January 13, 2150
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Yellowstone Geothermal Tap situated deep inside the Yellowstone Caldera, is running out of energy. Providing power for the entire western half of the country, the Tap converts the heat of molten magma directly into electricity. Experts are now saying that the tremendous energy demands of the last fifty years have cooled the upper magma chamber, reducing the efficiency of the technology. Unless the Tap is moved deeper into the crust to access other, still-active magma pools, it’s feared that the Tap will have to be shut down in another fifteen to twenty years. The Yellowstone Geotap Commission, meantime, claims it cannot afford the financial burden of drilling deeper or replacing fifty-year-old equipment without additional funds from Washington. As funding for the Tap has seen a drop in poll numbers these last few months, there is little support in Congress for more money. With Luna supplying cheap fuel for the country’s many fusion reactors, there is some question whether the Tap will continue to be economically viable. It may well be that the largest Geothermal Tap in the world may soon be relegated to the history books.
(c) 2015 Thomas F. Brown