Our standard of living is at risk because of our dependence on imported oil.  Fusion power using the D-D reaction is the ultimate energy source because the supply of deuterium fuel in the oceans is inexhaustible.  Every gallon of water has the potential of producing the equivalent of burning 300 gallons of gasoline.  The Earth has 326 million trillion gallons of water so the total equivalent energy is ~100 trillion trillion gallons of gasoline if all the Earth's D were burned in a fusion reactor.  The world is consuming about 84 million barrels of oil a day in 2008.  This is roughly equivalent to (84e6 barrels/day)(40 gal/barrel)(365 days/year) = ~1.5 trillion gallons of gasoline per year.  This means that the Earth's D-D energy could last at least 50 trillion years at current consumption rates.  Since the Earth is only expected to last another 4 billion years, we could increase energy consumption per person more than 10,000 times the current consumption rate and still have energy left over at the end of the world 4 billion years from now.  These numbers show why we should be spending more money on D-D fusion R&D.  Unfortunately nearly all the R&D funding for this type of research was cut in the 2008 US budget.

Gene Preston