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Thursday
May132010

The need to speak truth to wind power?!

In a betrayal of green energy advocates across the U.S., the American Wind Energy Association joined with the Nuclear Energy Institute for a joint press conference at the National Press Club on May 12th. AWEA CEO Denise Bode joined with the NEI front group CASEnergy’s co-leaders Patrick Moore and Christie Todd-Whitman (the subjects of excellent exposes by Source Watch). The press conference, ironically, was held at the very same time that the Kerry-Lieberman “American Power Act” was unveiled on Capitol Hill, prioritizing nuclear power -- while giving wind power short shrift -- as a "climate solution." To most people, wind and nuclear would seem quite the odd partnership. In fact, a reporter asked Bode: aren't the wind and nuclear power industries competitors? Bode's response evaded the merit of the question, refusing to acknowledge that if atomic energy expands, wind power will be crowded out. Incredibly, Bode -- the main spokesperson for the wind industry in the U.S. -- referred to wind power as "intermittent," despite the clearly proven capability of such storage mechanisms as compressed air to solve the intermittency challenge. She even joked about how little market penetration wind has in the U.S. electricity sector, while refusing to acknowledge that the nuclear power industry's lobbying prowess helps keep that so.  But a quick scan of the AWEA corporate membership list -- as well as some of the leadership on its board of directors, including its President-Elect from atomic reactor vendor General Electric -- begins to explain why and how the nuclear power industry wields such undue influence on AWEA. To paraphrase Congressman Markey, Orwell is turning so fast in his grave, he should be hooked up as a turbo-generator to the electric grid! What can be done? How about contacting AWEA to inform its CEO that nuclear power is not  clean and safe, nor is it secure, affordable, reliable, independent from foreign suppliers, or deployable in time to make any difference toward the climate crisis. Phone AWEA at (202) 383-2500, email AWEA's Executive Assistant to the CEO, Ellen Carey, at ecarey@awea.org, and email AWEA's Chief Operating Officer, Britt Theismann, at btheismann@awea.org.

Wednesday
May122010

Kerry-Lieberman "climate" bill represents massive taxpayer giveaway to dirty, dangerous and expensive energy industries

Used with artist's permission. See http://davies.lohudblogs.com/The Kerry-Lieberman "American Power Act" released today would massively subsidize the expansion of the atomic energy industry, at taxpayer financial risk and direct expense. It would similarly benefit the offshore oil drilling industry, despite the catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the coal industry, despite the recent deadly mine explosion in West Virginia. As pointed out by the Energy Collective, the bill clearly prioritizes nuclear energy's expansion, while renewables and efficiency seem to be a mere afterthought. As reported by Democracy Now!, numerous environmental groups expressed immediate opposition. Beyond Nuclear objected, as did other groups such as NIRS (on behalf of a coalition of 200 organizations), Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and Greenpeace. Public Citizen spoke out against the bill, providing a section by section analysis. The Center for Biological Diversity called the bill "a disaster for our climate and planet," decrying the subsidies for "dangerous and costly nuclear energy." You know something is seriously wrong when the Nuclear Energy Institute "applauds" the Kerry-Lieberman bill, while licking its chops in hopes of gobbling up a large part of the $1.5 trillion investment NEI says is needed "over the next 20 years to meet rising electricity demand and upgrade our electric grid," much of which could well come in the form of fedearl subsidies, risky loan guarantees, tax incentives, short cuts on safety, and other taxpayer giveaways. Call your U.S. Senators right away via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to oppose this dirty, dangerous and expensive energy industry subsidy bill, and to support real climate protection legislation in its place.

Tuesday
May112010

Kerry-Lieberman "climate bill" still supports offshore oil drilling and atomic energy

Used with permission of politicalcartoons.comThe Kerry-Lieberman Senate "climate" bill (Graham has sort of-kind of withdrawn his support for now), to be unveiled on May 12th, incredibly still supports an expansion of offshore oil drilling, despite the still-unfolding BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. It also supports unlimited  loan guarantees for the buildling of new atomic reactors and uranium enrichment facilities, as well as additional givewaways to the nuclear power industry. One thing the bill does not do, despite its name and supposed intent, is adequately protect the climate. Phone your Senators via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to oppose taxpayer-backed subsidies, tax incentives, financial risks, and other giveaways to the already filthy rich dirty energy industries under the guise of a "climate" bill. Then, phone the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111: urge that President Obama support truly clean, safe, and affordable energy efficiency and renewable sources like wind and solar, rather than dirty, dangerous and expensive fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Thursday
May062010

Is the proposal for new reactors in Georgia environmental racism?

Bruce Dixon, co-founder of the Black Agenda Report, has an excellent article on the Huffington Post as well as the BAR Web site regarding the decision to award the first $8 billion in federal loan guarantees to the construction of two new reactors in a poor black community in Georgia that does not want the plant. As Dixon notes: "The Obama administration likes to call it "safe nuclear energy," often in the same breath as "clean coal." Both are colossal and equally transparent lies." And putting the lie to the nukes-will-bring-you-wealth myth, Dixon writes: "If leaky civilian and military nukes really are the job-creating answers to poverty, shouldn't Burke County, GA be one of the wealthiest, instead of the poorest places east of the Mississippi 25 years after its first civilian nukes, and six decades after neighboring towns, some of them all black on the South Carolina side of the river, were bulldozed to create the Savannah River nuclear weapons facility?"

Thursday
May062010

Wind power - and soon solar - outpace nuclear energy in the U.S.

According to the International Energy Agency nuclear power can only reduce worldwide emissions of CO2 by 6% by 2050…..as opposed to 54% and 21% respectively for the energy savings and renewable energy.That's why the U.S. needs to be the leader in the promotion and development of sustainable energy, and reject nuclear power. This agenda is backed by two new analyses.

In a recent report by the US Energy Information Administration, the agency found that renewable energy represented 11% of American production in 2009, more than nuclear energy.  With 1210 mw of renewable energy installed, the total capacity added in 2009 reaches 4,000 mw. The United States is now the largest producer of wind energy in the world, ahead of Germany, according to the GWEC (Global Wind Energy Council), with a total capacity of 25,170 mw as opposed to 23,900 mw for Germany.  But remarkably the United States should this year also take the lead in the solar energy sector.  The American production of wind-energy electricity made possible a saving of 54 million tons of CO2 in 2009, reducing the carbon emission in the electricity sector by 2%, or the equivalent of the removal of 9 million cars, stated the AWAE. Read more.