Legislature pushes responsible energy bill out of sight in favor of pro nuclear power bill

Heal Utah has issued this action alert:

It may be Valentine’s Day, but we didn’t expect the Utah Senate to pen a love letter to nuclear power.

In a Joint Resolution Supporting Nuclear Power (SJR 16)—drafted by Sen. David Hinkins (R-Orangeville), in whose district Aaron Tilton plans to build his nuclear reactors—the Legislature “expresses its appreciation and admiration” to nuclear power and declares it to be low cost, safe, and environmentally sound.

Never mind that the nuclear industry is the most heavily subsidized energy industry in U.S. history. Disregard the fact that it is cost prohibitive for our state’s residents. Forget for a moment its painful health and environmental legacy, which Utahns continue to shoulder.

If all that isn’t enough to swallow, the resolution also contains no fewer than five statements belittling the potential of renewable energy.

And to make matters worse, the Senate will hold a committee hearing on Sen. Hinkin’s resolution as early as next week, while Sen. McCoy’s “responsible” nuclear power bill (SB 42) is being held behind the closed doors of the Senate Rules Committee.

Please take a minute to call or email Sen. Margaret Dayton (R-Orem) and ask her to give Sen. McCoy’s Nuclear Power Distribution and Generation bill (SB 42) a public hearing immediately. Sen. Dayton is the chair of the Rules Committee, meaning she decides which bills get hearings.

You can reach Sen. Dayton at home: (801) 221-0623 or by email: mdayton@utahsenate.org.

Here’s a sample message you can leave:

“Hi, my name is___. I’m calling to ask you to pass Sen. McCoy’s Nuclear Power and Distribution bill (SB 42) out of the rules committee and to give it a public hearing immediately. SB 42 simply requires that if nuclear power is developed in Utah, it has to be affordable to Utahns and there has be a permanent disposal solution for the waste. Why is talking about power we can afford and a place to store nuclear waste something the Legislature should not to discuss? Thank you.”

Since most legislators will tell you that nuclear power is cheap and that the waste problem has been solved, we’ve put together a list of resources to back you up:

http://healutah.org/nuclearutah/energy/legtalkingpoints.

With nuclear power looming on Utah’s horizon, Utahns deserve to have an open and honest discussion about the impacts of developing it in our state. Yet so far, talking about power we can afford and being responsible about nuclear waste is not something the Legislature wants to discuss.

Please call or email Sen. Dayton today. Blanket statements in support of the nuclear industry serve no one, save for Aaron Tilton. It’s time we began discussing our energy future.

Thank you for taking action

HEAL Utah 68 S. Main St., Suite 400 Salt Lake City, UT 84101

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