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USA: Global Warming ''Tricks'' Opposed by Environmental Groups

Nuclear Energy Information Service
October 31st, 2000

EVANSTON -- Local environmental groups are "hot" about Clinton Administration global warming "tricks" designed to promote an expansion of nuclear power and use of carbon 'sinks' as allegedly "sustainable" means of meeting its commitment to fighting global warming. And they intend to try a few Halloween "tricks" of their own to get the Administration to change its position.

"Promoting nuclear power and use of 'carbon sinks' as its means of meeting global warming targets is ludicrous," states Dave Kraft, Director of the Evanston-based Nuclear Energy Information Service, Illinois' nuclear power watchdog group. "Substituting an increasing number of nuclear power problems while trying to diminish global warming ones is both irrational and unnecessary," Kraft says.

Rather than aggressively promoting truly sustainable resources like renewable energy and energy efficiency, and committing to real reductions in global warming gas emissions, the Clinton Administration is attempting to get credit for "business as usual" methods and practices -- building and selling more nuclear reactors, current agricultural practices, and current practices of reforestation after clear-cuts -- to avoid the pain of taking real action.

"It's 'business as usual' thinking that brought us to a global warming crisis to begin with," Kraft notes. "For a decade the public in poll after poll has been calling for increased support for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and what does Clinton propose? Nukes and sinks! Some environmental legacy," Kraft observes.

Environmental groups are opposing these end-of-term Administration "tricks." A letter with signatures from well over 100 major environmental groups and individuals has already gone to the Administration opposing this proposal. A meeting in Washington on Friday, October 27 produced little change in the Administration's position.

Environmental and safe-energy advocates argue that better means exist to meet Treaty targets. For example, energy efficiency -- in spite of being able to remove nearly seven times the atmospheric carbon per dollar spent than nuclear power can, and do so four to twelve times faster -- was not even a discussion topic in the previous global warming meeting in September in Lyon, France. It is not on the COP-6 agenda. Third World budgets can afford the efficiency option, which doesn't demand the same level of technological sophistication or security requirements that nuclear power does. So, why isn't it being promoted more aggressively by the Administration, they ask?

"Third World nations oppose this proposal. The Europeans oppose it. The American public has repeatedly stated it doesn't want new nuclear plants. This is beginning to look more like a term- ending 'payback' for the nuclear power industry than sane public policy," Kraft suggests. "The COP-6 meeting in the Hague begins on November 13th. Whoever is in the White House at that time had better have a good 'duck' reflex if he attempts to continue this policy," Kraft warns. "We have some 'tricks' of our own, too, you know."

Activists will be out on Halloween alerting people to the Administration's global warming "tricks," and will continue public awareness activities and events through the COP-6 meeting the week of November 13-18 in the Hague, