First came the earthquake. Then the tsunami. Then multiple explosions at nuclear reactors. Several Japanese nuclear reactors are at risk of melting down with unthinkable release of radiation.
The crisis in Japan is heartwrenching. The latest reports suggest at least 10,000 dead from one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history followed by a devastating tsunami. And that number is likely to rise.
But perhaps the worst is yet to come as multiple nuclear reactors in Japan are redlining and officials frantically release radioactive steam into the atmosphere in hopes of averting a total nuclear meltdown.
Tell President Obama: No more nukes. Not now.
Even now, politicians of both parties are so beholden to the nuclear industry, that they are racing to microphones to say that the U.S. must EXPAND its taxpayer support of building even more nuclear reactors.
President Obama's 2012 budget includes $36 billion in loan guarantees to the nuclear energy industry. With Congressional leaders competing to cut public spending, we face a spectacle where senators in both parties were quick to defend nuclear power in the days following earthquake. Sen. Chuck Schumer, vice chair of the Democratic Senate caucus, has joined with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, in refusing to support a moratorium on building new nuclear reactors in seismically active areas in the U.S.
Nuclear power generation is so financially risky that it requires government intervention to obtain sufficient financing for development. Even nuclear power proponents admit the stakes. According to John Rowe, the CEO of the nation's largest nuclear operator Exelon, said "Except with massive subsidies, there's really nothing one can do to make a whole lot of nuclear plants economic right now."
Tell President Obama: We need investment in clean, renewable energy, not more nuclear time bombs.
What does it take for Congress and President Obama to get the message? In just the last year, we have suffered massive disasters as a result of declining and risky energy technologies. Coal, oil, and now nuclear power have been the center of soul searching crises in the past 12 months. First came the massive coal mine collapse in West Virginia courtesy of the rapacious Massey Energy. Then came the massive BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico which failed to slow significant advances by the oil companies in drilling offshore of the United States. And now comes a massive nuclear crisis in Japan, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Yet nothing has been done.
It's time to stand up and defend the planet and the people who live on it. Tell President Obama: Enough is enough: No new nukes.
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