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Nuclear Power

Nuclear power cannot address climate change effectively or in time. Reactors have long, unpredictable construction times are expensive - at least $12 billion or higher per reactor. Furthermore, reactors are sitting-duck targets vulnerable to attack and routinely release - as well as leak - radioactivity. There is so solution to the problem of radioactive waste.

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Thursday
Jan192017

Urge your two U.S. Senators to block former Texas governor Rick Perry's confirmation as Energy Secretary, given his blatant conflict of interest regarding Waste Control Specialists (WCS) radioactive waste dump

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has announced that its nomination hearing to consider confirmation of former Texas governor Rick Perry for Energy Secretary will begin at 10am Eastern on Thursday, January 19th. (See Beyond Nuclear's press release re: Perry's ENR confirmation hearing.)

In addition to Rick Perry wanting to eliminate the Department of Energy (if only he could recall its name!), being out of his depth on nuclear weapons issues, and until just days ago his blatant conflict re: the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), there is also his conflict re: the environmental injustice of the WCS radioactive waste dump. WCS is located in Andrews County, Texas, which -- along with its immediately adjacent neighbors across the border in New Mexico -- raises serious environmental justice concerns, given the large Latin American population, as well as low income residents (see background info. below).

TAKE ACTION:

ASAP, please
urge your two U.S. Senators to do everything in their power to block Rick Perry's confirmation as Energy Secretary.

Call both of your U.S. Senators during normal business hours, via the U.S. Capitol switchboard, at (202) 224-3121.

 

Or phone them via their in-district phone numbers (thanks to the Center for Biological Diversity for the link to the phone numbers chart!)

Here is a sample script you can use, or adapt:

Hi, my name is ____ , and I'm from [City, State]. I am calling to ask you to oppose Rick Perry as Energy Secretary.  He has a blatant conflict of interest regarding the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) radioactive waste dump in Texas. WCS's owner, Harold Simmons, a Dallas billionaire, was also a top campaign contributor to Rick Perry. Now WCS is seeking billions of taxpayer dollars from the Department of Energy to open a centralized interim storage site for high-level radioactive waste, all at public liability.”


You can also email or fax your U.S. Senators at any time. Look up their direct contact info. at their websites, listed here.

[Another way to oppose Rick Perry's confirmation as Energy Secretary is by signing Food & Water Watch's petition. You can also sign FOE's petition.]

If your U.S. Senator is a Member on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, all the better -- they can stop Perry's confirmation in committee, so the matter never even reaches the Senate floor!

The following states have a Member on the ENR Committee: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Colorado; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Louisiana; Maine; Michigan; Minnesota; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; North Dakota; Ohio; Oregon; Tennessee; Utah; Vermont; Washington; West Virginia; Wyoming. See the list of Members on the ENR Committee, and click on their link to find their specific contact info.

In addition, even if your state does not have a U.S. Senator on the ENR Committee, you can still urge folks you know in those states to contact their own U.S. Senator who is!  Please forward this alert to them, and urge them to contact their U.S. Senator serving on ENR, to block Rick Perry's confirmation in committee. (Also, Sen. Schumer of NY could be contacted, as Democratic Leader of the U.S. Senate, to rally his caucus, to block the confirmation!)

Urge your U.S. Senator on the ENR Committee to directly question Rick Perry about this blatant conflict of interest during Thursday's hearing. (If your Senator is not on the ENR Committee, urge them to contact their colleagues on the Committee, and request that this question be asked during the hearing.)

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON RICK PERRY'S CONFLICT RE: WCS  RADIOACTIVE WASTE DUMP:


As Texas governor, Rick Perry did all he could to advance the interests of the "low-level" radioactive waste dump called Waste Control Specialists (WCS), LLC in Andrews County, Texas. WCS was owned by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, infamous as the "King of Superfund Sites" and a "most evil genius." Simmons was also a top campaign contributor to Rick Perry (as well as other Republicans and Conservatives nationwide).

At Counterpunch, Beyond Nuclear has published an exposé entitled "Radioactive Waste is Good for You, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Rick Perry as Energy Secretary."

Although Harold Simmons died in late 2013, his family still owns WCS. In 2014, Perry went so far as to travel to West Texas, promoting high-level radioactive waste storage in the area, as reported by the Texas Observer. This is in fact WCS's next major expansion plan, to contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to store commercial irradiated nuclear fuel from across the U.S. as a consolidated or centralized interim storage (CIS) site. In April 2016, WCS applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its license, a proceeding that is now intensifying, despite an environmental coalition's assertion that the application violates the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as Amended (see coalition letter to NRC, and press release).

