Energy Bill On Verge Of Approval – Filibuster Needed – China Reactor Loans
A ridiculous energy bill funding the ultimate porkbarrel of fossil and nuclear fuel industries may yet make it through Congress.
$5 billion loan guarantee for China reactors rejected by House
June 30, 2005.
Latest Versions Of Oxymoron Energy Bill 2005 Need Serious
Alterations, Or Rejection
Besides planning to build more nuclear reactors after none had been ordered since the 1970?s, the 2005 attempt at an energy bill provides over $10 billion in taxpayer subsidies and loan guarantees to help implement the Dept of Energy?s Nuclear Power 2010 reactor program. In other words, let us have the federal government lay out the money to build these nuclear reactors, that our poor pitiful nuclear utilities would not build otherwise, because
it would not be profitable or practical without the Bush Push for them.
Be aware that though the Senate passed the energy bill 85-12, three weeks previously a new ABC-Washington Post poll showed that 64% of Americans oppose construction of any new nuclear reactors.
Also the Price-Anderson Act will be re-authorized for twenty years, providing a cap on what it could cost the nuclear industry should a nuclear accident occur in terms of insurance liability. Although an increase in the annual liability cap will occur, from $10 to $15 million per reactor – – which
adds up to about $15 billion being available for a nuclear accident – – remember that Chernobyl was estimated to have cost at least $300 billion. And that cost continues to increase as more thyroid disease and contamination perpetuate the toxicity of damage and disease from nuclear waste dispersal. And just imagine if Indian Point
has a nuclear excursion or explosion, like Chernobyl did, and the wind blows the radioactivity from the accident to the New York City metropolitan area.
That would be a major multi-TRILLION dollar accident.
Besides effectively contaminating the nerve center of financial and cultural America
essentially forever and ever, the bill for the disaster would be handed over to the U.S. taxpayer. “Corporate socialism,” as some might call it, is OK when it comes to saving those
poor innocent corporations. That could not function in the “marketplace” if they had to pay for their own liabilities, as all of us non-nuclear entities have to. Nuclear power
having to be subsidized to exist. Otherwise, all the nuclear plants and nuclear companies supporting them would be gone.
Because nuclear power
does not make economic sense if left to its own un-government-supported
unsubsidized free-marketing state, paying real insurance premiums themselves,
that will not be allowed to be charged, as our government continues to fork
over the dough to non-sustainable forms of energy.
Here are some of the other provisions of the energy bill that was approved by
the House of Representatives on April 21, 2005 and the Senate on June 28, 2005.
The two versions passed out of conference committee on
Monday, July 25th, 2005 in a merged form. Now both houses of
Congress have to vote on this merged form.
What you can do is contact your Senators immediately, as they may vote
on this bill next week! Tell them to filibuster this awful bill and why. This worked in
2003 to defeat a similarly awful bill. Here we have corruption, dollars, and the corporation-disguised-as-a-human-being at work versus sense and democracy. What we should be legislating is a sound energy policy based on conservation, efficiency and renewables
like wind and solar without any funding for incinerators, or plutonium in your
nuclear power plant.
How about a policy that focuses on reducing our oil and gas and coal consumption,
and of course phases out nuclear power, and the waste that it produces, that
we cannot safely store for the thousands and millions of years necessary to do so?
What about moving us toward hydrogen fuel cells using hydrogen separated
from water via wind and solar electricity – – not using nuclear power to do this at
some idiotic newly erected $1.25 billion dollar porkbarrel nuclear plant for this,
funded for the state of Idaho.
The other notable provisions of the energy bill we must kill dead,
as compiled by
* increase gasoline prices (according to Bush’s own Department of Energy)
* do nothing to reduce our reliance on oil imports
* do nothing to increase auto fuel efficiency
* do nothing to transition our electricity sector towards clean renewable energy
* inventory the U.S. coastlines for oil and gas, to make way for future drilling in our coastal waters
* trample state’s rights to protect their coasts from liquefied natural gas terminals (used so we can go to war for gas as well as oil, now that we’re running out of natural gas in North America)
* require ethanol use, increasing gas prices [mention this if you’re in a Western or New England state, where ethanol would need to be imported from the mid-west]
* make us more vulnerable to terrorism by building more juicy terrorist targets (new nuclear reactors and a new gas pipeline from Alaska)
* throw many billions of tax dollars into the expensive and polluting nuclear power industry
* promote nuclear proliferation by reversing long-standing U.S. policy against reprocessing waste from commercial nuclear reactors, and using plutonium to generate commercial energy
* promote building more coal power plants
* provide incentives to cut down our national forests for energy production
What can you do? Call your Senators at 202-225-3121; and your Representative in Washington at 202-224-3121, and tell them not to approve the final resolved bill [if there ever is a bill resolving the House and Senate versions of this bill], and tell your Senator to filibuster this bill to death. It is not in line with public opinion, what the US citizen wants – remember the recent poll showing 64% of us oppose the building of new nuclear reactors! Also, tell them to
read the heinous 1000 page bill before seriously considering signing it, please, thank you.
Also, tell your friends and concerned acquaintances about all this and visit http://www.nukeretro.com From there, you can send an email to your Senators. You can also sign the Nuclear Information And Resource Service – NIRS – Petition for a Sustainable Energy Future over at http://www.nirs.org
An extra note to show you that all is not totally lost:
The Bush administration wants to help China fund nuclear plant construction, but China is buying up U.S. dollar assets that help us fund our annual federal deficit that was $412 billion for 2004. How can we help? By providing Westinghouse – no longer a U.S. owned nuclear plant building corporation – with loan guarantees in the billions of dollars.
But the House of Representatives voted decisively against this on June 30, 2005 by a vote of 313-114 to prohibit the U.S. Export-Import Bank from providing $5 billion to Westinghouse for the construction of four nuclear reactors in China.
Good thing, as internal documents from the Export-Import bank “reportedly describe the loan guarantee, the LARGEST in Export-Import bank history, as risky. According to the New York Times, the guarantee would be nearly three times larger than ANY PREVIOUS package offered by the bank and would work out to about U.S.$1 million per job created.” **
Nothing like nuclear power that is so economically practical, and was supposed to be too cheap to meter.
Oh, one more point that is very interesting: British Nuclear Fuels – BNFL – the company that now actually owns Westinghouse, has put Westinghouse up for sale for $U.S.1 billion. “Meaning it has valued the entire company at only 20% of the [proposed] loan guarantee amount.” **
Meanwhile China bought up about $200 billion worth of U.S. dollar assets for 2004, and may buy up about $300 billion worth for 2005. What would George Bush and his spendthrift buddies running our government do without China??
** WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor Issue 632 15 July 2005
– – yet to be posted on the internet at www.nirs.org
Copyright 2005 Conrad Miller M.D.
P.S. According to the NY Times of July 13, 2005, the federal deficit for 2005 may be around $325 billion for 2005 – due to, of all things, a 15% increase in: TAX REVENUE !!!
See “Sharp Increase in Tax Revenue Will Pare U.S. Deficit”
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS July 13, 2005 for more details.