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The Ohio Green Party opposes S. 4897, The American Nuclear Infrastructure Act

The Ohio Green Party

www.ohiogreens.org

For Immediate Release: December 7th, 2020

The Ohio Green Party strongly opposes S. 4897, the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act which is currently making its way through congress.

 

The Ohio Green Party is greatly concerned with responsible energy policy, social justice, and ecological sustainability. According to the Ohio Green Party, utilizing nuclear energy is neither responsible nor is it ecologically sustainable. S. 4897, also known as the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act, is a bill making its way through US Congress that aims to turn the United States into a world leader in nuclear energy. The bill embodies a broad ambition to bail-out the nuclear industry, revitalize its infrastructure, and lead the world in nuclear power. The Green Party believes that passing such legislation even with the best of intentions would not be a good thing for the country or the planet. The Green Party believes that passing such legislation even with the best of intentions would be substituting one dangerous and unsustainable energy source with another. The climate crisis, it believes, requires more comprehensive, genuinely green solutions with includes a reduction of energy waste through weatherization and mass transit and the decentralization of energy production.

 

It should be noted that S. 4897 is not the brainchild of environmentalists who think nuclear energy is a safe alternative to fossil fuels. Rather, S. 4897 is a key component in an "all of the above" energy policy which the Ohio Green Party, in line with the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, flat out rejects. The advocates of S. 4897 seem to be saying “let’s keep burning fossil fuels and lead the world in nuclear power too”.

 

An open letter originally circulated by NIRS addresses the crux of the issue taken up by the party in regard to this bill rather well:

 

“Nuclear Power is Not a Climate Solution. Nuclear energy amplifies and expands the dangers of climate change, and the measures proposed in S. 4897 would not change that basic reality. Nuclear power is too dirty, too dangerous, too expensive, and too slow to address climate change, and it is rooted in environmental injustice and human rights violations. The nuclear fuel chain relies on the extraction, processing, generation, and proliferation of vast amounts of radioactive and toxic wastes. By the time a single pound of nuclear fuel goes into a reactor, the production chain has produced more than 5,000 pounds of long-lived radioactive waste, which is either dumped in piles or ponds, or (in the case of depleted uranium) stored in cylinders or barrels in the open air.

 

The operation of nuclear power plants generates a myriad of radioactive wastes, and every pound of the fuel becomes an immense environmental hazard for which there is no solution. The eventual decommissioning of nuclear power plants then results in a vast pile of radioactive and toxic rubble, soil, metals, and liquids. The vast majority of uranium mines, mills, production facilities, reactors, and waste dumps are located in communities that are disproportionately rural, Indigenous, Black, People of Color, and low-wealth.”

 

The Ohio Green Party supports the Green Party’s original Green New Deal, which is far more fiscally responsible and in-line with the recommendations of top climate scientists than the version championed by progressives in the Democratic Party. Such a Green New Deal would mean a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy and a net-zero or negative carbon footprint by 2030. Thus far it seems to be the only serious policy proposal that meets the goals set out by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in 2018 estimated that we only had 12 years to take serious action to limit climate catastrophe. If limiting climate catastrophe is really the goal of a sound energy policy, then S. 4897 would be taking us in the wrong direction.

 

The Ohio Green Party strongly encourages concerned citizens to voice their opposition to S. 4897 to their local representatives.