeus & Interim Dean and Professor of Economics, College of Arts and Sciences, Illinois State University, A panel study of nuclear energy consumption and economic growth, Energy Economics, 32(2010), http://www.salmonventures.com/Documents/Nuclear%20Energy%20and%20Economic%20Growth%20 Study.pdf] The growing concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, the recent volatility associated with oil and gas prices, the uncertainty surrounding the political stability of oil producing countries, and the dependency on foreign energy sources have revitalized interest in the role of nuclear energy as a viable energy source. Even with the providing a low cost and stable supply of electricity, and decreased dependency on foreign energy sources, both policymakers and the general public still have some reservations with respect to the production and consumption of nuclear energy. These reservations about nuclear energy stem from the perceived risks which include operational safety, the disposal of radioactive waste, and the risk of proliferation of nuclear material are reasonable concerns. However, to address the growing global energy demands, long-term energy and environmental strategies must consider nuclear objective of this study was to energy as an important energy source in the discussion of the world's energy portfolio. The provide additional information in the discussion of the role of nuclear energy in satisfying global energy needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions through an examination of the causal relationship between nuclear energy consumption and economic growth. First, in both panel data sets (France included and excluded) is a long-run equilibrium relationship between real heterogeneous panel cointegration tests indicate there GDP, nuclear energy consumption, real gross fixed capital formation, and the labor force. The long-run elasticity estimates are positive and statistically significant with the magnitude of the estimates quite similar across both panel data sets. Second, for both panel data sets, the estimation of panel error correction models reveal there is short-run bidirectional causality between nuclear energy consumption and economic growth whereas in the long-run there is unidirectional causality from nuclear energy consumption to economic growth. Thus, the short-run bidirectional causality results lend support for the feedback hypothesis. The interdependence between nuclear energy consumption and economic growth suggests that energy policies designed to increase the production and consumption of nuclear energy will have a positive impact on economic growth. Moreover, given the reduction in the emission of air pollution and greenhouse gases associated with nuclear energy, there is also a positive spillover to the environment. Likewise, the positive influence on economic growth from the use of nuclear energy further enhances the viability of the nuclear energy sector over time. Economic decline causes nuclear war and accesses every impact – democracy, terrorism, hegemony, ME war, resource war Harris & Burrows 9 [Mathew, PhD European History @ Cambridge, counselor of the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC) and Jennifer, member of the NIC’s Long Range Analysis Unit “Revisiting the Future: Geopolitical Effects of the Financial Crisis” http://www.ciaonet.org/journals/twq/v32i2/f_0016178_13952.pdf] Of course, the report encompasses more than economics and indeed believes the future is likely to be the result of a number of intersecting and interlocking forces. With so many possible permutations of outcomes, each with ample opportunity for unintended consequences, there is a growing sense of insecurity. Even so, history may be more instructive than ever. While we continue to believe that the Great Depression is not likely to be repeated, the lessons to be drawn from that period include the harmful effects on fledgling democracies and multiethnic societies (think Central Europe in 1920s and 1930s) and on the sustainability of multilateral institutions (think League of Nations in the same period). There is no reason to think that this would not be true in the twenty-first as much as in the twentieth century. For that reason, the ways in which the potential for greater conflict could grow would seem to be even more apt in a constantly volatile economic environment as they would be if change would be steadier. In surveying those risks, the report stressed the likelihood that terrorism and nonproliferation will remain priorities even as resource issues move up on the international agenda. Terrorism’s appeal will decline if economic growth continues in the Middle East and youth unemployment is reduced. For those terrorist groups that remain active in 2025, however, the diffusion of technologies and scientific knowledge will place some of the world’s most dangerous capabilities within their reach. Terrorist groups in 2025 will likely be a combination of descendants of long established groups inheriting organizational structures, command and control processes, and training procedures necessary to conduct sophisticated attacks and newly emergent collections of the angry and disenfranchised that become self-radicalized, particularly in the absence of economic outlets that would become narrower in an economic downturn. The most dangerous casualty of any economically-induced drawdown of U.S. military presence would almost certainly be the Middle East. Although Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is not inevitable, worries about a nuclear-armed Iran could lead states in the region to develop new security arrangements with external powers, acquire additional weapons, and consider pursuing their own nuclear ambitions . It is not clear that the type of stable deterrent relationship that existed between the great powers for most of the Cold War would emerge naturally in the Middle East with a nuclear Iran. Episodes of low intensity conflict and terrorism taking place under a nuclear umbrella could lead to an unintended escalation and broader conflict if clear red lines between those states involved are not well established. The close proximity of potential nuclear rivals combined with underdeveloped surveillance capabilities and mobile dual-capable Iranian missile systems also will produce inherent difficulties in achieving reliable