Say no to more nukes in Wisconsin

An unusual closed hearing on nuclear power — closed in the sense that only invited speakers will get to talk — has been scheduled by two legislative committees for next Thursday, March 12.

At first glance, it looks like one more stop in the railroad job that seems to be barreling down on Wisconsin, with the aim of making it easier to build new nuke plants here. There are some consumer and environmental advocates on the list, but they are outnumbered.

It’s conveniently scheduled for Two Rivers, away from the population centers, so only the dedicated few will attend. If you possibly can, consider attending to show that you oppose any easing of the laws.

Two Rivers is best known as the home of one of the state’s troubled nuclear power plants, Point Beach, which always seems to be under repair. Maybe the committees will get a tour and “briefing about how safe it all is.

There is a full court press on — excuse the mixed metaphors — to ease the restrictions on nuclear plants in the state, which have been in place since 1983. One thing that has not changed since 1983 is the lack of a solution to the question of how to safely dispose of high level nuclear waste, although the plants produce more of it every day.

An easing of what has been a de facto moratorium on nuclear plant construction has been proposed as part of a package of changes endorsed by the governor’s task force on climate change, which is now drafting legislation based on its report. Even the environmental and consumer advocates on the task force supported the change, as a tradeoff to get some of the other things they wanted in the package.

The Citizens Utility Board and Clean Wisconsin, who are on the schedule, both took part in the task force, as did Forrest Ceel, the union rep who will testify, and State Sen. Jeff Plale, who chairs the Senate Committee holding the hearing. The “Greenpeace” person listed is one who has switched sides and now favors nukes, which explains why he was invited.

You have to wonder: What time does this train get to Peoria? The railroad is building up quite a head of steam.

The hearing (official notice follows) has a high-powered line up, and it is important that we show strong support for our current state statute. Physicians for Social Responsibility and others hope to rally a group of “Clean Energy Advocates” outside with signs supporting sustainable energy over nuclear reactors for electricity production.

Activists who can be there to support our current state statute can contact Steve Books, email address Or just show up.

Committee on Commerce, Utilities, Energy, and Rail

The committees will hold an informational hearing on the following items at the time specified below:

Thursday, March 12, 2009
1:30 PM
Council Chambers
Two Rivers City Hall
1717 East Park Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241

This will be a joint hearing with Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities. The Committee will take testimony from the following invited speakers only.

Public Service Commission (PSC)
A representative from the PSC will testify to the committees regarding nuclear power in Wisconsin.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
A representative of the NRC will testify regarding nuclear power in the United States.

Dr. Patrick Moore
Dr. Moore is the Chairman and Chief Scientist of Greenspirit Strategies. He is also the Co-Chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASE). Dr. Moore was a founding member of Greenpeace.

Frank Jablonski
Mr. Jablonski is a founding partner of the Progressive Law Group, LLC.

Charlie Higley
Mr. Higley is the Executive Director of the Citizens Utility Board (CUB).

Katie Nekola
Ms. Nekola is the Energy Program Director for Clean Wisconsin.

Dominion Resources
Dominion operates the Kewaunee Power Station in Carlton, WI. A representative from Dominion resources will testify regarding their operations in Wisconsin.

Forrest Ceel
Mr. Ceel is the Assistant Business Manager / President of IBEW Local #2150.

Mark Buss
Mr. Buss is the Business Manager for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 400.

# # #

As A Project Of A Better Wisconsin Together, We're Fighting For A Wisconsin With Equal Economic Opportunity For All