White House Protest Corps

Anniversary of Chernobyl Meltdown: Let’s make nuke accidents a thing of the past.
April 24, 2010, 7:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bulletin from the cause: No Nukes- Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Go to Cause

Posted By: No Nukes Nirs
To: Members in No Nukes- Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Help Us Respond to Senate Climate Bill Release Monday–Chernobyl Day



April 22, 2010

Today, of course, is Earth Day. And what better Earth Day reading than an op-ed from Earth Day’s founder, Denis Hayes, on why Earth Day and new nuclear reactors don’t mix! Check it out here.

Monday, April 26, is the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. Several studies have found that tens of thousands of people died as a result of that accident. Here are links to two of them: the TORCH report – http://www.nirs.org/c20/torch.pdf commissioned by Greens in the European Parliament, and a study signed by some 200 scientists – http://www.nirs.org/c20/chernobylhealthreportgp.pdf commissioned by Greenpeace. What more objectionable timing could there be for release of a Senate “climate bill” that will call for vastly increased government support for new nuclear reactors?!!

We are planning to issue a press statement early Monday afternoon after the bill is released, and we’d like to show the broadest possible opposition to this bill. If you represent an environmental or safe energy organization, religious, peace, consumer or other type of group, or a small business (there are no big businesses on this list!) and would like to sign on to such a statement, please let us know.

We don’t want the release to get out yet, so if you’d like to see the draft release first, please e-mail us at nirsnet@nirs.org and we’ll send you a copy of the draft. Please include your name, city, state, and organization (please, organizations only, no individuals).

We’re also looking for quotes from grassroots activists to add to the release; we’ll pick two or three and add to the national release. Suggestions for improvement of the draft release are also welcome.

We’re especially looking for quotes from groups in Massachusetts, Connecticut and South Carolina–the home states of Sens. Kerry, Lieberman and Graham, who are the bill’s sponsors.

In addition, we ask everyone who signs the statement to release the final version to your local media on Monday, April 26, with your local contact information and a quote from you added. We will get a copy of the final release to you as early as we can on Monday for your distribution.

We need to show the Senate and the nation that while we need a strong climate bill, this isn’t it. And we won’t accept a taxpayer-funded revival of nuclear power, offshore oil drilling and billions of dollars for the illusion of “clean coal” as the price–even more so when the climate part of the bill is embarrassingly weak. Indeed, from what we know of this bill, it is simply business-as-usual–a taxpayer giveaway to giant nuclear and other energy corporations wrapped up in the guise of a climate solution. It’s greenwashing taken to an extreme.

We haven’t yet seen the exact language of the bill, so you’ll have to take us somewhat on trust. We won’t be able to send you the final copy of the statement before it goes out–we may need to adjust it a little depending on that exact language.

But here is a Reuters report on some of what is expected to be in the bill:

“– A 17 percent reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, from 2005 levels, would be the goal. Many scientists think that is insufficient to keep global temperatures from rising a dangerous 2 degrees Celsius (3.5 F) above pre-industrial times. The bill hopes to achieve around 80 percent reductions by 2050.

— The Environmental Protection Agency would be prohibited from regulating carbon dioxide emissions. State and regional “cap and trade” programs to reduce carbon pollution would be terminated. States could still impose energy-efficiency standards and renewable energy standards.

— Electric power utilities would be put under a cap and trade program, starting in 2012, to force them to reduce carbon emissions. Cap and trade forces a reduction in carbon pollution over the years and required pollution permits could be traded on a regulated market. Still unclear is how the pollution permits would be allocated to utilities and whether all of them would initially be given away for free or whether some would be sold.

The legislation is expected to avoid the term “cap and trade,” in favor of something more descriptive, possibly “pollution reduction targets.”

— Domestic and international “offsets” would be allowed to help companies achieve pollution-reduction goals. Instead of reducing some of their smokestack emissions, they could invest in projects that aim to cut emissions, such as saving forests. More details on the number and type of offsets were unknown.

— Additional government loan guarantees, possibly $54 billion, to encourage the nuclear power industry to expand its capacity. But it was unclear whether new nuclear power would be counted in a new initiative requiring utilities to use “renewable” energy.

— More government funds to help the coal industry develop clean technology, such as “carbon capture and sequestration.” Last month, $10 billion was included in one draft, but changes were more recently made and details were not available.

— An expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling in parts of Alaska and the East, excluding the Northeast. There’s been a fight over whether states would share some of the federal revenues generated from the new drilling, with some senators vehemently opposed, either because they are against expanded drilling or they come from non-coastal states.”

So again, if you’d like to sign on to a grassroots statement against this bill (and/or if you’d like to see the draft release), please let us know asap by e-mailing nirsnet@nirs.org. Please include your name, city, state, and organization (please, organizations only, no individuals). Let’s show that support for real climate solutions, not more nuclear power, oil and coal, runs broad and deep across the entire country!

Individuals: you’re not left out, we will have a new action on Monday!

Look for us then!

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

P.S., As a great example of what can happen when we all work together, yesterday NIRS and some 20 other groups released a new report exposing a design flaw in the Westinghouse AP-1000 reactor design–and got a lot of media coverage. You can find out more on the front page of our website, http://www.nirs.org .


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