December 29, 2010 Energy: America’s Next Space Race READ NOW.
The Michigan US Senate race includes over half-a-dozen Republicans vying for Democrat incumbent Debbie Stabenow’s long-held seat, but only one has LENR on their platform.
Former Juvenile Court Judge Randy Hekman states his energy policy on the campaign website www.RandyHekman2012.com:
8. Energy: The simple reality is that our economy depends on energy derived from coal, oil and natural gas to function. Energy exploration – mining and drilling – provide needed jobs and the energy these industries produce keep our economy moving. We need to end the policies that subsidize inefficient sources of energy such as ethanol, wind and geothermal. The best alternative energy program is Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR). We must work to develop this energy program.
Randy Hekman, candidate for US Senate from Michigan
Randy Hekman has a long history of association with LENR science. He formed his own company in 1996 to provide energy research and consultation for LENR.
In 2004, along with Dr. Peter Hagelstein, Dr. Michael McKubre, Dr. Talbot Chubb, and Professor David J. Nagel, Mr. Hekman helped to prepare the report presented at the Department of Energy Review of the field that sought funding for research. The results of that Review, and a critique of the issues related to the Department of Energy and LENR, are compiled by Jed Rothwell here.
Mr. Hekman prefers the term LENR to ‘cold fusion’ saying that though the process is nuclear, it “involves neither fusion nor fission.” In addition, he says,
“Because of its nature, LENR does not require heavy shielding nor does it produce radioactive waste. It offers incredible potential to provide inexpensive and safe energy for our nation, and a boost to our economy.”
We sent Mr. Hekman a few questions about his experiences with LENR and here are his responses.
Q&A with Candidate Randy Hekman
CFN You are running for the US Senate seat from Michigan and have publicly stated support for LENR science and technology. What is the response when you discuss new energy?
RH I have spoken to many people in our state and elsewhere about LENR over the past 14 years that I have been working full or part time in this field. When I am given a full opportunity to explain how LENR works, I find people are supportive. The ultimate proof, however, will be when people become willing to invest major dollars in the technology. So far, this has eluded us.
CFN You believe that coal, oil and natural gas are still important. What do you see as the role of fossil fuels in the economy?
RH More than 1.7 trillion barrels of crude oil (these are proven reserves) can be found in the 50 states of our nation, plus enormous amounts of natural gas and coal. Until we get LENR on stream, we will need to use these resources to allow our economy to recover from the malaise it is in. But I firmly believe that LENR technology is the means of meeting the world’s energy needs into the future. It is safe, inexpensive, virtually inexhaustible, and causes no environmental damage. In fact, it can be used to convert spent fission fuel into benign elements.
CFN The BP/Horizon oil catastrophe caused damage to both the economy and environment, and the federal response was weak. As a member of Senate, how would you have responded differently?
RH The damage to the environment was significant at the time and costly to remediate, but not for long term. Human beings will at times make mistakes. We must do all in our power to minimize the likelihood and severity of mistakes, but deal with life when mistakes occur and go on. I am not overly put out by the federal government’s response except their reluctance to open up exploration more quickly.
CFN You state that “We need to end the policies that subsidize inefficient sources of energy such as ethanol, wind and geothermal.” Why do you call these sources of energy ‘inefficient’?
RH Without government subsidies, these approaches to alternate energy could not work. Government has a very poor record of picking winners and losers. Let market forces do their thing to bring the winners to the top and losers off the scale. LENR can become a powerhouse because it is good, not because government feeds it with resources.
CFN Why do you call Low Energy Nuclear Reactions LENR the ‘best alternative energy program’?
RH I am totally convinced that LENR is an energy source that is virtually limitless and can be used in small and very large applications safely and durably. I have studied it long enough to become totally convinced it is real and the wave of the future.
CFN In 2004, you were part of a group that presented a survey of the field of condensed matter nuclear science to the Department of Energy in a bid to include LENR science in their energy research funding mix. How would you characterize the outcome?
RH I was a part of that group. I was there when our group made its presentations to the panel of experts. The panel was impressed, as they should have been, with a description of the data supporting LENR experiments. But they were rolling their eyes when our team tried to describe the theories behind the data. We tried to say it was “cold fusion.” I am totally convinced it is neither fusion nor fission, but neutron-catalyzed nuclear reactions utilizing the weak force rather than the strong force.
CFN Recent demonstrations of Andrea A. Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer and announcements of other products planned for release next year by researchers in Greece and Italy have generated alot of excitement from the public, as well as some mainstream press. What changes, if any, have you noticed in the public awareness as these technologies are being developed.
RH I agree there has been growing news on the subject, but I am VERY skeptical of Mr. Rossi’s work, based on his excessive secrecy and his sketchy background. On the other hand, however, more and more legitimate scientists are following with great interest the work of Lewis Larsen and his partner, Allan Widom. I feel they accurately explain this phenomenon.
CFN Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently mentioned cold fusion in an interview with the Washington Examiner. What do think brought cold fusion to his attention? Are you aware of any other political candidate who supports condensed matter nuclear science?
RH I’m sorry, but I can’t answer your question about Mitt. And no, I don’t know of others who support it.
CFN What do you see on the new energy front moving forward into 2012?
RH I’m optimistic that we will see great breakthroughs in people’s acceptance and, frankly, we need it!