Women. Power. Peace.

Quick Points on the EPA’s New Clean Power Plan

Rally outside the EPA Hearing in Atlanta on July 29.

Rally outside the EPA Hearing in Atlanta on July 29.

On June 2nd President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a historic plan to cut carbon pollution and stop the worst effects of climate disruption. The Clean Power Plan is our nation's first major action to cut dangerous carbon pollution, 30% by 2030. The rule will help improve public health and spur a clean energy economy that can drive down electricity bills and create hundreds of thousands of dependable jobs. Unfortunately the proposal also subsidizes dirty and dangerous nuclear power, which currently endangers Georgia communities and is costing ratepayers extra fees on their bills each month.

This is the beginning of what could be the biggest climate fight in US history. The proposed plan is already under attack by fossil fuel industry, Georgia utilities, elected officials, and the billionaire Koch Brothers who are mobilizing like never before to send their lobbyists to Washington and fund astro-turf groups like "Georgia Energy Freedom Alliance" and Americans for Prosperity Georgia.

Public comments on the plan have been extended through November 25, 2014. Comments can be made at: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/how-comment-clean-power-plan-proposed-rule

 

March to the EPA Hearing in Atlanta.

March to the EPA Hearing in Atlanta.

How Has Nuclear, Coal and Oil-Fueled Energy Affected Our Health, Quality of Life and Economic Conditions?

1. Communities living near nuclear power plants in Georgia suffer higher rates of cancer and economic desolation.

2. Asthma rates have doubled in US in the past 30 years. In Georgia, 8.2 percent of adults suffer from asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3. Health risks associated with nuclear energy production are significantly increased for female bodied individuals; especially those in the zero to five range whose risk is two times as much as their male bodied counterpart, and for adult female bodied the risk is 50% higher.

The Intentions of The Proposal:

1. Encourages subsidies for nuclear plants to support about six percent of each state’s energy production from nuclear plants.

2. The Clean Carbon Plan proposal takes the level of carbon pollution at 2005 and wishes to decrease it by 30% by the year 2030.

3. Increase the United States reliance on alternative, longer lasting and cleaner forms of energy, such as solar, wind and hydroelectric.

The Negative Effects of Expanding Nuclear Energy Growth through Subsidies:

1. Many people in support of the expansion of nuclear energy technology suggest that clean alternatives would increase energy costs.  However, various studies have indicated that it is actually the opposite.  Costs are lowered when using solar, hydroelectric and wind energy.  There is a very small amount dependant on nuclear energy, as low as an estimated half percent of the United States' electricity supply.

2. The economic value of avoiding retirement of the six percent of nuclear plants per state is not necessarily advantageous to the industry.

3. Nuclear reactors are dangerous, uneconomical and can easily be replaced by newer and cleaner ways to generate energy.  If the subsidies pass, this requires taxpayers to give money to support decades old technology.

4. Each nuclear plant is required by law at every two-year interval to dispel the spent uranium used to generate energy.  It has released most of the energy through a fission process and becomes radioactive waste.

The rule, as reviewed, presents a positive spin on something that could have serious health consequences.

Atlanta was one of only four cities nation-wide to host a public EPA hearing on this proposed rule. On July 29th, Courtney Hanson, Becky Rafter and many Georgia WAND members spoke out at the hearing in favor of carbon limits and investment in clean energy and against further investment in nuclear power.  For a copy of the transcripts from their testimony, please contact Becky Rafter at becky@georgiawand.org.  Georgia WAND also proudly helped to plan, lead and participate in a march and rally outside of  the hearing that was co-organized by dozens of environmental organizations from across the Southeast.

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