August 21, 2014

Nuclear power gets attention at the capitol

Advocacy groups are pushing to stave off any posibility of new nuclear power plants in Wisconsin.

A coalition of 13 environmental and public interest groups adamantly opposes a repeal of Wisconsin’s restrictions on new nuclear power reactors … citing the expense, radiation pollution and the potential for nuclear weapons proliferation.

“The nuclear power industry works hand in glove with the nuclear weapons industry. The two go together.”

Dr. Jeffrey Patterson, national president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, says considering safer alternatives are available, this is not the time to revive the nuclear industry.

State Representative Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) criticizes the coalition for reneging on the agreement reached by the Governor’s Global Warming Task Force just last year.

“Their statements today make it very clear that they do not support nuclear in any way, shape or form, in which case they were lying when they voted on the report. When they said yes we support the Governor’s Task Force report that says that we are going to modify the nuclear moratorium law, they simply were lying. They were giving a vote to try and move something forward knowing that they would then walk away and renege on that portion of it at a later point.”

The Citizens Utility Board has long been opposed to the use of nuclear power. The group’s executive director, Charlie Higley, says it’s one of the most expensive ways to generate electricity.

“I want to bring up this issue regarding the task force because it does include these items regarding a nuclear moratorium. I want to make it clear Citizens Utility Board remains supportive of the task force recommendations as a package, but we don’t support outright repeal of our nuclear moratorium and we do believe we can meet our energy needs using energy efficiency, renewable energy and not relying on nuclear power.”

Huebsch points out that representatives of these groups (including the Citizens Utility Board, Clean Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Sierra Club) voted in favor of the task force recommendations in July of ’08. He calls their new position “the beginning of the unraveling” of the agreement — just as lawmakers are about to introduce new legislation based on the task force recommendations.

The Task Force presented its final report entitled Wisconsin’s Strategy for Reducing Global Warming to the governor in July, 2008.

Jackie Johnson (2:00)

mike1va120109