How do we best invest in the future of clean, sustainable energy? An article on the online journal Truthout describes the growing and urgent debate over whether to continue providing billions in financial subsidies to nuclear power. This debate is happening at state and national levels, often under the guise of “clean energy” and reducing carbon emissions to alleviate the climate crisis. The Biden administration in particular is advocating $200 BILLION in new subsidies for nuclear plants to keep them afloat in a failing energy market, money that would be better spent funding clean, renewable power investments. In the article, leading nuclear critics argue that we can get much cheaper and faster carbon reductions by investing that money in renewables and efficiency:
“These are bridges to nowhere. They delay investment in what we truly need to be putting money towards, which is safe, clean, green renewable energy like solar, wind and geothermal.” – Elizabeth Moran, environmental policy director for New York Public Interest Research Group
A key example of this inequitable situation in found in our upwind neighbor, New York. Despite finally closing the massively dangerous and decrepit Indian Point plant, the state continues to shell out billions of dollars in subsidies to its four remaining (and equally decrepit) reactors. In fact, the state of New York is providing nuclear subsidies more than 100 TIMES the amount given to renewables development, despite the fact that they recently made the biggest commitment to offshore wind on the US east coast.
Other than a possible federal bailout, there haven’t been any additional subsidy proposals for our own Seabrook plant, but it’s just a matter of time. As emerging power sources from offshore wind in southern New England and Canadian hydro and wind power threaten to swamp the regional electricity market with cheaper and cleaner power, NextEra Energy, Seabrook’s owner, will certainly come calling for subsidies to shore up their failing investment. In fact, NextEra is so concerned about this potential competition that it’s the #1 source of funding for a statewide ballot initiative campaign that is fighting New England Energy Connect, a transmission line intended to carry carbon-free hydropower from Canada to Maine.
Nuclear Subsidies May Be Slowing Transition to Clean Energy, Advocates Say (Truthout.org)
THEN DO SOMETHING!
Go to https://nirs.salsalabs.org/