A Progressive Letter to the Ayatolla.

Dear Sir,

Nuclear Fission (Nu Kle Ar, not Nu Ku Lar) is an obsolete and highly dangerous technology. One little mistake like Chernobyl or Fukushima and a vast swath of your country will be uninhabitable for tens of thousands of years. It would cost your economy trillions of dollars. And there is no need for it.

If you will give up this dangerous idea, we western nations (the Coalition of the Concerned) would like to offer you double the primary energy production in the form of solar and wind technology. We will provide you with our latest technologies and the expertise to install them. We will train your technicians and guarantee that it costs less than you would spend on nuclear fission.

Solar and Wind technology is totally safe, clean and renewable. Production facilities do not become radiated and have to be replaced and entombed. There is no dangerous nuclear waste. Nobody will want to attack you because you are a threat to their existence. You can avoid a war, nuclear accident, or other incident that would kill hundreds of thousands of your people and destroy your economy.

You can export your excess capacity and the technology into the region and make friends.

There is no downside for you except that you will not be able to make nuclear weapons. So if you turn down this offer, it would show that that is really your intent.

Please get back to us soonest.

Sincerely,

A few of the rational minds in the Western Powers…

Wine Spectator Gives Fracking Fluid a 93.


Almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater have been illegally dumped into central California aquifers that supply drinking water and farming irrigation, according to state documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity. The wastewater entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants.Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 11.29.54 AM
High levels of arsenic, thallium and nitrates were also found in water-supply wells around waste-disposal locations. These, of course, have yet to be tested to find out the true nature of their relationship to the waste-management facilities nearby.

The state’s Water Board confirmed beyond doubt that at least nine wastewater disposal wells have been injecting waste into aquifers that contain high-quality water that is supposed to be protected under federal and state law.

Thallium is an extremely toxic chemical commonly used in rat poison. Arsenic is a toxic chemical that can cause cancer. Some studies show that even low-level exposure to arsenic in drinking water can compromise the immune system’s ability to fight illness.
“Arsenic and thallium are extremely dangerous chemicals,” said Timothy Krantz, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Redlands. “The fact that high concentrations are showing up in multiple water wells close to wastewater injection sites raises major concerns about the health and safety of nearby residents.”

Paso Robles Aquifer

Paso Robles Aquifer Merlot delivers plenty of ripe rat poison flavors; juicy, full bodied and densely flavored; expresses notes of thallium and arsenic on the finish; perfect to serve with Clean Coal.

Warning: Drinking poison may cause cancer. Ask your doctor if cancer is right for you.

UNTOLD BILLIONS: FOSSIL-FUEL SUBSIDIES, THEIR IMPACTS

THE GLOBAL SUBSIDIES INITIATIVE | UNTOLD BILLIONS:
FOSSIL-FUEL SUBSIDIES, THEIR IMPACTS AND THE PATH TO REFORM

The IEA study estimated that the removal of consumer subsidies in eight non-OECD countries would increase
annual GDP on average in those countries by 0.73 per cent. Individual country results ranged from an increase in GDP by 2.22 per cent in Iran to 0.10 per cent in South Africa.

The IEA study suggested that the removal of subsidies in eight non-OECD countries would lower their CO2 emissions by 16 per cent due to a decrease in energy use by 13 per cent. Globally this would amount to a decrease of CO2 emissions of 4.6 per cent.

http://www.iisd.org/gsi/sites/default/files/effects_ffs.pdf

De-Funding Climate Change

A 2004 study by leading American scientists found that by the year 2050 we will need at least three times the current primary energy and it will have to be three times as clean to avoid destroying the climate. It concludes that there are no earthly technologies capable of providing that power.

One of the leading scientists, Dr. Martin Hoffert, has called for an emergency crash program to replace fossil fuel; an effort similar to the Manhattan Project, which created the nuclear industry (and bombs) in three years, and the Marshall Plan which rebuilt Europe. This Earth Energy Project would cost $30 Billion a year.

Where could that come from?

Fossil fuel provides 81% of primary power. Over the two years 2010 and 2011, ExxonMobil reported $9,910 million in pretax U.S. profits. But it enjoyed so many tax subsidies that its federal income tax bill was only $39 million — a tax rate of only 0.4 percent.

US Fossil fuel companies reported $271 billion in profits in 2012. Why are we giving tax breaks to the very industries that are costing us hundreds of billions in damages and destroying the climate of the planet?

The Revenue Act of 1913 allowed oil companies to write off 5 percent of the costs from oil and gas wells. A century later, oil companies can now deduct three times this rate. At 15 percent the depletion subsidy increases when prices are high, when oil companies enjoy greater profit. It can even eliminate all federal taxes for independent producers.

A Center for American Progress report estimated that closing this tax break would save $11.2 billion over 10 years. President Obama has called on Congress to eliminate the percentage depletion allowance, along with a series of other tax breaks totaling $4 billion annually. Even Ronald Reagan once asked for the same in a 1985 speech on tax reform:

“Under our new tax proposal the oil and gas industry will be asked to pick up a larger share of the national tax burden. By eliminating this special preference, we’ll go a long way toward ensuring that those that earn their wealth in the oil industry will be subject to the same taxes as the rest of us.”

“Oil companies get to use a special method for calculating their deductions called “percentage depletion.” Instead of deducting the costs of an oil or gas well as its value declines, oil companies are allowed to deduct a flat percentage of the income they derive from it. Because the deductions are based on revenues, not costs, the subsidy actually increases at times when prices are high, when oil companies enjoy their greatest profits. American consumers have been waiting for the benefits of these tax subsidies to trickle down in lower gas prices. It hasn’t happened. In fact, these subsidies existed during the 2008 oil shock when prices hit a record $147 per barrel, yet did nothing to lower oil prices or increase production. And repealing them won’t increase prices at the pump. “Gasoline prices are a function of world oil prices and refining margins,” explains Severin Borenstein, co-director of UC-Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Energy Markets. Any incremental impact on production “will have no impact on world oil prices, and therefore no impact on gasoline prices.”

Oil tax subsidies are simply a waste of taxpayer dollars. Oil and gas companies make investment decisions based on the profit potential. Those decisions are driven primarily by market conditions, including the price of oil on world markets, not marginal tax incentives. “With $55 oil we don’t need incentives to the oil and gas companies to explore,” said President George W. Bush in 2005.

“There are plenty of incentives.” According to research by GigaOm analyst Adam Lesser, in a 2011 report from the International Energy Agency fossil fuels currently receive subsidies via “at least 250 mechanisms.”

In 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said $557 billion was spent to subsidize fossil fuels globally in 2008, compared to $43 billion in support of renewable energy.

The study U.S. Government Subsidies for Energy Sources 2002-2008 calculated lost government revenues by each fossil fuel sector: The vast majority of federal subsidies for fossil fuels and renewable energy supported energy sources that emit high levels of greenhouse gases when used as fuel. The federal government provided substantially larger subsidies to fossil fuels than to renewables. Subsidies to fossil fuels—a mature, developed industry that has enjoyed government support for many years—totaled approximately $72 billion over the study period, representing a direct cost to taxpayers.”

We subsidize $18-21 billion a year in the U.S. alone. The US share of world GNP is approximately 27%. The European Union’s “Total energy subsidies in 2011 amount to €26 billion for fossil fuels (+ €40 billion for related health costs), €35 billion for nuclear power, and €30 billion for renewables. Out of a total of €131 billion, renewables which are still in need of support to enter the market get a 23% share – whilst mature, unsustainable and old-fashioned energies get a huge 77% slice of the energy subsidy cake. Equal to $137 billion, US.

A report from the National Research Council estimates “hidden” costs of energy production and use — such as the damage air pollution imposes on human health — that are not reflected in market prices of coal, oil, other energy sources, or the electricity and gasoline produced from them.  The damages the committee was able to quantify were an estimated $120 billion in the U.S. in 2005, a number that reflects primarily health damages from air pollution associated with electricity generation and motor vehicle transportation.  The figure does not include damages from climate change, harm to ecosystems, effects of some air pollutants such as mercury, and risks to national security, which the report examines but does not monetize.

One technology capable of replacing fossil fuel is Space Solar Power: collecting the constant flux of energy from the sun, and beaming it down to earth, on time, on target, without need for storage or transmission lines. Pure, clean power beamed directly where needed, a constant source of energy and wealth.

The US could fund nearly two thirds of Dr. Hoffert’s estimate by merely eliminating tax breaks for atmo-polluters and directing that revenue to fund new jobs in high-tech aerospace and energy manufacturing. Additional jobs would be created in transitioning the transportation industry from fossil to clean electric propulsion. More jobs could be created in reforesting the earth to capture carbon and repair the damage.