indications and warning of an impending nuclear attack. The lack of strategic depth in neighboring states like Israel, short warning and missile flight times, and uncertainty of Iranian intentions may place more focus on preemption rather than defense, potentially lead ing to escalating crises . Types of conflict that the world continues to experience, such as over resources, could reemerge, particularly if protectionism grows and there is a resort to neo-mercantilist practices. Perceptions of renewed energy scarcity will drive countries to take actions to assure their future access to energy supplies. In the worst case, this could result in interstate conflicts if government leaders deem assured access to energy resources, for example, to be essential for maintaining domestic stability and the survival of their regime. Even actions short of war , however, will have important geopolitical implications. Maritime security concerns are providing a rationale for naval buildups and modernization efforts , such as China’s and India’s development of blue water naval capabilities. If the fiscal stimulus focus for these countries indeed turns inward, one of the most obvious funding targets may be military. Buildup of regional naval capabilities could lead to increased tensions, rivalries, and counterbalancing moves , but it also will create opportunities for multinational cooperation in protecting critical sea lanes. With water also becoming scarcer in Asia and the Middle East, cooperation to manage changing water resources is likely to be increasingly difficult both within and between states in a more dog-eat-dog world. The plan: The United States federal government should enter into power purchase agreement for nuclear reactors under 150MW. Solvency - Federal aggregation and procurement of SMR power creates a competitive market and fosters expansion. Rosner & Goldberg, 11 [Robert & Stephen, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago The Harris School of Public Policy Studies, Energy Policy, William Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, Institute at Chicago, 11-11-2011, https://epic.sites.uchicago.edu/sites/epic.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/EPICSMRWhitePaperFinalcopy.pdf ] 6.2 GOVERNMENT SPONSORSHIP OF MARKET TRANSFORMATION INCENTIVES Similar to other important energy technologies, such as energy storage and renewables, “market pull” activities coupled with the traditional “technology push” activities would significantly increase the likelihood of timely and successful commercialization. Market transformation incentives serve two important objectives. They facilitate demand for the off-take of SMR plants, thus reducing market risk and helping to attract private investment without high risk premiums. In addition, if such market transformation opportunities could be targeted to higher price electricity markets or higher value electricity applications, they would significantly reduce the cost of any companion production incentives. There are three special market opportunities that may provide the additional market pull needed to successfully commercialize SMRs: the federal government, international applications, and the need for replacement of existing coal generation plants. 6.2.1 Purchase Power Agreements with Federal Agency Facilities Federal facilities could be the initial customer for the output of the LEAD or FOAK SMR plants. The federal government is the largest single consumer of electricity in the U.S., but its use of electricity is widely dispersed geographically and highly fragmented institutionally (i.e., many suppliers and customers). Current federal electricity procurement policies do not encourage aggregation of demand, nor do they allow for agencies to enter into long-term contracts that are “bankable” by suppliers. President Obama has sought to place federal agencies in the vanguard of efforts to adopt clean energy technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Executive Order 13514, issued on October 5, 2009, calls for reductions in greenhouse gases by all federal agencies, with DOE establishing a target of a 28% reduction by 2020, including greenhouse gases associated with purchased electricity. SMRs provide one potential option to meet the President’s Executive Order. One or more federal agency facilities that can be cost effectively connected to an SMR plant could agree to contract to purchase the bulk of the power output from a privately developed and financed LEAD plant. 46 A LEAD plant, even without the benefits of learning, could offer electricity to federal facilities at prices competitive with the unsubsidized significant cost of other clean energy technologies. Table 4 shows that the LCOE estimates for the LEAD and FOAK-1plants are in the range of the unsubsidized national LCOE estimates for other clean electricity generation technologies (based on the current state of maturity of the other technologies). All of these technologies should experience additional learning improvements over time. However, as presented study team anticipates significantly greater learning earlier in the learning model analysis, the improvements in SMR technology that would improve the competitive position of SMRs over time. Additional competitive market opportunities can be identified on a region-specific, technology-specific basis. For example, the Southeast U.S. has limited wind resources. While the region has abundant biomass resources, the estimated unsubsidized cost of biomass electricity is in the range of $90-130 per MWh (9-13¢/kWh), making LEAD and FOAK plants very competitive (prior to consideration of subsidies). 47 Competitive pricing is an important, but not the sole, element to successful SMR deployment. A bankable contractual arrangement also is required, and this provides an important opportunity for federal facilities to enter into the necessary purchase power arrangements. However, to provide a “bankable” arrangement to enable the SMR project sponsor to obtain private sector financing, the federal agency purchase agreement may need to provide a guaranteed payment for aggregate output, regardless of actual generation output. 