WCS stands to make billions of dollars, paid for by U.S. taxpayers, just during the construction and operations phases alone. If something goes wrong (and WCS is located either adjacent to or immediately above the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest in North America, providing vital drinking and irrigation water for numerous Great Plains states from Texas to South Dakota), U.S. taxpayers would hold full, unlimited liability.

If opened, the WCS CIS facility would launch unprecedented numbers of high-level radioactive waste shipments, through most states. These high-risk "Mobile Chernobyls" would be mostly rail shipments, although even then this could involve a large number of barge shipments on waterways, including seacoasts, rivers, and the Great Lakes. Heavy haul truck shipments on roads could also be involved (as could Legal Weight Truck shipments on nationwide interstate highways, if WCS simply gets a rubber-stamped license amendment from NRC at some future date).

Centralized interim surface storage makes no sense -- the wastes would have to be moved to a deep geologic repository elsewhere someday anyway, thus multiplying transport risks. But it also faces the real risk of becoming a de facto permanent parking lot dump.

A lesson (that should have been!) learned from the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, is that collusion between nuclear safety regulators, the nuclear industry, and government officials is very dangerous. The Japanese Parliament, in its first ever independent investigation published in 2012, concluded that the root cause of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe was just such collusion.

Here, Rick Perry is the embodiment of just such collusion, in the form of radioactive crony capitalism, plutocratic pay-to-play campaign contributions, and revolving door power politics and get-rich-quick-at-taxpayer-expense schemes. Figuratively speaking, as governor of Texas, when the WCS owner, and a major campaign contributor to Rick Perry, said Jump!, Gov. Perry effectively said How High?! Now, as Energy Secretary, Rick Perry could well sign a contract with WCS -- still owned by Harold Simmons' family -- costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars in terms of construction and operation costs, or an unlimited amount, if something goes wrong (taxpayers would bear full liability).

Urge both your U.S. Senators to block Rick Perry's confirmation as Energy Secretary, due to such a blatant conflict of interest! Please forward this action alert far and wide!

Tuesday
Jan172017

Quick signature needed: Defend the EPA

Action alert sent by Ben Schreiber of FOE. (Please note that EPA has wide ranging oversight on nuclear power, radioactive waste, and radiation/health matters. As but a couple examples: EPA determines Protective Action Guidelines (PAGs) for hazardous ionizing radioactivity in the environment and food, in the event of a nuclear disaster; and EPA sets the radiation release regulations at the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump in Nevada.)

Scott Pruitt's confirmation hearings in the Senate start TOMORROW. We still don't have your signature to Senator Carper pushing him to block Pruitt's nomination to lead the EPA.

We're running out of time! Add your name now to stop Pruitt, a climate denier and anti-environmental extremist, from leading the EPA.

Donald Trump picked Scott Pruitt -- a climate denier and Big Oil crony -- to lead the EPA.

Pruitt is openly hostile to the EPA’s mission. He would be the most anti-environmental EPA Administrator in history. And he’s spent his career suing the agency.

Pruitt’s confirmation hearings in the Senate start in TWO DAYS. Senator Carper -- the ranking Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee -- might break ranks and vote for him. So we need your help to pull out all the stops and make sure he stands up for our planet and blocks Pruitt’s nomination!

Tell Senator Carper: Stop Scott Pruitt from dismantling the EPA!

 

Scott Pruitt has been Oklahoma’s Attorney General since 2011. He used that position to impede the very agency he’s now charged with leading.

He boasted that he “led the charge … against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their leadership’s activist agenda.”

He has sued the EPA multiple times to roll back the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Water Rule. 

And he literally copied an anti-EPA letter sent to him by Big Oil lobbyists, pasted it onto government stationery, and sent it to Washington with his signature.

Tell Senator Carper to stop an anti-environmental extremist from being in charge of the EPA!

 

 

It’s no secret why Pruitt has been so hostile to the EPA. He’s received nearly $315,000 in political contributions from fossil fuel industries. And while leading the Republican Attorneys General Association, he raised at least $3.5 million from fossil fuel interests.

We cannot afford to let Scott Pruitt have this job. Our bedrock environmental protections are at stake. Unless Senator Carper fights back, we’ll have no more Clean Power Plan. No more methane rules. And our environmental policy could be dictated by the oil industry at the expense of the American people.

Tell Senator Carper that his vote is key to stopping Scott Pruitt from destroying our planet!

Standing with you,
Ben Schreiber,
Senior political strategist,
Friends of the Earth
 

 

Tuesday
Jan172017

Tomorrow: Stop a Polluter Puppet from Leading the EPA

Action alert sent by Deirdre Shelly at 350.org. (Please note that EPA has wide ranging oversight on nuclear power, radioactive waste, and radiation/health matters. As but a couple examples: EPA determines Protective Action Guidelines (PAGs) for hazardous ionizing radioactivity in the environment and food, in the event of a nuclear disaster; and EPA sets the radiation release regulations at the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump in Nevada.) 

