FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday, February 22, 2010
Contact: Diane Farsetta, 608-886-4757; Jennifer Nordstrom, 718-290-6399
Strong grassroots opposition to nuclear provisions in state climate bill
Carbon Free, Nuclear Free lobby day draws people from around state
MADISON – Citizens from across Wisconsin will meet with their state legislators on Tuesday, Feb. 23, to support existing state restrictions on new nuclear reactors, and to ask lawmakers to strengthen the proposed Clean Energy Jobs Act. That bill would remove the requirement for a federally licensed nuclear waste repository before more nuclear reactors can be built in Wisconsin.
Forty-five people will participate in Carbon Free, Nuclear Free Wisconsin lobby day, which is sponsored by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Physicians for Social Responsibility Wisconsin, Peace Action Wisconsin, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Nukewatch, Coulee Region Progressives and Down River Alliance. Participants are traveling to Madison from La Crosse, Racine, Milwaukee, West Bend, Luck and other communities around the state.
During the public hearings on the Clean Energy Jobs Act and at events around the state, concerns about the bill’s pro-nuclear provisions have been apparent. At a public listening session earlier this month in Ashland, “much of the crowd’s concern centered on the possibility of increased nuclear power generation in the state and waste generated,” reported the Ashland Daily Press. More than 500 people from around the state – representing 32 of Wisconsin’s 33 state Senate districts – have signed the Carbon Free, Nuclear Free petition calling on legislators to keep the state’s existing restrictions on new nuclear reactors.
“While the Clean Energy Jobs Act would do much to further energy efficiency and renewable energy, its nuclear provisions put Wisconsin communities at risk of becoming de facto nuclear waste dump sites,” said Diane Farsetta, coordinator of the Carbon Free Nuclear Free campaign of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.
“The high-level radioactive waste the reactors produce would be stored at the reactor sites, which is not a safe or permanent solution. It’s bad enough that nuclear waste is already stockpiled at Kewaunee, Point Beach and the closed reactor at Genoa,” said Farsetta. “It makes no sense to allow more reactors to produce more waste when we have no way to dispose of it.”
The citizen lobbyists with the Carbon Free Nuclear Free coalition are asking that all nuclear provisions be removed from the Clean Energy Jobs Act. “The rest of the bill is about clean, renewable energy, which we support,” said Jennifer Nordstrom of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. “Available renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are safer, cheaper, faster and cleaner strategies for reducing greenhouse emissions than nuclear power.”
Further information: 1-608-250-9240; www.carbonfreenuclearfree.org