With the addition of the EU de-funding the yearly amount for a Manhattan Project type crash course in renewable energy would be one and a half times as much as Hoffert’s estimate.

The world spends over half a trillion dollars giving tax breaks and subsidies to the richest companies and individuals in the world. They spend that money lobbying and propagandizing to deny they are polluting and changing the climate of the planet.

The problem is, it’s profitable to destroy the climate. Once it’s more profitable to produce clean energy, things will change…

Kentucky Loses Money on Coal

For the Fiscal Year 2006 Kentucky provided a net subsidy of nearly $115 million to the coal industry.

And the coal industry kicked back $2 Million to Mitch McConnell.

The Climate Cost Is Unknown.

Coal is responsible for an estimated $528 million in state revenues and $643 million in state expenditures. The $528 million in revenues includes $224 million from the coal severance tax and revenues from the corporate income, individual income, sales, property and transportation taxes and permit fees. The $643 million in expenditures includes $239 million for the coal haul road system, regulation of the environmental and health and safety impacts of coal, support for worker training, research and development for the coal industry (?), promotion of education about coal in the public schools (propaganda) and support of residents employed by coal. Total costs include $85 million to subsidize the mining and burning of coal.

The industry actually costs more than it brings to the state.
The coal industry generated revenues of $303 million while spending to support coal industry totals more than $270 million and off-budget tax expenditures add $85 million for a total of more than $355 million. The net direct impact of the industry on the state budget is an estimated (minus) –$52 million.

Coal employment accounts for only one percent of Kentucky employment. Direct employment in coal totals $83 million while coal workers’ share of state expenditures totals $73 million. The net impact of direct employment is $10 million. But revenues generated in supply industries total $142 million. Spending to support those workers totals $214 million. The net impact of indirect employment on the Kentucky state budget is –$73 million.

These figures do not include the many externalized costs imposed by coal including healthcare, lost productivity resulting from injury and health impacts, water treatment from siltation caused by surface mining, water infrastructure to replace damaged wells, limited development potential due to poor air quality, and social spending associated with declines in coal employment and related economic hardships of coalfield communities. Some of these externalities impose additional costs to the state. Others are borne by communities that mine and burn coal and by those outside the region.

Official sources project a significant decline in production as easy-to-mine coal is depleted with additional challenges as aging coal-fired power plants are retired and new laws on carbon emissions raise the price of coal relative to cleaner alternatives. Industry representatives and supporters embrace Carbon Capture and Sequestration, but these technologies face high costs, significant risk and uncertainty, are already utilizing large public subsidies, and there is no indication that they work.

Tax expenditures for the coal industry are a set of growing but largely hidden subsidies. Kentucky should examine its rate of taxation and use of subsidies and think strategically about the needs of the Commonwealth and the best path to a prosperous future.”

http://www.maced.org/coal/exe-summary.htm

Oh, yeah, Mitch McConnell is bribed $2,020,466 per year.

http://www.dirtyenergymoney.com/view.php?searchvalue=mcconnell&com=&can=&zip=&search=1&type=search#view=connections

Rand Paul is only bribed $234,755 per year

http://www.dirtyenergymoney.com/view.php?searchvalue=Rand+Paul&com=&can=&zip=&search=1&type=search#view=connections

ExxonMobil Valuation Actually $324B Less Than Reported

“Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of scientists and other experts appointed by the United Nations that periodically reviews and summarizes climate research, found that companies and governments had identified reserves of these fuels at least four times larger than could safely be burned if global warming is to be kept to a tolerable level.

Put into terms that even capitalists can understand, the valuation of (fossil fuel) companies and petro nations are based largely on their perceived (reported) oil, gas and coal reserves. If 3/4’s of these reserves cannot be used. The valuation of these companies and nations is actually 1/4 of their claimed value.

For example, ExxonMobil’s oil reserves are reported to be 72 billion BOE (barrels of oil equivalent), but it has only 18 billion usable barrels. Its’ market capitalization of $432 billion should actually be $108. ”

Saudi Aramco’s value has been estimated at as much as $7 trillion but is actually worth only $1.7 trillion. Whoops.

And don’t get me started on Canadian Tar Sands. Oh, Okay…
“Producing synthetic crude oil from tar sands generates three times the global warming pollution of conventional crude production. Extracting tar sands bitumen – a low-grade, high-sulfur crude oil that must be extensively refined to be turned into fuel – uses vast amounts of energy and water.”