48 Another challenge is to establish a mechanism to aggregate demand among federal electricity consumers if no single federal facility customer has a large enough demand for the output of an SMR module. The federal leadership , such as that exemplified in E.O. 13514, can surmount these study team believes that highlevel challenges and provide critical initial markets for SMR plants. Plan builds economies of scale, spills over to the private sector and avoids links to politics. Parenti, 10 [Christian, The Big Green Buy: How Government's Purchasing Power Can Drive the Clean-Energy Revolution, Huffington Post, July 16, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-parenti/the-big- green-buy-how-gov_b_648865.html] An overemphasis on breakthrough inventions can obscure the fact that most of the energy technologies we need already exist. You know what they are: wind farms, concentrated solar power plants, geothermal and tidal power, all feeding an efficient smart grid that, in turn, powers electric vehicles and radically more energy-efficient buildings. But the so-called "price gap" is holding back clean tech: It is too expensive, while fossil fuels are far too cheap. The simple fact is that capitalist economies will switch to clean energy on a large scale only when it is cheaper than fossil fuels. The fastest way to close the price gap is to build large clean-tech markets that allow for economies of scale. So,what is the fastest way to build those markets? More research grants? More tax credits? More clumsy pilot programs? No. The fastest, simplest way to do it is to reorient government procurement away from fossil fuel energy, toward clean energy and technology -- to use the government's vast spending power to create a market for green energy. After all, the government didn't just fund the invention of the microprocessor; it was also the first major consumer of the device. Call it the Big Green Buy. The advantage of this strategy is that it is something Obama can do right now , without waiting for congressional approval to act. As such, it amounts to a real test of his will to make progress in the fight against climate change. Consider this: Altogether federal, state and local government constitute more than 38 percent of our GDP. Allow that to sink in for a moment. The federal government will spend $3.6 trillion this year. In more concrete terms, Uncle Sam owns or leases more than 430,000 buildings (mostly large office buildings) and 650,000 vehicles. The federal government is the world's largest consumer of energy and vehicles, and the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitter. Add state and local government activity, and all those numbers grow by about a third again. A redirection of government purchasing would create massive markets for clean power, electric vehicles and efficient buildings, as well as for more sustainably produced furniture, paper, cleaning supplies, uniforms, food and government bought green, it would drive down marketplace prices sufficiently that the services. If momentum toward green tech would become self-reinforcing and spread to the private sector . The good news is that, despite our sclerotic, largely right-wing Congress, government agencies are turning toward procurement as a means to jump-start clean tech and cut emissions. Perhaps the most important move in this direction came in October 2009, when President Obama quietly signed Executive Order 13514, which directs all federal agencies to "increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from direct and indirect activities; conserve and protect water resources through efficiency, reuse, and stormwater management; eliminate waste, recycle, and prevent pollution; leverage agency acquisitions to foster markets for sustainable technologies and environmentally preferable materials, products, and services; design, construct, maintain, and operate high performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations." The executive order also stipulates that federal agencies immediately start purchasing 95 percent through green certified programs and achieve a 28 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2020. The stimulus package passed in 2009 included $32.7 billion for the Energy Department to tackle climate change, and some of that money is now being dispersed to business and federal agencies. Already some federal agencies are installing energy management systems and new solar arrays in buildings, tapping landfills to burn methane and replacing older vehicles with plug-in hybrids and soon some all-electric vehicles. But it is the green procurement part of the executive order that is most interesting. Government has tremendous latitude to leverage green procurement because it requires no new taxes, programs or spending , nor is it hostage to the holy grail of sixty votes in the Senate. It is simply a matter of changing how the government buys its energy, vehicles and services. Yes, in many cases clean tech costs more up front, but in most cases savings arrive soon afterward. And government -- because of its size - - is a market mover that has already shown it can leverage money-saving deals. Sustainable SMR industry in the US is key to global leadership in nuclear power and reducing carbon emission – the plan doesn’t trade-off renewable. Rosner & Goldberg, 11 [Robert & Stephen, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago The Harris School of Public Policy Studies, Energy Policy, William Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, Institute at Chicago, 11-11-2011, https://epic.sites.uchicago.edu/sites/epic.