It’s too weak on climate….It’s too strong on nuclear….


An aide to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) says the Lieberman/Warner climate change bill (S. 2191) “would be the most historic incentive for nuclear in the history of the United States.” (E&E Daily, February 8, 2008).

He’s not kidding: the bill’s complicated “cap-and-trade” carbon system could give billions of dollars—perhaps $500 Billion (no, that’s not a typo--$500 Billion)--to “zero or low-carbon” energy technologies, including dirty energy like nuclear power.

Moreover, the bill falls far short of the carbon emissions cuts necessary to address the climate crisis: a cut of only about 60-65% by 2050. There is a better way: we need to go carbon-free and nuclear-free, and it can be done by 2050—but only if we all act to make it happen.

S. 2191 is expected to be debated on the Senate floor this Spring. Let’s start telling Senate offices now that we want a real climate change bill, one that leads to a complete end to carbon emissions and one that supports sustainable energy technologies, not one that resurrects the failed nuclear power program of the 20th century.

Your help is needed:

1. Call, write and/or e-mail your Senators now. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121; mailing address: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510. You can look up your Senators’ e-mail addresses at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
2. Contribute as generously as you can to NIRS’ efforts to build a sustainable, carbon-free, nuclear-free future on our secure server at at https://secure.campagne-online.com/registrant/donate.aspx?EventID=2927&LangPref=en-CA

To make matters worse, pro-nuclear Senators—including Lieberman and Warner themselves—are planning to introduce numerous amendments on the Senate floor to provide additional support for the nuclear industry. They’re planning on including everything from more loan guarantees and other subsidies for new reactors, to setting up an “interim” high-level waste storage site, to forcing the opening of Yucca Mountain.

Our allies at Friends of the Earth have taken the lead on challenging the current Lieberman/Warner bill. You can find their factsheets on the bill at http://action.foe.org/content.jsp?content_KEY=3723&t=Lieberman_Warner.dwt.

Want to learn more about how to attain a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy future? Check out the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research website at http://www.ieer.org/

Don’t wait until the Lieberman/Warner bill reaches the Senate floor to act; by then, many Senators will already have made up their minds. Start now by contacting your Senators and organizing among your friends, colleagues, your group’s members, everywhere you can, to bring our pro-climate, anti-nuclear message to Capitol Hill.

We know many of you have been contributing to various presidential candidates, and we support that, of course. And the candidates have certainly been raising a lot of money. But don’t forget that a president can’t do it all: NIRS exists to represent you in Washington and across the country on the sustainable energy issues that matter so much. Just 1% of what the Democratic candidates have spent over the past few months would meet NIRS’ budget needs for more than a year.

This is NIRS’ 30th anniversary year: we’ve been here for you for 30 years now; help us kick off our next 30 years, and our work to build a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy future, with your most generous contribution possible. Please donate at https://secure.campagne-online.com/registrant/donate.aspx?EventID=2927&LangPref=en-CA

Don’t forget to call your Senators! Thank you for all your support and activism,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

p.s. and look for a new NIRS Alert soon on taxpayer loan guarantees for new reactor construction. Hint: there is going to have to be another vote on them this year, we can stop them!

LATE BREAKING NEWS: We just got in word that the NRC has suspended the license application process for NRG’s South Texas Nuclear Project! The order is at http://www.nirs.org/nukerelapse/stexas/stporder2-13-08.pdf. Last Friday, four groups (NIRS, SEED Coalition, Sierra Club, Beyond Nuclear) filed a motion with NRC to suspend the proceeding because of the company’s incomplete license application. While NRC says this renders our filing moot, it’s pretty clear that they just didn’t want to directly answer it, which can be found along with exhibits at http://www.nirs.org/nukerelapse/stexas/stexashome.htm.