Alberta tar sands “proven” reserves total 168 barrels but only 42 billion can be used. Since it’s three times as polluting, actually only 14 billion barrels or 8.3% of its “reserves” can be used.

Are these companies and nations severely overvalued… Only if humans are smart enough to live. Does this look like a bubble? The laissez faire capital market should be screaming “sell!”

Who is the Enemy? – The Quadrennial Defense Review 2014

The Department of Defense has concluded that climate change is the greatest threat to America.

“Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world.

These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.

“The Department will employ creative ways to address the impact of climate change, which will continue to affect the operating environment and the roles and missions that U.S. Armed Forces undertake. The Department will remain ready to operate in a changing environment amid the challenges of climate change and environmental damage. We have increased our preparedness for the consequences of environmental damage and continue to seek to mitigate these risks while taking advantage of opportunities. The Department’s operational readiness hinges on unimpeded access to land, air, and sea training and test space.

Consequently, we will complete a comprehensive assessment of all installations to assess the potential impacts of climate change on our missions and operational resiliency, and develop and implement plans to adapt as required. 

Climate change also creates both a need and an opportunity for nations to work together, which the Department will seize through a range of initiatives. We are developing new policies, strategies, and plans, including the Department’s Arctic Strategy and our work in building humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities, both within the Department and with our allies and partners.” 

The DoD has concluded that climate change represents the greatest threat to America. Then, who are our enemies and how do we fight them?

Terrorists are not the prime enemy. They seek to destroy the modern industrial infrastructure that is polluting the planet.

Religious fundamentalists are not the prime enemy. They seek to return to a pre-industrial age, with few modern, energy-demanding conveniences. 

China is not the enemy. It seeks to expand its economy and pollutes as much as we do or more, but  it is intent on creating modern technology to reduce carbon emissions. Russia is not the enemy, except in that its economy is based on selling fossil fuel…

Then, who is the enemy?  It is those individuals and agencies who are polluting for profit, while using those profits to fund a disinformation propaganda campaign to deny climate change. It is the Koch brothers and the oil and gas companies and their executives and stockholders. We have met the enemy and they are us.

How do we fight the enemy? We must expose the enemy and charge them for the damage they have done and are doing. We must name them and shame them. We must expose their methods. We must take their names off buildings and think tanks and put it on the grave markers of those who have suffered and died from pollution, and on memorials for those hundreds of millions who will die in the future from the effects of climate change.

How to we fight the enemy…with what weapons? Building more fighter planes, bombers, tanks and aircraft carriers is not the way to fight them. Each of these machines uses petroleum or nuclear energy. The infrastructure to build these machines uses more energy. Spending our capital and our attention on prevention of non-critical threats wastes both energy and time. We must spend what we would on armed defense on defending the planet, as a whole, not just the United States, because that cannot be done. The climate does not stop or change at the border. We must fund the Department of Climate Defense, and spend the money on building solar panels, not drones; windmills, not tanks, space solar power, not aircraft carriers. We must organize a Conservation Corps to plant trees to soak up carbon;  we must use our special forces to spread renewable energy technology around the world.

We realize that our security depends on the security of all nations, that is why we have troops deployed all over the world, seeking our enemies, supporting our friends… We must now take that perspective and understand that this fight is for the whole world, and we can lead it with a new Coalition of the Willing; willing not to fight those that will have no impact on the future, but those who will. We must create a common world defense, and a new expeditionary force, to lead us to the next frontier, where there is energy, living room, natural resources, and the future of mankind… the frontier to space.

Will Hillary Give The Moon Away?

Or Reassert US International Leadership in Space.
by
Dave Dunlop

The Congressional elections upcoming in November (are) gaining momentum, but for Americans, horror of horrors, the 2016 Presidential Campaign will also begin its deafening two year acceleration. Is there anyone who doesn’t think that Hillary Clinton, barring only illness, or injury or death, will not seek and win the Democratic nomination for the 2016 Campaign? If the US economy continues on its slow pace of improvement, and to look at the strength of the stock market and NASDQ there might even be a more optimistic economic climate during 2015 and 2016. So the prospects for a Democratic candidate might be supported by a stronger economic picture and the economic mandate of heaven may fall on the first woman President.