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/EPICSMRWhitePaperFinalcopy.pdf] As stated earlier, SMRshave the potential to achieve significant greenhouse gas emission reductions. They could provide alternative baseload power generation to facilitate the retirement of older, smaller, and less efficient coal generation plants that would, otherwise, not be good candidates for retrofitting carbon capture and storage technology. They could be deployed in regions of the U.S. and the world that have less potential for other forms of carbon-free electricity, such as solar or wind energy . There may be technical or market constraints, such as projected electricity demand growth and transmission capacity, which would support SMR deployment but not GW-scale LWRs. From the on-shore manufacturing perspective, a key point is that the manufacturing base needed for SMRs can be developed domestically. Thus, while the large commercial LWR industry is seeking to transplant portions of its supply chain from current foreign sources to the U.S., the SMR industry offers the potential to establish a large domestic manufacturing base building upon already existing U.S. manufacturing infrastructure and capability, including the Naval shipbuilding and underutilized domestic nuclear component and equipment plants. The study team learned that a number of sustainable domestic jobs could be created – that is, the full panoply of design, manufacturing, supplier, and construction activities – if the U.S. can establish itself as a credible and substantial designer and manufacturer of SMRs. While many SMR technologies are being studied around the world, a strong U.S. commercialization program can enable U.S. industry to be first to market SMRs, thereby serving as a fulcrum for export growth as well as a lever in influencing international decisions on deploying both nuclear reactor and nuclear fuel cycle technology. A viable U.S.-centric SMR industry would enable the U.S. to recapture technological leadership in commercial nuclear technology, which has been lost to suppliers in France, Japan, Korea, Russia, and, now rapidly emerging, China. Natural Gas – ADV Natural Gas - 1AC At current levels of consumption US will burn through available natural gas – dependence will leave the energy sector committed and with no alternatives. Doran & Reed, 12 [Kevin & Adam, an institute fellow and assistant research professor at the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute & a research associate at RASEI. He researches and writes on the legal, policy, and regulatory issues surrounding the deployment of sustainable energy technologies, Environment 360, 8- 13-2012, http://e360.yale.edu/feature/natural_gas_role_in_us_energy_endgame/2561/] A full-throttle shift to a gas -dominated electricity system, which now appears to be the ordained path forward in many parts of the country, will flash through our newfound a bundance more quickly than we realize, and will no t ultimately stave off catastrophic climate change, which by any reasonable measure of sanity is still the defining challenge of the 21st century — cheap gas or not. Within a decade or less , we could be facing high natural gas costs again, plus the added burden of a planet in an ever-deepening ecological crisis. Amid the din of enthusiasm surrounding the rush to natural gas, we run the risk of losing the real prize: a U.S. energy future consistent with our economic, use of natural gas, in conjunction with policies to support continued growth in environmental, and lifestyle aspirations. Wise renewable energy, can serve as a catalyst to quicken the transition to a sustainable energy system. The recent and staggering abundance of natural gas is, ostensibly, a very good thing. Provided that current low natural gas prices persist and that resource estimates hold true, natural gas combined cycle power plants will gradually replace our nation’s aging coal- fired generation fleet. Our electricity will become cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient, and the superior ability of natural gas combined cycle turbines to ramp up quickly will allow easier grid integration of variable energy sources like wind and solar power. This shift is already happening. Cancellations of coal deliveries and advance coal contracts have become common as utilities switch to natural gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently promulgated carbon dioxide emissions thresholds for new power plants that exactly match specs for natural gas combined cycle plants. The agency went so far as to opine that the rule actually wasn’t even necessary since such plants “will be the predominant choice for new fossil fuel-fired generation even absent this rule.” But the rose of abundant natural gas is not without thorns. One such thorn is the risk of price increases. James Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy, recently quipped that to Benjamin Franklin’s observation that only death and taxes are certain in life, “I would add the price volatility of natural gas.” Creating a gas-dependent generation fleet exposes us to future price spikes and hitches our fuel security to large uncertainties in the amount of domestic gas that is ultimately recoverable. A full century’s worth of a relatively clean and current potentially cheap fuel at our current rate of consumption is obviously an extraordinary thing. Equally obvious is that our rate of consumption will not remain flat for the next 100 years. If anything, natural gas will likely play a far greater role in our energy mix than it currently does, whether by displacing coal-fired generation, utilization in natural gas vehicles, increased use in manufacturing, or by outcompeting renewables as the cheapest source of power. AND, multiple structural warrants for inevitable gas price spikes. Spencer, 12 [Jack, Research Fellow in Nuclear Energy at The Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, The Foundry, 9-12-2012, http://blog.heritage.org/author/jspencer/] Part of the answer can be found in the Journal’s article. It points to three concerns regarding over-reliance on natural gas: Diversity of fuel source. As one of the executives interviewed clearly states, even if one fuel source is cheap, there is great value in fuel diversity. An over-reliance on a single fuel will likely result in higher costs. Long-term prices are unpredictable. Few expected the precipitous drop in natural gas prices that has occurred since 2008. Likewise, no one is predicting any near-term price spikes. However, if history is any guide, we should expect a rise over time. The lower prices go, the less incentive there will be to find additional reserves. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is already happening. And demand will surely increase as more natural gas is used for home heating and electricity production, and industrial applications and export opportunities emerge. Fuel supply. There is also growing concern that existing pipeline capacity will not be adequate to support growing demand. The rest of the answer lies with the nuclear industry and the federal government and how they interact. As the industry underwent significant safety and operational reform after TMI, the time is now for another significant reform effort geared toward relating to the federal government. First scenario is growth. Inevitable price volatility hollows out the US industrial sector, global competitiveness and ensures recession – a mix based on a strong nuclear portfolio is key. Bezdek & Wendling, 4 [Roger & Robert, Management Information Services Inc. in Washington, D.C, Public Utilities Fortnightly, April 2004, http://www.misi-net.com/publications/Case_Against_Gas_Dependence.pdf] The manufacturing sector uses 40 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States, and virtually every manufacturing industry is heavily dependent on natural gas as a fuel, feedstock, and, increasingly, as a source of electricity generation. Price spikes in the cost of natural gas and electricity in the fall of 2000 precipitated the current manufacturing recession. During the past three years, this sector has been severely affected, losing more than 2.5 million jobs. 21 The current manufacturing recovery is slower than the first year of any recovery in 40 years. 22 Manufacturing is suffering from intense global competition and cannot pass though increased energy costs via product price increases. Reliance on low-cost natural gas has been an often-unrecognized factor in the U.S. manufacturing sector’s global competitiveness , and an ample supply of reasonably priced natural gas is critical to its competitiveness. This sector is bearing the brunt of the energy impacts of the natural gas crisis and is suffering from a triple whammy: High natural gas prices are causing industrial electricity prices to increase, the cost of natural gas as a feedstock and fuel is greatly increasing manufacturing costs, and industrial operations are the first to be cut off from natural gas supplies when winter emergencies occur. The natural gas crisis has become a matter of exporting profits and jobs to countries with cheaper natural gas. Thus, the impact of high natural gas prices is, indeed, to destroy the U.S. industrial sector. However, instead of viewing this as an effect that will serve to moderate future natural gas price increases, this must be viewed as a very serious problem resulting from high natural gas prices. To the extent natural gas demand and prices are being driven by the increasing use of gas for electric power generation, the solution should be to substitute other fuels, such as nuclear and coal in this sector, and not to accept demand destruction in the nation’s industrial sector. The case against natural gas for electricity generation is quite clear. Specifically: The use of gas for electricity generation is forecast to more than double by 2025, and, according to both EIA and industry analysts, this demand increase may not be achievable. Natural gas imports are forecast to increase dramatically over the next two decades and, at a time when we are concerned about the nation’s increasing dependence on imported oil, America is becoming increasingly dependent on imported natural gas from the same politically unstable regions that contain most of the world’s oil supplies. The increasing use of gas for electric power generation is placing strains on natural gas supplies and the gas transmission and distribution infrastructure, and this will further hinder the provision of adequate gas supplies. This increasing use is causing the price of natural gas to increase and to become more volatile. Increased prices and price volatility are having adverse consequences for natural gas consumers and are resulting in market disruptions. Gas price volatility will likely increase in the future, thus causing further market disruptions Natural gas shortages and price volatility can have adverse economic and employment effects, and they can increase U.S. dependence on imported oil. High natural gas prices are having a devastating impact on U.S. manufacturing industries, and this should be viewed as the most serious effect of the current (and future) gas crisis. Collapse of the US economy causes great power nuclear war Khalilzad ’11 Zalmay was the United States ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations during the presidency of George W. Bush and the director of policy planning at the Defense Department from 1990 to 1992, “ The Economy and National Security”, 2-8-11, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/print/259024, CMR Today, economic and fiscal trends pose the most severe long-term threat to the United States’ position as global leader. While the United States suffers from fiscal imbalances and low economic growth, the economies of rival powers are developing rapidly. The continuation of these two trends could lead to a shift from American primacy toward a multi-polar global system, leading in turn to increased geopolitical rivalry and even war among the great powers. The current recession is the result of a deep financial crisis, not a mere fluctuation in the business cycle. Recovery is likely to be protracted. The crisis was preceded by the buildup over two decades of enormous amounts of debt throughout the U.S. economy — ultimately totaling almost 350 percent of GDP — and the development of credit-fueled asset bubbles, particularly in the housing sector. When the bubbles burst, huge amounts of wealth were destroyed, and unemployment rose to over 10 percent. The decline of tax revenues and massive countercyclical spending put the U.S. government on an unsustainable fiscal path. Publicly held national debt rose from 38 to over 60 percent of GDP in three years. Without faster economic growth and actions to reduce deficits, publicly held national debt is projected to reach dangerous proportions. If interest rates were to rise significantly, annual interest payments — which already are larger than the defense budget — would crowd out other spending or require substantial tax increases that would undercut economic growth. Even worse, if unanticipated events trigger what economists call a United States would be unable to roll over its outstanding “sudden stop” in credit markets for U.S. debt, the obligations, precipitating a sovereign-debt crisis that would almost certainly compel a radical retrenchment of the United States internationally. Such scenarios would reshape the international order. It was the economic devastation of Britain and France during World War II, as well as the rise of other powers, that led both countries to relinquish their empires. In the late 1960s, British