should be left out of state energy master plan
by the Asbury Park
Press on 09/12/07
Corp. recently funded the creation of a group with the highly
misleading name of the New Jersey Affordable, Clean, Reliable
Energy (NJ ACRE) Coalition. In reality, the group is little more
than a front for the nuclear industry.
timing of the group's launch is no accident. This fall, Gov.
Corzine will unveil an energy master plan that will detail New
Jersey's energy future for the next 15 years. Exelon and PSE&G
are working to ensure the governor writes nuclear into the plan
instead of taking the state toward a more visionary new energy
lot is on the line. Imagine that Corzine rejects the utility
lobby and uses his energy master plan to implement and build
upon New Jersey's recent renewable energy and global warming
legislation. Imagine tens of thousands of homes and businesses
saving money and generating their own clean energy with solar
panels on their rooftops. Imagine turbines that harness the
state's vast wind potential and produce no waste or harmful
emissions. Imagine high-performance homes, businesses and
appliances that make use of new innovation, reduce consumption
and clear the air.
governor could bring this vision to light and live up to his
promise to make New Jersey a leader in clean energy. Exelon and
PSE&G, however, hope he will uphold the status quo and
continue to power the state with dangerous, expensive and
outdated energy sources such as nuclear.
Oyster Creek and Salem nuclear power plants are scheduled to
retire between 2009 and 2020. The plants pose tremendous
environmental, health and safety concerns and account for
roughly 17 percent of New Jersey's electric generating capacity.
And yet, Exelon and PSE&G are lobbying to extend the plants'
licenses and build a new nuclear power plant 48 miles south of
Philadelphia in South Jersey.
Creek is the nation's oldest nuclear power plant and stores its
radioactive waste right on site in Lacey in Ocean County.
Evacuation in the event of an accident would be difficult, if
not impossible. Salem also stores its waste on site. Oyster
Creek and Salem both cause significant damage to New Jersey's
marine resources, with Salem alone killing about 3 billion
Delaware River fish each year.
these and other problems, it's clear why Exelon needs to spend
so much money to mislead the public and promote a dangerous,
outdated technology. In reality, new nuclear plants take at
least 10 years to build and cost taxpayers, on average, roughly
$4 billion per plant.
scientists, including NASA's James Hansen, have warned we have
less than a decade to develop and execute a plan to curb our
global warming emissions. What's more, despite decades of
government subsidies, nuclear is still more expensive than the
emerging wind technologies.
is clear nuclear power will not solve our global warming crisis.
We can't allow Exelon, PSE&G or nuclear front groups to
continue to distract us from solving this problem in the
cleanest, most visionary way possible.
we have the technology at hand to power our state with clean,
renewable energy sources and permanently retire the Oyster Creek
and Salem nuclear power plants by 2020. This spring, Environment
New Jersey released a peer-reviewed report that demonstrates
that by crafting a visionary energy master plan that favors
efficiency, supports the development of solar and wind
technologies, and provides incentives for business to conserve
power during peak demand periods, we can account for more than
8,200 megawatts of capacity and fill the gap left by Oyster
Creek and Salem. And we can do so in a way that supports the
state's economy and supports innovation instead of supporting
the nuclear industry.
Elliott is the clean energy and global warming advocate for
Environment New Jersey, Trenton.