Pushback Against The Big Boys Who Put People's Health, Safety and Lives Behind Profits: The Fight Against Indian Point
I recently received an e-mail from an IPSEC member who is feeling a bit dispirited about the fact Indian Point is still up and spewing its radioactive effluents. I frequently have the same sentiment. I’m guessing some of you do as well.
I guess what happens to me is that Entergy or the NRC then dependably does something so unconscionable that my sense of outrage takes over. I’d like to say I’m powered by pure love for humanity and the beautiful planet Earth – but the truth is it’s outrage.
After 9/11, when it was revealed the plane that struck the first Tower whipped right by Indian Point, I started to do a little research on nuclear plant security. I became so astonished and horrified about what I found, that I couldn’t stop researching. But I also didn’t do anything proactively for months. I basically sat at my computer at my law office muttering to myself: “They’ve got to do something. How can they not be doing something?”
One day, the more important question occurred to me: Who is “they”? Suddenly, I realized, I am they. I am an American citizen who has a certain level of education and a certain set of skills and I absolutely must actively bring those to bear against this genuine threat to my community.
And you all have been doing the same, despite the frustration. In a way, we are all just individuals with our own little hammers banging against a very big wall. The wall may stand. It may also crack and crumble. No one will know which stroke of the hammer is the breaking point stroke until it is made.
This year will be a critical one in the fight against the relicensing of Indian Point. We have made enormous progress since the coalition formed in the wake of 9/11. This is the only nuclear plant in the country where a state (New York) has formally joined the effort to oppose relicensing. Notably the Attorney General of Connecticut also filed an intervenor petition. And we have an ally in the Congressional delegation of the Lower Hudson Valley. So we have some pretty strong hammers now striking at the wall.
The most important point is that public officials in our democracy have always followed the lead of citizens. We must keep up the pressure. How? Write letters to the editor of your local paper and the New York Times. Write letters to public officials. Call in to radio stations. Go to meetings of local environmental and public health groups. Go to meetings of your local Republican, Democratic, Green, Right to Life, whatever, party chapter and raise the issue. Join your fellow IPSEC members at regional NRC Meetings. Send whatever money you can to the organizational members of IPSEC who are fighting the legal battle. Talk to your friends and neighbors. IPSEC will regularly send out Action Alerts this year. Do whatever you can.
Let’s all raise hell this year.
Michel Lee, Esq.
Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
Council on Intelligent Energy
& Conservation Policy