leaders concluded that they lacked the economic capacity to maintain a presence “east of Suez.” Soviet economic weakness, which crystallized under Gorbachev, contributed to their decisions to withdraw from Afghanistan, abandon Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, and allow the Soviet United States would be compelled to retrench, Union to fragment. If the U.S. debt problem goes critical, the reducing its military spending and shedding international commitments. We face this domestic challenge while other major powers are experiencing rapid economic growth. Even though countries such as China, India, and Brazil have profound political, social, demographic, and economic problems, their economies are growing faster than ours, and this could alter the global distribution of power. These trends could in the long term produce a multi- polar world. If U.S. policymakers fail to act and other powers continue to grow, it is not a question of whether but when a new international order will emerge. The closing of the gap between the United States and its rivals could intensify geopolitical competition among major powers , increase incentives for local powers to play major powers against one another, and undercut our will to preclude or respond to international crises because of the higher risk of escalation. The stakes are high. In modern history, the longest period of peace among the great powers has been the era of U.S. leadership. By contrast, multi-polar systems have been unstable, with their competitive dynamics resulting in frequent crises and major wars among the great powers. Failures of multi- polar international systems produced both world wars. American retrenchment could have devastating consequences. Without an American security blanket, regional powers could rearm in an attempt to balance against emerging threats. Under this scenario, there would be a heightened possibility of arms races , miscalc ulation, or other crises spiraling into all-out conflict . Alternatively, in seeking to accommodate the stronger powers, weaker powers may shift their geopolitical posture away from the United States. Either way, hostile states would be emboldened to make aggressive moves in their regions. AND, sustainable growth key to prevent extinction Goklany ‘7 – PhD, science and tech policy analyst for the US Dept of the Interior Indur M, M.S. and Ph.D are from Michigan State University, “the improving state of the world”, page number below in [brackets], CMR Thanks to the cycle of progress, humanity, though more populous and still imperfect, h as never been in better condition. The next few decades will see a world that will almost certainly be more populated than it is today. If the cycle of progress is unable to advance this additional burden or is slowed significantly for whatever reason, our children will inherit a world where hunger, poverty, and infectious and parasitic diseases claim ever greater numbers, as well as where humanity's quest for food, clothing, and shelter diverts even larger shares of land and water away from the rest of nature. Alternatively, the cycle of progress could continue to move farther and faster giving us a world where the population has stabilized; where hunger and malnutrition have been virtually banished; where malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, and other infectious and parasitic diseases are distant memories; and where humanity meets its needs while ceding land and water back to the rest of nature. And although there will no doubt be some environmental degradation and the climate might be somewhat warmer, they need not be catastrophi-cally so. Almost everyone could have access to adequate sanitation and clean water. The air and water could be cleaner even if "code red" days were to still occur occasionally in Mexico City, Beijing, and New Delhi. And even in sub-Saharan Africa infant mortality could be as low as it is today in the United States and life expectancies as high. Perhaps the most hopeful sign that the further improvements in the human condition are possible and that the second vision of the world is within grasp is that although today's developing countries lag the developed countries in virtually every indicator of human and environmental well-being, the former are ahead of where the latter used to be at equivalent levels of economic and social develop-ment. This is indeed the case for every critical indicator examined here, such as infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy, and access to safe water. Profiting further from the experience of today's devel-oped world, developing countries have also started addressing their pollution problems at much earlier levels of the past two centuries' progress in human welfare is to be more than a economic development. But if fleeting memory in the long history of mankind and if the level of human well-being that currently exists in today's richer nations is to permeate to other parts of the globe, we will need continued technological progress. But technology, by itself, is insufficient for technological progress. We also need economic growth because it catalyzes the creation, diffusion, and utilization of technology. We also need to pay atten-tion to other components of the cycle: free trade in ideas, knowledge, goods, and human and fiscal capital; education; and public health. But most important, we need to ensure that the cycle does not run out of power. Fueling the cycle of progress is not inevitable. Rarely have the conditions responsible for technological change and economic growth come together at any place for too long. The life span of virtually every empire, civilization, or political and economic system can be measured in terms of a few centuries and sometimes even decades. In fact, long-lasting entities such as the ancient Egyptian civilization or the Roman or Byzantine empires are characterized more by their stability (before their eventual demise) than by long-term gains in the average person's lot. To ensure that the cycle of progress keeps moving forward, the institutions underlying that cycle need to be nurtured and, in many places, strengthened. These institutions that power technological progress include free markets; secure property rights to both tangible and intellectual products; fair, equitable, and relatively transparent rules to govern