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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear energy’

Access news

ACCESS News! A program about being a better citizen (Presidents included).

What happens when the President of the United States runs afoul of the law? What is a grand jury? Is the future of nuclear energy dead? Is our water supply properly managed?

The Director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, Tom “SMITTY” Smith, discusses impeachment, grand juries, nuclear energy, water supplies, and more on ACCESS News.

New episode of ACCESS News airs on KLRU-PBS TV in Austin, Texas on Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 1:00pm   

Click here if you miss it and want to watch Smitty online.

ACCESS News – If it happens in Austin, it’s happening everywhere . . . or should be

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Robert Singleton, an anti-nuclear activist and writer, is calling for a moratorium on new nuclear reactors, license extensions.  Robert  is a member of Solar Si Nuclear No in Austin, Texas.  Click here to read Robert’s blog.

As of today, several countries have announced intentions to review their nuclear power policies as a result of the unfolding drama in Japan.

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miaAs many of you already know, the nuclear battle is getting pretty heated in San Antonio these days.  That’s why a new citizen’s group, Energía Mía, has recently formed.  But they can tell you their intentions better than I can:

Citizens are uniting in efforts to halt CPS’ spending for more nuclear reactors. Speakers from many diverse organizations and businesses relayed their concerns about nuclear power as part of the newly formed Energia Mia network and are working to increase visibility and awareness of the problems of nuclear power.

“Energía Mía urges all citizens in San Antonio to get involved now and contact the mayor and city council. The rate hikes that would come from more nuclear power are unacceptable. They would create a severe economic hardship on many people and local businesses” said Cindy Weehler. “We have set up a new web site, www.EnergiaMia.org to provide information to the public and let people know how to get involved.”

According to the San Antonio Express-News, their membership includes representatives from

…the Southwest Workers Union, Project Verde, Alamo Group of the Sierra Club, Highland Hills Neighborhood Association, Jefferson Heights Neighborhood Association, Texas Drought Project, Green Party and the San Antonio Area Progressive Action Coalition.

Alongside fundamental concerns about water, security, radioactive waste, and health and safety risks, the group is concerned about the financial effect the project could have on the city and the rate hikes that CPS has said will accompany STP’s expansion.  CPS has already said that 5-8% rate hikes will be needed every two years for the next ten years to pay for this project, and that electric rates could increase nearly 50% as a result.

The good news is that all the noise these activists are making is starting to have an impact.  Already, Mayor Julian Castro is having doubts.  And apparently, “at every public meeting, city and CPS officials have run into a buzz saw of objections from ratepayers and business owners concerned about higher energy costs.” Some folks are even calling for a referendum on the issue — or at the very least, an honest debate and presentation of viable alternatives (that won’t cost $100 dollars a head).

Way to rouse that rabble, San Antonio.  You deserve answers, and for your concerns to be heard in a meaningful way.  If you agree with these folks (and if you’re a regular reader I bet you do!), sign their petition!

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Looks like our friends over at ReEnergize Texas have scored a couple interviews with two 2010 Senate race hopefuls, Democratic Mayor of Houston Bill White and Republican Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams.

Trevor Lovell, Statewide Director for ReEnergize Texas, reports:

We are not joining the throng of cable news reporters more concerned with the 2010 election than with fixing the country in the meantime. But we did score big with two interviews that could help shape the midterm US Senate race here in Texas.

The US Senate race in Texas has a slightly funny story. Longtime US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is expected to step down and throw her hat in the ring to become the next Texas Governor. The spot she may vacate (but has not yet vacated) is already being contested by a number of potential candidates, the most notable being John Sharp and Bill White on the Democratic side, and Michael Williams and Florence Shapiro on the Republican side.

Check ’em out:

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Read on for Lovell’s analysis of the interviews! (more…)

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Nuclear power is not an answer to our collective energy problem.  Essentially, turning to nuclear power as a primary solution to the current carbon-based system is like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.  It is not an “alternative”.  Considering that, in resource-availability terms, we could already be powering most structures in this state with solar power, and that we have not done so out of adherence to constructs and public policies rooted in economic interests, it seems ridiculous to suggest that our power problem demands we dig up metal and devise ingenious was of containing and storing radioactive dust.  For me, there are three levels upon which nuclear power as a primary power source does not work.

1)     Forming a larger industry around the mining of uranium would recreate the oil-based market system that has contaminated the global markets, has instigated war, has tainted laws.  Wind is free.  Sunlight is free.  Yes, solar panels are built with silicon-but the silicon we use comes from sand and is the second-most common element on the earth (after oxygen).  If we want to progress as a planet, we must focus not only on outcomes, but the means of attaining them.  We need a new system that is not primarily driven by mining minerals-because that system can be too easily dominated by a relatively few people with the right land.   In a wind and solar-based system, opportunity to participate and regulate is inherently more accessible.  Wind is free.  Sunlight is everywhere.  So without even considering environmental impacts, a nuclear energy-based system is a repugnant proposition to me.   This is my number one reason for opposing nuclear energy.  We must question advocates of nuclear energy and consider whether they stand to benefit from mining, conversion of coal burning plants, or processing.

2)     We need to recognize and heed the signs (the glaring billboards!) that uranium mining and nuclear power are wrong at a deeper level.  At this point in our global evolution, we know what can lay ahead when indigenous people and “progress” meet.  In hindsight of world history, we now see how many of the worst aspects of contemporary society were foreshadowed in interactions with native peoples at the outset of a progressive undertaking.  So where indigenous people react adversely to something today, we should listen.  To ignore the response of native people to uranium mining would be a monumental failure-the prospect of so doing reminds me of the Zora Neale Hurston book Their Eyes were Watching God, when the workers watched the Native Americans leaving the land only to later find themselves in the worst hurricane in the nation’s history.  Culture is the heart of the planet.  How can we advocate what causes the heart to bleed?

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