Friends,

Donald Trump wants a climate change denier and friend of Big Oil running the EPA.

The President-elect has appointed Scott Pruitt, a man who’s built his career attacking and undermining the very agency he is set to run. As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Pruitt proved himself a puppet of the fossil fuel industry: he formed a secret alliance with oil and coal companies to gut our environmental regulations and defended ExxonMobil’s climate cover-up.

On Wednesday, the US Senate will hold a confirmation hearing for Pruitt. We’re planning a rally outside the hearing to send the message that we oppose Trump's radical anti-science, pro-fossil fuel nominee. A big action just before the hearing can help set the tone for press coverage, and show Senators that there’s vocal support for their opposition to Pruitt.

Can you join us in DC on Wednesday for a rally to #StopPruitt?

Here are the details:

What: #StopPruitt Rally. A rally outside the Senate confirmation hearing for climate denier Scott Pruitt.

Who: 350.org, the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch and area climate activists.

Where: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Constitution Ave NE & 1st St NE.

When: Wednesday, January 18th, 9:15 AM.

Click here to RSVP to the event on Facebook.

On Wednesday morning, we will gather outside the Senate office building where Pruitt’s hearing is being held. We’ll have signs, banners and a few speakers, and need a big crowd that’s ready to make some noise. When we gathered like this ahead of Rex Tillerson’s hearing, we got good press coverage and encouraged Senators to ask hard questions.

Over the past month, our movement has taken to the streets to resist Trump’s Climate Denier Cabinet. We made thousands of calls to our Senators, held rallies outside Senate offices across the country and mobilized outside Rex Tillerson’s hearing for Secretary of State. On Wednesday, let’s keep up the fight.

See you in the streets,

Deirdre

Monday
Jan162017

Resist Trump Network: Action of the Day [re: Sessions for AG]

Action Alert from Resist Trump Network. Please note that the U.S. Attorney General has broad ranging oversight on nuclear power, radioactive waste, and radiation/health matters. As but one timely example: Beyond Nuclear et al. are challenging unprecedented highly radioactive waste truck shipments from Chalk River, Ontario, Canada to Savannah River Site, South Carolina, U.S.A. Although Beyond Nuclear et al.' lawsuit is against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOJ), the U.S. Department of Justice is arguing the case on behalf of DOE. The U.S. Attorney General (AG) runs the DOJ. In fact, most legal matters, involving any federal agency, will very likely involve the AG to some extent, including on nuclear matters. And as the alert makes clear, civil rights and environmental justice (EJ) are closely linked. And nuclear matters impact heavily on EJ, as low income, people of color communities are very disproportionately targeted for hazardous nuclear facilities.

 

Happy MLK Day!  Yesterday Donald Trump attacked Civil Rights hero and environmental champion John Lewis for standing up to his extremist agenda. Perhaps no one has meshed civil rights and environmentalism better than Rep. Lewis, and yesterday’s attack was a wake up call that we all need to RESIST Trump together.

 

In honoring Martin Luther King and Rep. Lewis today we are asking that you stand for civil rights and environmental justice by taking a few quick actions in support of the campaign to stop Jeff Sessions from becoming leading the Department of Justice as our next U.S. Attorney General.

 

Last week, Sessions testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Sen. Cory Booker took the stand against Sessions - making an impassioned plea to the Senate to reject Sessions nomination.  His testimony drew largely on Sessions disgraceful record on race relations and civil rights.

 

Learn more: about Sessions’ disgraceful history: ACLU report.

 

Take Quick Action to #StopSessions:

 

Sample Tweet:

Think about how hard Dr. King fought for #votingrights. Then think about how Jeff Sessions wants to roll them back. #StopSessions #MLKDay

 

Retweet from Democracy Awakening

Retweet from NAACP

Retweet from Mark Ruffalo

 

Share the attached graphic from the Human Rights Campaign on Facebook and other social media channels. [See above.]

 

And remember to join us tomorrow for our Resist Trump Network check-in call to preview the week ahead (hint: we got another big one.)

 

The call will take place at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT:  an email with call in number has gone out and a reminder will go out tomorrow.

 

Talk to you then!


Allison, Ben and Jean

[Allison Fisher of Public Citizen, Ben Schreiber of Friends of the Earth, and Jean Su of Center for Biological Diversity, the founders and coordinators of the Resist Trump Network. The Resist Trump Network holds a 30-minute call every Monday at 4pm Eastern. Please reach out to bschreiber@foe.org to receive the call-in information.]

Monday
Jan092017

Entergy to close Indian Point nuclear plant in landmark agreement

See the Riverkeeper/Scenic Hudson/NRDC press release, posted at the Riverkeeper website. A link to the 169-page agreement is included.