those markets and enforce contracts; institutions for accumulating and converting knowledge into useful and beneficial products; and honest and predictable bureaucracies and governments. These insti-tutions also underpin a strong civil society. However, building and strengthening these institutions may not be enough if society is hostile to change and if richer societies—in their quest for zero risk— reject imperfect ("second best") solutions. The quest for perfection in an imperfect world should lead to progress, not paralysis. In fact, the history of the progress in human well-being during the past two centuries is one in which higher-risk technologies are progressively replaced by technologies that, while not risk-free, carry lower risks, If through a misapplication of the precautionary principle, humanity had waited for the perfect energy source, it would still be living in the dark, shivering from the cold, starving from hunger, and lucky to live beyond 40. Jared Diamond's retelling of the extinction of the Norse civilization in Greenland provides us with a powerful parable of the perils of shunning technological change.90As the Medieval Warming Period gave way to the Little Ice Age, the Vikings stuck to their time- honored ways. Survival wasn't made easier by the fact that they apparently had a taboo against eating fish.91 Even though they were isolated from their traditional trading partners and despite having the successful example of the Inuits to learn from, they did not adopt the latter's fishing and hunting techniques for reasons that cannot be fathomed (perhaps that was because of inflexible social institutions—or a Viking version of the precautionary principle). We saw shades of a similar dynamic play out, fortunately not to its bitter end, when, in 2002, Zambia refused food aid because it contained GM corn from the United States.92 Whatever the reason, because the Vikings were not open to technological change, they failed to adapt—and perished. As Diamond observes, "A society's fate lies in its own hands and depends substantially on its own choices."931 contend that one of society's critical choices is its attitude toward and openness to tech-nological change. Of course, it is possible that with sufficient economic growth and technological change, the general pattern that we see today with respect to human well-being, namely, matters improving with income, will be less obvious in the future. Consider, for example, the curve depicting access to safe water versus per capita income (illustrated in figure 6.13). Conceivably, with constant technological change, the knee in the curve would shift further toward the left as more cost-effective technologies are developed. At the same time, further economic growth could push virtually all countries to the eight of the knee. Because of the combination of these two trends, a few decades from now virtually everyone should have access to t<afe water. Similarly, a few decades from now one may no longer be able to determine a strong dependence of life expectancy on the level of economic development. Accordingly, some people might conclude that economic growth, having served its purpose as the midwife for technological change, had become superfluous. Others might conclude that further technological change itself is unnecessary. Shades of these arguments are already evident in the opposition to GM foods and the use of DDT. Notably, most of the opposition lo these technologies comes from people who are quite comfortably off, that is, they come from societies where incomes are beyond the knee of the well-being versus income curves, and they see little or no utility in enhancing the quantity and quality of food, or in cost- effective vector control. Although I have shown that these arguments are invalid today because of the large numbers worldwide who would—and, indeed, do—benefit from such technologies, is it possible that, after the evident problems of today are more or less solved, these arguments would carry much greater weight? Could we then eschew further economic growth and technological change? We dare not do so. First, as noted, there are no perfect solutions . Every solution contains within it the germs of another problem. Thus, horse-drawn transportation—the polluter of the city a century ag0w—was replaced by the internal combustion engine. But today it is that engine that pollutes the city. Tomorrow's solutions will no doubt have their own problems. But that's progress—continually replacing bigger problems with smaller ones, and the problems that are left over will always be harder to solve. Second, even if humanity rests on its laurels, the rest of nature will go on automatically probing its defenses and launching new offenses. Inevitably, humankind will be exposed to new and more virulent forms of old diseases. And to cope with those too, we will need to muster all our resources and ingenuity. ^ . In a celebrated article half-a-century ago, the eminent mathematician, John von Neumann, asked whether humankind can survive technology.95 We now know the answer: We cannot survive without it—certainly not if we want to maintain the quality of our lives or the environment, considering the numbers that exist today or will exist in the future. But technology is not enough; we also need economic development. Although there are no guarantees, acting together, they—more than anything else—offer the best hope for technological progress, without which we cannot expand current limits to growth. SMRs level energy costs and insulate from inevitable gas price spikes. Lamonica, 12 [Martin, A Glut of Natural Gas Leaves Nuclear Power Stalled, Technology Review, 8-9-2012, http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428737/a-glut-of-natural-gas-leaves-nuclear-power/] Even in United States, of course, super cheap natural gas will not last forever. With supply exceeding demand, some drillers are said to be losing money on natural gas, which could push prices back up. Prices will also be pushed upward by utilities, as they come to rely on more natural gas for power generation, says James. Ali Azad, the chief business development officer at energy company Babcock & Wilcox, thinks the answer is making nuclear power smaller, cheaper, and faster. His is one of a handful of companies developing s mall m odular r eactors that can be built in three