While my Republican friends cannot identify any comparable candidate for 2016 I will provocatively take advantage of this Presidential Candidate Gap between the Democrats and Republicans to speculate on what Hillary Clinton might do in space policy as a Presidential candidate and if she were elected as President. I would remind those skeptical of this speculation, that Hillary Clinton distinguished herself from the field of competing /democratic candidates in the 2008 Presidential primary election campaign by giving a speech devote to space. She selected the talented space strategy advisor Lori Garver, who later was appointed NASA Deputy Administrator by Obama and who championed the successful Commercial Crew and Cargo programs in spite of the opposition of the SLS supporters in Congress. None of the other candidates campaigned on space. Perhaps they were thinking that space has a niche constituency in districts where there were NASA centers or large NASA contractors and that space did not present much of a wedge issue for the general electorate which was much more concerned about their jobs and the cooling state of the economy.

So will the past be prologue to the 2016 campaign of Hillary Clinton? I think so.

I First, Hillary as a candidate must distinguish herself from her predecessor whose popularity has fallen. She must find acceptable ways to repudiate unpopular Obama policies and more importantly provide some fresh ideas and a sense of optimism about why she is running and what she will do if elected.

Space as a national issue presents some opportunities and threats as a wedge issue in this campaign.
Some momentous things are happening. NASA has been torn between the Congressional constituency backing the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion capsule program backed by powerful Republican Senators and the Obama administration’s focus on contracted capabilities and technology innovation.

II The Gift of Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew
The Obama administration has scored a major success with its Commercial Cargo program to the International Space Station which has successfully provided two contractors (Space -X and Orbital Sciences with successful missions to the ISS by their Dragon and Cygnus cargo vehicles respectively).
The Obama administration has also fought for the commercial crew program with contracts to Space -X for the manned Dragon capsule, to Boeing for the CST-100 capsule, and to Sierra Nevada for the Dream Chaser “mini-shuttle.” The Dragon capsule and the Boeing CST-100 are likely to fly in 2017 just as a new President takes office, presenting another prospect for national pride in a NASA public private collaboration. These commercial programs will also end the huge subsidies being paid to the Russians for the delivery of American astronauts to the ISS. Hillary can argue that this program should create more American Space jobs and help to revitalize the American Space Industry. Hillary can also campaign on ending the Russian subsidy by making a commitment to all three American commercial crew contractors. Space -X, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada.

III The Times They Are A Chan gin’
There are however dark clouds gathering for the NASA kingdom especially when it comes to manned spaceflight and heavy lift launches, an area in which it has had a monopoly position since the 1960’s.

1 The Space-X company is about to demonstrate its ability to provide a reusable Falcon 9 launch system and dramatically lower the cost of launching things into space.

2 Early in 2014 Space-X is also expected to launch the Falcon 9 Heavy. Space X- is also expected to launch another Falcon 9 Heavy for the Air Force in 2015. This is two years ahead of the SLS unmanned launch in 2017 and seven years before a manned launch in 2022 with an Orion capsule is anticipated.

3 These developments will create the conditions for the cancellation of the SLS Heavy lift launcher. A Falcon 9 Heavy system launch will cost less than 1/6th the cost of a $2Billion SLS system launch.
This is a huge wedge issue for the Republican Red States of Alabama, Texas, and Florida where the SLS and Orion have the most impact. If the Republicans pursue a relentless program of cutting the Federal across the board they set themselves up to see Obama or an incoming President Hillary Clinton reward them with a cancellation of this unsustainable budgetary boondoggle launch system.
By perpetuating a boondoggle porkbarrel program they have set up their NASA center constituents for extinction.

4 President Hillary Clinton can counter this reduction in NASA’s in-house SLS program with contracts for lower cost space missions in Florida at KSC, in Texas, from a newly developing spaceport in Texas that Space-X is developing near Brownsville, as well as the Mid-Atlantic range on Wallops Island, and Vandenberg. Spaceport American in New Mexico will also be another bright spot for the American Space Industry with Virgin Galactic expected to begin commercial service by the end of 2014
and the potential for subsequent Stratolaunch operations.

