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Bush’s Gift to the Nuclear Lobby

by Staff


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Nuclear Power 2Christmas came late for the nuclear lobby this year, but President Bush gave them something good. His present was a provision about renewable energy hidden inside a massive, $500 billion spending bill signed by President Bush on December 26. A renewable energy provision might sound good to environmentalists. In reality, reports" href="http://www.democracynow.org/2007/12/17/spending_bill_includes" target="_blank">Democracy Now reports, the provision provides $24 billon in loan guarantees to the nuclear lobby. “It’s a total scam,” says anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman.

The scam may be working on some environmentalists, according to Jason Mark, writing for Earth Island Journal and reprinted in the January-February issue of Utne Reader. The nuclear lobby recently launched a massive PR attack aimed at convincing environmentalists that atomic energy is a green alternative to fossil fuels. Prominent green advocates, including Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, and James Lovelock, who developed the Gaia-theory, have bought into the atomic pitch. What the nuclear advocates often don’t acknowledge is the massive price tag, environmental dangers, and the fossil fuels needed to support the nuclear industry.

That’s why the nuclear-power advocates need these new loans. “Wall Street will not finance new nuclear construction,” says Wasserman, so the nuclear industry needs massive government subsidies to stay in business. Although Wasserman dismisses any dissent among the environmental movement in favor of nuclear power, he acknowledges the power that nuclear advocates have to block real environmental change. Nuclear power is the “finger in the dam," according to Wasserman, "because once everything breaks, it’s all going to go to renewables, and we’ll have a transformed world.”

Bennett Gordon