Acton Institute Powerblog

Beyond Petroleum

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Some may recall that before BP’s recent disaster (public relations and otherwise), there was a period of rebranding the company from ‘British Petroleum’ to ‘Beyond Petroleum.’

Beyond Petroleum

I’ve long argued that the opportunities afforded us by the use of fossil fuels are best spent seeking long-term sustainable and reliable sources of energy. These sources must include, and indeed in the nearer term be largely based upon, nuclear energy.

Two recent items underscore this: 1) the question of waste and what to do about it (HT); and 2) what waste actually is and is not. Says Hillsdale College econ prof Gary Wolfram, “95 percent of the used nuclear fuel could be recycled.”

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • Brett Little

    I agree. We should use the fossil fuels we have now to outline a clear path of using sustainable energy. As for Nuclear, if it can be recycled we should recycled is asap, i am sure it would cut several costs. Otherwise i think the overall goal in energy strategy should be a combination of solar, wind, geothermal technology mixed with massive efficiency improvements, better city planning and behavioral changes in energy use. I think those all done right together will be much more effective, less costly and less dangerous then more nuclear.

  • Roger McKinney

    There isn’t much that’s new in the way of energy. The options we have today are pretty much the same options we had in 1973. All we are waiting for is the economics to become right. When oil becomes expensive enough, all of the other options will become more attractive and we will switch to them. From my POV, hydrogen and nuclear appear to be the best options. It’s pretty hard to fly a jetliner on solar or wind power.