Archive for the 'Nuclear Power' Category

Katuah Earth First! unfurls banner inside Duke Energy shareholders meeting

On May 5 activists with Katuah Earth First! managed to sneak a banner intoDuke Energy’s annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, NC. Just as the question and comment session was wrapping up, the activists unfurled a large banner reading, “Carbon Free, Nuclear Free” in an act of protest against Duke’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels and nukes.

To the activists surprise, they were not bothered by security and were able to eventually leave the building without arrest, where they joined a crowd of about 50 protesters demanding that Duke rapidly shift to sustainable energy sources.

Duke is apparently suffering some setbacks for both its planned nuclear and coal plants. The nuclear disaster in Japan has helped to derail legislation in NC that would have made it easier for Duke to finance its nuke plants. And in Indiana Duke is facing mounting costs to finish its Edwardsport coal plant. Duke is also being investigated for “undue influence” (ahem, bribery) of politicians in Indiana. The scandal has already cost 3 Duke executives there jobs.

Eco-activists weren’t the only ones out protesting Duke. Protestors with the conservative group FreedomWorks turned out to oppose Duke’s $10 million contribution to host the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012. Well, there is one thing we can agree on with the FreedomWorks folks. We don’t want those spineless, corporate ass-kissing Democrats throwing their party in our state either!

No More Fukushimas

The situation at the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima is dire. Two days ago, three workers were exposed to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level in the basement of Reactor No. 3.  This reactor is especially dangerous because it contains MOX fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium.  And, things got worse yesterday.  The Japanese authorities have now said that the reactor vessel in unit 3 may have breached, which means that much greater amounts of radiation from the MOX fuel could be released.

Here in the United States, the nuclear industry’s lobbyists and propagandists work to downplay concerns.  “Earthquakes of that magnitude would never happen here.”  “We’ll do a thorough safety review.” “Nuclear power needs to be part of our energy future.”  And so on. What they aren’t saying is that that massive public subsidies to bring this old reactors online would go 7-10 times further if spent on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Nuclear energy development is one of the biggest blockages to and energy revolution that can slow climate change. 

The federal government has failed for years to provide appropriate oversight of nuclear reactors, but fortunately, two states are leading the fight to shut down their dangerous old nuclear reactors.  In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been a longtime critic of Indian Point, and has called for a safety review of the reactors.  In Vermont, where the state legislature voted overwhelmingly last year to close Vermont Yankee as scheduled in 2012, over 600 people gathered outside the reactor on Sunday to show solidarity with the people of Japan and call for the plant to be shut down.

This Monday, March 28, people across the country will be showing their support for the people of Japan and calling for a world free of nuclear disasters.  Please sign up to host or join a vigil near you, and let’s fight for an energy future with no more Fukushimas.  To find a Stand with Japan vigil near you, go to:

Tone Deaf Obama Expands Loan Guarantees for Reactors and Drops Renewable Energy

I just read something that made me livid. While we have multiple reactors melting down in Japan, Obama has decided to expand nuclear loan guarantees. The real kicker? I was just reading this article, from the fall, about how President Obama slashed renewable energy guarantee programs behind the scenes after praising them.

Now, instead of restoring his cuts, he is asking for 12 times as much money for nuclear boondoggles. Loans that the CBO reported that half of them are likely never to be paid back.  So, bailing out the nuclear industry to the tune of over $20 billion dollars in non-recoverable bailouts while not proving basic support to clean energy programs that actually are likely to be paid back and support good, green jobs.

Read this from last year:

Obama Talks Big About Clean Energy While Cash Stripped From Key Program – ABC News.
“While President Obama has touted his deep commitment to a clean energy industry, the administration has quietly drained more than half of the $6 billion allocated to a key renewable energy program and senior White House officials have proposed either fixing or scrapping one of the President’s most widely heralded initiatives involving solar and wind power.”

Then this now:

Obama Seeks to Expand Loan Guarantees for Reactors, Chu Says – Businessweek.
“The Obama administration will press ahead with efforts to expand loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors while investigating the failure of Japan’s power plants after an earthquake, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.

