Emissions to the environment have been the principal focus of energy impact studies. Other significant impacts such as land disturbance and population displacement together with their economic and social implications are less emphasized. Major impacts such as depletion of natural resources and large fuel and transport requirements that influence a wide range of areas including occupational and public safety as well as national transport systems are generally ignored.
If Saint Lucie County were to invest in renewable power supplies, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, the outcome would be depressing. These types of energies take extensive areas of land mass, produce much noise, and damage the ecosystem. Putting all that aside, they're also very ureliable in times of a drought, dead wind, etc.
Fossil fuels can have significant damaging impacts locally, regionally and globally. Hydroelectric, while relatively kind to the atmosphere, can be much less considerate to the earth and its inhabitants both locally and regionally. Nuclear power under normal operation is benign to the atmosphere and to the earth and its inhabitants locally, regionally and globally.
President George Bush's National Energy Policy explicitly supports expansion of nuclear power, in contrast to the policies of previous presidential administrations. The primary reasons for the shift in opinion stem from concerns for the environment and interest in enhancing national energy self-sufficiency. At the moment, nuclear and hydroelectric power are the only technologies that can generate large amounts of energy without emitting copious greenhouses gases. Although dams may initially seem more appealing than nuclear reactors, hydroelectric power plants are impractical in the many regions that lack adequate sources of flowing water. That means nuclear power stands alone as a practical and environmentally friendly resource that is not tied to local geography.