IV Extend the ISS to 2028
There is another card that President Hillary can play in response to an SLS cancellation and to differentiate herself from President’s space policy. She can build on her experience as Secretary of State and reassert strong Presidential international leadership in space by building on the foundation of the ISS partnership by announcing her support for the extension of the ISS program until 2028 during her campaign. This will please our international partners who have been shocked at the prospect that NASA announced that it would deorbit the ISS in 2016, and who fought vociferously for its extension to 2020. Russia even announced that it would maintain its components independent of NASAs exit to the ocean. This extension is a policy already being negotiated at present by the ISS partners. Reusable Falcon 9 missions will greatly reduce the expense of maintaining this ISS program for the US and regain the confidence of our ISS partners in this stable space program commitment. This also keeps much of the NASA HEOMD, the biggest share of NASA’s budget moving forward with operations at JSC, Marshall, and KSC.

V The Next Big Thing: E-M L2 Gateway to Mars and Beyond
Hillary can also build on this announcement with another riposte to the Republicans. She can also announce that the US will use its reusable space launch heavy lift capacity to build an international Gateway Station at the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2 and invite our ISS partners to build the highway to return to the Moon and advance to Mars and the asteroids. The US would then joining the existing international consensus of its ISS partners that the Moon is the next destination and stepping stone on the way to Mars. This would also be a program of shared expenses and support building on the success of the International Space Station but also expanding the partnership to include new partners such as India, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Ukraine that share both the risks, expenses, and rewards. This would increase American Space jobs by increasing the flight rate at American Spaceports, maintain existing contractors, and develop new contractors such as Bigelow which can reduce the cost of a new space station while doubling its size with inflatable modules.

VI To Mars via a CisLunar Highway
There is within NASA a strong anti-lunar program bias that has resulted in an Asteroids and Mars First national space policy that has created strong rifts with our international ISS partners. NASA HQ has preferred to sacrifice the Moon and our position of international leadership for a Mars Program that has had triumphant landings but been shortsighted in starving the development of our space infrastructure for the future. Hillary is going to have to break some eggs to redo the NASA omelet and what NASA’s republican critics and others such as the Space Foundation have criticized as a drift in policy. It is time to replace much of the geriatric leadership at the top of NASA and get some fresh blood with renewed vision in place. Another critical new piece of this strategy is the development of
space refueling depots that reduce costs for reusable in-space tugs and terries from LEO to GEO and E-M Lagrange point and eventually to Mars.

VII Building Momentum for Clean Energy from Space
Hillary can also address the issue of global climate change and the requirements for clean and sustainable energy by creating an international initiative to develop space solar power satellites as the former President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam has advocated in partnership with the National Space Society. Both China, India, and Japan are interested in the prospects of space solar power and the Chinese have recently devoted more resources to this area. Bold US leadership can create an expansion of the commercial satellite industry from a $200B plus industry to a Multi-Trillion dollar industry over the next several decades that can provide clean energy to the entire world, stop fossil fueled climate change, provide enough energy for continued global economic growth, continue the global rise in living standards, eliminate the scarcity of fresh water supplies, and provide the economic resources to reduce environmental destruction and the human environmental footprint.

VIII Restore the Vigor of the Space Exploration Program and Science Mission Directorate
The NASA Science Mission Directorate has suffered a slow down in the tempo of it new missions, eliminated new lunar initiatives, and struggled to maintain its position as the crown jewel in the scientific achievements of the United States. With much reduced launch costs this situation can be reversed.

NASA can also increase its use of smaller cube satellite secondary launch missions to permit a new generation of young scientists to initiate a new wave of solar system explanation. New solar electric and ion propulsion technologies will continue to lower costs because many of these missions will have lower mass, lower volume, lower power, and lower temperature capabilities than the older Billion dollar “Christmas tree” deep space missions. The New Space Technology Mission Directorate will provide the technological innovations to bring a this new generation of spacecraft and explorers into action also with advanced laser optical communications. A “GPS” system for cisluanr space is another major international initiative that will provide the US with another position of strong leadership.
A renewed focus on international collaboration with Earth Observations and Environmental Protection systems is another area where the next President can strengthen US leadership and restore its championship of the environmental movement with its earth science initiatives and funding again benefitting from smaller and less expensive spacecraft systems.

This is another area where international collaborations will also make a renewed wave of exploration more affordable and collaborative. Many nations that previously could not afford to participate will now be able have a seat at the table and to collaborate with the US Universities and young scientists. The NASA Lunar Science Institute with its several international partnerships can be a leading edge in this program that builds global partners and a new generation of young space scientists from around the world. With ts new name Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute can be the tip of spear in this regard in partnership.
The NASA Space Grant network in all the states of the Union can be used to distribute these mission opportunities and resources with a reinvigorated NASA Space Grant Program that benefits from the competitive awards to the entrepreneurial style of small university based teams. GLXP teams from Carnegie Mellon (Astrobotic) and Penn State (Penn State Lunar lions) are good examples of this model.These teams can also be well aligned with the STMD SBIR and TTR programs for commercialization of new technologies and applications.