The U.S. Energy Department is seeking to add $36 billion in loan-guarantee authority to the program’s existing $18.5 billion, Chu said today at a House committee hearing. President Barack Obama asked lawmakers to expand the program in Obama’s February budget request…

Obama supports an expansion of nuclear power and increased loan guarantees, and “that position has not been changed,” Chu said. Energy officials “don’t believe there is any danger” posed by U.S. reactors, Chu said today.”

Got it? President Obama cut renewable energy loan guarantees, a critical clean energy investment program, in half, – by $3 billion dollars while now seeking to expand Nuclear energy loan guarantee programs by $36 billion dollars. That is an increase of twelve times! over what he left for clean energy.

Angry yet? I thought so.

I expect to get some crap about how nuclear power is awesome in my inbox, but right now, I am not interested in hearing it. All I have to say is that I thought President Obama and Chu were being tone deaf and short sighted when they came out ahead of the Deepwater disaster endorsing offshore oil drilling. Now, they have stripped renewable energy guarantees and are working to increase nuclear power loan guarantees in the wake of the largest nuclear disaster in modern history. Are they just trying to piss us off and lose the next election? Because, they are doing a heckuva job.

Disasters and Resilience: Clean Energy Can Save Us

NASA – ISS over Hurricane Andrew

Kaifukuryoku (回 復力), is the Japanese word for resilience. For many in Japan, resilience has become a a way of life, a goal that has driven one of the most advanced efforts at planning for disasters in the world.

The word tsunami is also Japanese, originating in their long familiarity of living on the knife edge of disaster, wedged between volcanoes, fault-lines, typhoons, and the vastness of the Pacific ocean.

Yet, the three disasters Japan is grappling with today are showing the limits of resilience and industrial societies.

Buildings in Japan are subject to incredible standards for flexibility and strength, to survive the earthquakes that threaten cities. Mt. Fuji has incredible lava channels and barriers built to protect Tokyo from an eruption. Volcano, typhoon, and earthquake monitoring systems are linked to alarms that can be activated to warn citizens to seek shelter and/or higher ground.

These all saved lives.

Yet, now as Japan should be mobilizing all its resources to feed, house, and evacuate citizens who have been impacted by this terrible disaster, it is mobilizing to prevent a third and possibly worst disaster, a nuclear catastrophe.

Continue reading ‘Disasters and Resilience: Clean Energy Can Save Us’

Darth Vader Endorses US Climate Bill

This week, Senators Kerry and Leiberman unveiled The American Power Act – 987 pages of draft climate and energy legislation.

Our country desperately needs bold clean energy and climate legislation that transitions America to 100% real clean energy, creates good green jobs, and immediately and drastically reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Unfortunately, dirty energy corporations (notably Big Oil and King Coal) have spent obscene amounts of money on lobbying and campaign contributions to influence climate and energy policy and keep us dangerously addicted to dirty energy like coal, oil, and nuclear.

All sorts of dirty energy corporations (like Duke, Shell Oil and Florida Power and Light) have endorsed this bill because of all the polluter giveways and subsidizes.

Which is why we at Greenwash of the Week invited Darth Vader himself to weigh in on the bill.

If you enjoy the video, please share with your friends on Twitter and Facebook!

A Classroom View of Climate Deniers

Originally published on, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.

By: Caitlin Grey

As a high school senior and an ardent environmentalist, I have mixed feelings about new legislation in various states that would change science curricula to include “other views” on climate change, the way some school districts have tried to open the theory of evolution up for debate. I know the goal of such legislation–to downplay the severity of climate change and to cast doubt on its manmade causes–is against everything I stand for as an advocate for all things green. And yet there’s something pretty convincing about how lawmakers have framed these bills: as catalysts for “open discussion” and “intellectual freedom.” I mean, who’s against that?

Indeed, often the most memorable parts of my classes are the fiery debates about contentious topics. It’s when I learn the most. Like when my environmental science teacher led my class in a discussion about the pros and cons of nuclear energy. I’ve always been against building nuclear power plants, which got me into ideological tiffs with some classmates. But being forced to use facts and data I had read in my textbook to hold my own is probably the only reason I remember so much about something I was once so opposed to. Continue reading ‘A Classroom View of Climate Deniers’

Graham is right, for young people “climate is no-debate.” Let’s make sure we show him our solutions

The discussions about how to Define Our Decade are taking off in communities around the country. The Weeks of Action are coming up in 2 weeks, but already young people are having discussions about how they want to define their decade, and taking action to make it happen; this past week dozens of young people turned out at a student-called hearing at Michigan State University.  While preparing for the hearing, they had a discussion about what they want to see in the next decade, and then the next day hit the streets calling for MSU to be powered by 100% clean energy by 2020.

