Nuclear Reactor Shutdown Vote 20 Years Ago Reverberates Today in Actions by 900 Mayors and Renewable Portfolio Standards in 2 Dozen States
"Shot Heard Round the World" Echoes in Strong Local, State Opposition Across U.S. to New Nuclear Reactors
In his remarks at the news conference,
Since the historic Rancho Seco shutdown vote, more than two dozen states have legislated or passed referenda requiring that utilities meet a specific target - usually ranging 10-30 percent of the electricity supply - for sustainable energy resources by a specific date, Denman said. Power that will be available from these "renewable portfolio standards" (RPS) sources is now routinely cited as a reason not to pursue more nuclear reactors.
Additionally, Denman noted that more than 900 elected mayors of cities including
Denman's prepared remarks for the news conference read as follows:
"Good morning. I am a national energy policy consultant and the former executive director of the national coalition, Safe Energy Communication Council. In 1988, and again in 1989, I coordinated the national environmental community in assisting the local sponsors of the ultimately successful ballot initiatives and campaigns to close the Rancho Seco reactor.
Twenty years ago, I hailed the victory as 'a shot heard 'round the world.' I said then that the intrepid organizers and those who voted to shutdown the reactor were 'a new breed of American patriots' and that this historic vote would spark the shift away from costly and dangerous reactors, and catalyze a movement for clean, affordable, safe, secure energy efficient and renewable energy technologies. That is exactly what has happened.
Since this pioneering vote in 1989, more than two dozen states have legislated or passed referenda requiring that utilities provide a specific percentage - typically ranging between 10-30 percent of the electricity supply - to be generated by sustainable energy resources by a date certain. More than 940 mayors of cities like
By terminating the Rancho Seco reactor,
Proposed new nuclear reactors would simply be too expensive and also take too long to build. Since the vote (and some 15 years before it), not one new reactor has been licensed.
The nuclear and utility industries keep coming back to the public trough for more and more bailouts, handouts, tax breaks, and subsidies. Now, nuclear cheerleaders in Congress are trying to force you and me, the taxpayers to give away more than
It's time to give wind, geothermal, solar and energy efficiency its first real chance. New reactors would lead us to more lemons like Rancho Seco, deeper national financial debt, and further economic crisis.
We have sustainable energy resources today that we, our children, and our grandchildren can live with. The bottom line lesson from Ranch Seco 20 years later: Don't get fooled by the same old promises of nuclear reactors. We can't pay the price. Thank you."
Other news event participants included former California State Senator
EDITOR'S NOTE: A streaming audio recording of the news event will be available on the Web as of
SOURCE Physicians for Social Responsibility,