IX Space Tourism
The next President will see an expansion of the commercial manned suborbital launch industry. Virgin Galactic is most likely to be the first such commercial service starting in late 2014 or early 2015 if the FAA certification process proceeds apace. Stratolaunch, Blue Origin, and X-Cor are also pushing to join Virgin Galactic in the space tourism industry. The next administration should provide a climate to insure that the place the global public can get into space is in the United States.

X Space Debris and Salvage
Hillary Clinton can also shape the future of the global space industry by providing a strong
international initiative on the limitation of space debris and the initiation of a new international program to salvage dead satellites and reuse their metals as the low hanging fruit of demonstrating the use of in situ resources. Other technical means such as use of in-space and or ground lasers to deorbit
space debris should be negotiated with transparent protocols and technology so that the problems of “dual use” do not prevent tackling and solving this impediment to the safety and security of space operations and facilities.

Summary
I have outlined the opportunities for Hillary Clinton as a candidate and as a successor to President Obama in US Space Policy. The same program could be adapted by Republican candidates to their own political advantage. If Hillary does not take an activist position on space then the Republicans could use these as wedge issues in their own campaigns.

Thus far the Republicans have weakened their appeal with conventional pork barrel programs such as the SLS (the genetic successor to the Constellation Ares V Program ) which is financially unsustainable at $ 2 Billion a pop, as the last Augustine Commission clearly reported in 2009.
They have weakened the NASA budget for commercial crew programs which has delayed the advent of US Companies in providing manned access to the ISS by 2015 to 2017 at the earliest. This delay has continued to subsidize the Russians as a result and to the tune of $400Million annually. Those making mindless budget cuts have practiced a false economy which is destructive of both our short and long term national interests and international space leadership position.
In the 2012 Republican primary race Mitt Romney laughed at the space advocacy of Newt Gingrich, a long time supporter of the US Space Program. Mitt no doubt is not laughing now.

The Republicans under both Bush Presidents did support a return to the Moon and should do so now using all the cost effective new tools at our disposals and with our strong ISS partners and invitations to new partners such as Indian, Korea, Brazil, and Mexico. Their support of the NASA manned space monopoly is inconsistent with the Republican advertised philosophy of private enterprise and entrepreneurial initiatives and running against the strong tide of well known private entrepreneurs Elon Mush, George Allen, Jeff Bezos, Sergei Brin, among others. It is unclear why the Republicans have not identified these investors as “the smart money” in contrast with the over time and over budget government NASA managed systems which they supposedly decry.

Obama’s upside down priorities for asteroid missions and Mars First missions have damaged our credibility with our closest partners and made them question our judgement and our leadership. This has provided the Chinese with a position from which they can establish their own international leadership by building their own international space station by even as we have discussed dumping the ISS in the Ocean about the same time they finish their first modest station in 2020. The symbolism of one power on the way up and the other on the way down could not be clearer. The substance of US space policy could be one further extending US comprehensive space leadership with the new Presidential leadership space policies that are described above.

President Lyndon Johnson said, ”To be first in Space is to be First.” It was true then and it is more true now. The protection of the Earth, the provision of clean energy and the development of space energy resources offer the world a reprieve from mutual assured environmental destruction from the unbridled growth of the use of fossil fuels and limited terrestrial resources. The logic of wars based on zero-sum games for energy and other material resources can be eliminated by peaceful and collaborative expansion of the Earth- Moon economy and the use of the resources of the inner solar system asteroids. The US public is fed-up with a program of deficits, economic decline, lost employment and indebtedness. It will respond positively to a program of growth that rejects a prospective economic defeat from a race to the bottom international competition with cheap labor working under conditions of economic slavery and thoughtless depletion of scarce resources. A new President from either party can come out swinging with a hopeful and progressive space program that regains the global economic initiative for the US. This must provide for positive collaborations with the other leading global economies in a global win-win on energy supplies, environmental protection, global economic growth, and expansion of the space economy. It is entirely speculative on my part whether Hillary Clinton will see and seize these opportunities or whether a Republican will alternatively do so. I can hope they all campaign with this in mind in 2016.

January 2014 in the To The Stars International Quarterly