years, rather than 10 or more, for a fraction of the cost of gigawatt-size reactors. Although this technology is not yet commercially proven, the company has a customer in the Tennessee Valley Authority, which a level cost expects to have its first unit online in 2021 (see "A Preassembled Nuclear Reactor"). "When we arrive, we will have of energy on the grid, which competes favorably with a brand-new combined-cycle natural gas plants when gas prices are between $6 to $8," said Azad. He sees strong demand in power-hungry China and places such as Saudia Arabia, where power is needed for desalination. Even if natural gas remains cheaper, utilities don't want to find themselves with an overreliance on gas, which has been volatile on price in the past, so nuclear power will still contribute to the energy mix. "[Utilities] still continue [with nuclear] but with a lower level of enthusiasm—it's a hedging strategy," says Hans-Holger Rogner from the Planning and Economics Studies section of the International Atomic Energy Agency. "They don't want to pull all their eggs in one basket because of the new kid on the block called shale gas." NG ADV – Grid Scenario Gas dominance locks everything else out of the market – nuclear is key to maintaining diversity. Hart, 12 [Kathleen, Duke CEO warns against 'all gas, all the time' for electric generation, SNL, April 11, 2012, http://www.snl.com/Interactivex/article.aspx?CdId=A-14623524-13105] Warning against the use of "all gas, all the time" for electricity generation, Duke Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Jim Rogers said a balance of natural gas, coal, nuclear power, renewables and energy efficiency will be crucial to maintaining the affordability and reliability of the U.S. electric grid. "Our greatest challenge as an industry is to avoid all gas, all the time, because it's very cheap today," Rogers said at an April 11 Energy for Tomorrow conference sponsored by The New York Times. "I think this is the first time in my career that our gas units are dispatching after nuclear and before all our coal plants. … That's based on price, because gas prices are so low." Rogers noted that "tremendous inventories" of coal are building up in the PJM Interconnection LLC and Midwest ISO markets as natural gas is being burned on a regular basis for power generation. When asked what will happen to all this coal, Rogers responded, "I guess we'll be exporting it to China, maybe one answer." The challenge for the United States is to keep nuclear and coal in the electricity generation mix, Rogers said. He predicted that "between now and 2030, you'll see electricity generated from gas be equal to coal in megawatt-hours. You're going to see that transition occur over the next 20 years." Because natural gas is so cheap today, selling in the $2/MMBtu range, regulators, particularly in regulated states, will likely push for "all gas, all the time," rather than putting an emphasis on new nuclear plants or wind, solar power and other renewables, Rogers said. "When gas is that cheap, there's no need for renewables. You just build a gas unit." Rogers noted that U.S. electric utility companies are in the position of having "to remake our entire generation fleet over the next 40 years. We have a blank sheet of paper, and so the question is, 'What do we build?'" He argued in favor of maintaining a balanced mix of generation sources. "The 'Holy Grail' for our industry is all of the above. We've got to have all of them. … It would be a mistake for our country [to build] nothing but gas over the next two decades, as we have in the last two. Almost 90% of what we've built in the last two decades has been gas." Nuclear power is the vital link in base load generation – without it the entire electrical system grinds to a halt. NEI, 3 [Nuclear Energy Institute, The Importance of Nuclear Energy to U.S. Energy Security, Fact Sheet, January 2003, http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/14419.pdf] Energy Security Critical to National Security Energy security is essential to national security. Our economy and daily lives depend upon electricity, but also our major defense systems and government operations, airports and trains, and telecommunications. Our hightech economy depends upon electricity to operate servers and networks. Even traditional industries are computerized and automated as never before. All would grind to a halt without electricity. The bulk of our nation’s electricity supply is produced by coal and nuclear power plants — 51 percent from coal and 20 percent from nuclear. Virtually all of this electricity is base-load generation—the constant hour-byhour flow of electricity in sufficient amounts to sat-isfy our basic daily electricity requirements, powering everything from home appliances to industrial machinery. Baseload generation is produced by large power plants that run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including the nation’s 103 nuclear plants. In fact, the U.S. electricity grid could not function without the stabilizing presence of nuclear energy. Baseload electricity is especially critical during periods of high energy demand, such as the winter and summer months, when electricity usage increases for heating or air conditioning. That’s ball game. Rifkin, 2 [Jeremy, The founder and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, Fellow at the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program, The Hydrogen Economy: The Creation of the World-Wide Energy Web and the Redistribution of Power on Earth, p.163-164] It is understandable that we would be unmindful of the critical role that oil plays in feeding our families, because the process of electricity that we have come to growing food is so removed in time and place from our urban lives. The same holds true for the the central nervous system that coordinates a densely rely on to maintain our daily routines. The electrical grid is populated urban existence. Without electrical power, urban life would cease to exist , the information age would become a faded memory, and industrial production would grind to a halt. The fastest way to ensure the collapse of the modern era would be to pull the plug and turn off the flow of electricity. Light, heal, and power would all stop. Civilization as we know it would come to an end.
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