BERKLEY JOINS WITH MUSIC LEGENDS, FELLOW REPS. IN CALL FOR CLEAN ENERGY -- NOT MORE NUKE POWER SUBSIDIES
Music Icons Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Graham Nash Headline Event; Deliver Petition with 120,000 Signatures from NukeFree.org
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) today joined with U.S. Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and John Hall (D-NY), music icons Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash, and leading environmental groups in calling for an end to nuclear subsidies in energy legislation currently pending in Congress and for greater investment in renewable energy resources.
The musicians, environmental advocates and Members of Congress delivered a message in support of the energy bill's provisions increasing the use of renewable energy, while also expressing their opposition to expensive loan guarantees that would be used to subsidize the building of the first new nuclear power plants in decades. A petition signed by artists including R.E.M., Ben Harper, Maroon 5, Pearl Jam, Patti Smith, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Earle, Natalie Maines and Emily Robinson of the Dixie Chicks, Keb' Mo' and Don Henley, along with more than 120,000 Americans from across the nation, was presented at Tuesday's event.
In her remarks at the event, Berkley highlighted the dangers of nuclear waste transportation and storage and the need to replace nuclear power subsidies with programs that support renewable energy development in Nevada and nationwide.
"Building more nuclear power plants is not the answer to our nation's energy needs. There is nothing safe or clean about an energy source that produces toxic high level radioactive waste that will be dangerous for the next million years. There is still no answer as to what we should do with this waste that does not involve burying it 90 minutes from my hometown of Las Vegas.
As a nation, we should be investing in clean, renewable energy and I support ending the billions of dollar in subsidies that will go to those who apply to build new nuclear reactors.
The music legends assembled here today are lending their voices to the call for an end to radioactive pork for the nuclear industry. Their message is music to my ears. As a nation, we must stop creating more nuclear waste and start investing in power from the sun and wind, in the development of geothermal resources and in increased energy efficiency.
More nuclear plants will only create more nuclear waste, which in turn will only increase the danger of transporting these deadly by-products across 43 states and the District of Columbia to Nevada.
These shipments will speed through communities that are home to 50 million Americans; traveling past homes and hospitals and houses of worship. Decades of trains and trucks carrying waste across the U.S., each shipment an accident waiting to happen or potential terrorist target.
Yucca Mountain is a failure. The price tag has ballooned to $80 billion and the project is decades behind schedule. The proposed dump is riddled with scientific uncertainty and the site is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.
Even with all these dangers, the nuclear industry is still pushing to send all of its waste to Nevada. And any new nuclear power plants now being discussed are relying on Nevada to be home to their future waste. Meanwhile, the Bush administration is pushing its plans to double the size of Yucca Mountain, doubling the danger to 50 million Americans, including the families of Nevada.
We need to say NO to more nuclear subsidies, no to decades of waste shipments past homes, schools and businesses and YES to clean, renewable energy that will help create true energy independence."