America's Energy Mix - Clean, Green, and Cheap?
This week's New York Times article, In Japan Reactor Failings, Danger Signs for the U.S., is a stark reminder that the risk and stakes are now too high to continue on our dangerous path of trust and reliance upon nuclear power as a quick, safe and inexpensive energy fix.
According to the New York Times article, "American officials had said early on that reactors in the United States would be safe from such disasters because they were equipped with new, stronger venting systems. But Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant, now says that Fukushima Daiichi had installed the same vents years ago. "
How to we avoid these consequences? We can use another Work Projects Administration. The WPA was a successful national project that put over three million unemployed - skilled and unskilled - Americans back to work and created some of the amazing infrastructure-roads, parks, bridges, public buildings, libraries that we enjoy today.
As Congress is ramping up to kick-start new offshore oil leases, pushing forward tax breaks and enshrining subsidies for King Coal and Big Oil – nuclear energy is also not off the table as part of our nation's energy mix.
It is time to shut down the incredibly expensive to maintain and crumbling Nuke plants and replace them with a long range National Alternative Energy Works project. How do we pay for this? Take away the huge government allocated subsidy deals to the over-the-top profit bloated oil companies and coal companies. Year after year their reported earnings and profits reach record highs.
Media tracking group TNS Media Intelligence reported that $52.5 million was spent by the oil industry on greenwashing advertisements — advertisements boasting about investments in wind and solar power or efficiency while the companies did very little. The coal industry has spent enormous energy on their "Clean Coal" campaigns. Clean Coal is an erroneous buzzword adopted as a marketing tool by the coal industry in order to present itself as a player in Green Energy. There is nothing clean or cheap about coal - or its impacts on the communities that are suffering from the impacts of Mountain Top Removal.
Tell Congress that the nuclear industry, the oil companies and Big Coal don't run this country. Use the power of your voice and the influence of your vote and let your Congressional representatives (House and Senate) know that you want them to help get Americans back to work in the job creation areas that are forward thinking. Subsidies and tax breaks must be allocated to environmental, sustainable renewable energies and remediation.
Stopping the cheap energy waste stream is the way to go. As they say, "keep up the good fight for it is not over until it's over".
By Redwood Mary. Redwood Mary has been working from the local grassroots to the United Nations for over 15+ years and is a NGO delegate to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Redwood Mary's writings have appeared in Tree Magic, Satya Magazine, UN Commission on Human Settlements – HABITAT Debate, Bay Area Business Women, Awakened Woman, E-Magazine, Berkeley Daily Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, etc. She holds a degree in public policy from Mills College Oakland California, a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from California State University, East Bay and has studied environmental sciences at College of the Redwoods (Ft. Bragg CA) and fine arts at San Francisco Art Institute and Rutgers University's Mason Gross School for the Arts.
You can reach Redwood Mary at redwoodmary (a) gmail.com.
Past Environmental Challenges and the Power of Women Columns: