Many areas of the United States are already short of electrical generating capacity. Brownouts, situations in which voltage has to be reduced causing lights to dim and motors to run slow, have been necessary in several situations. In other cases, utilities have had to appeal for reduced usage, such as abstaining from use of air conditioners and clothes dryers or asking that nonessential commercial operations be shut down. In December 1989 there were complete blackouts in sections of Florida and in Houston, Texas. The situation is rapidly getting worse as our electricity consumption increases much more rapidly than the generating capacity needed to provide for it. We will soon have no choice but to launch into a large program of new power plant construction.
With minor exceptions, these new plants will have to be powered by coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear fuels. There are lots of good reasons for