All of this comes at a time when the U.S. Senate continues to try to figure out how to proceed with climate and energy legislation. In a Sunday op-ed penned by Thomas Friedman titled “How the G.O.P. Goes Green,” one of the leading figures in crafting legislation, Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina acknowledged that he is inspired to take up climate and energy legislation because of young people on college campuses. Graham correctly points out that young voters are driven by deeply-held environmental values, and more lawmakers would be wise to wake up to this, but Graham’s solutions of nuclear and offshore oil-drilling are both counter to our values and economic interests. Every dollar spent on the dirty energy economy, is a dollar that could have created more jobs in the clean energy economy we must create. That’s why in the coming month it’s essential that we, as the Millennial Generation, further define what our vision for a clean energy economy really is.

Already dozens of events are being hosted around the country that will help us do just that. Check out the event registration page for the full listing and see a couple of highlights below: Continue reading ‘Graham is right, for young people “climate is no-debate.” Let’s make sure we show him our solutions’

Deflecting Questions Is Not A Form Of Clean Energy

Crossposted from Funding Our Future, the Campus Progress blog promoting policy that provides economic opportunities for our generation.

Right after the State of the Union, young climate activists submitted a question about the President’s remarks on clean energy and crossed their fingers hoping that it would get asked. The smiling faces of Energy Action Coalition activists made it in the the intro screen as the YouTube announcer explained the format.

During the CitizenTube State of the Union Q & A discussion, President Obama severely dodged a question submitted by young activists about his support of dirty energy.

His answer is unwise, and deceitful. I hate to say this about the President that has done more to invest in a clean energy economy than anyone before him (not a hard accomplishment since W, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and Carter were the only presidents in office since  clean energy became an issue), but young people are tired of being lied to by the White House and congress.

Continue reading ‘Deflecting Questions Is Not A Form Of Clean Energy’

Don’t Just Watch This Video, Vote It Up!

{UPDATE: We are only 100 away!! We can do this folks! Keep on spreading the word!}
We are 120 votes away from being the most voted ‘Energy and Environment’ question about the State of the Union address on CitizenTube.

On Monday President Obama will be answering questions about his State of the Union address, how would you like for that question to be one submitted by young climate activists?

Right now, the most voted question is from someone promoting alternative fuels. Not clean energy. Not just energy. Not renewable energy. But alternative energy, and you know what that means right? If this question is still #1 by tomorrow, President Obama will have an open window to reiterate his support for dirty coal, nuclear, and offshore oil drilling and ignore the true solutions to our energy, national security, and climate crises.

Go to CitizenTube and upvote this question from Energy Action. We are only 120 votes away from the top, so every vote counts. Please spread the word and RT this:

RT @energyaction: Vote up youth leader question to #Obama! Why dirty energy when clean is smarter & creates more jobs?

Open letter to John Carson about the White House Youth Forum

(Jon Carson was the field director for the Obama campaign and is now the chief of staff at the Council on Environmental Quality. He moderated the White House’s Youth Clean Energy Economy Forum that took place on December 2nd)

Dear Jon Carson,

I would like to say thank you for helping to create the Youth Clean Energy Economy Forum, and I was honored to attend. The number of cabinet members that attended is a testament to how much this administration cares about the voice of my generation, and the fact that this was a discussion and not a photo op shows that the Obama Administration really cares about engaging with the clean energy movement. This was a great first step toward closer collaboration between the White House and the youth movement. However, I did have a few concerns that I would like to address.

First, at the end of the evening, you told us to look at the big picture and not focus on what hasn’t been done, but look at how far we have come. I think that, generally, this is a good idea, and for any other movement I would agree with you. But we are not like past movements. Continue reading ‘Open letter to John Carson about the White House Youth Forum’

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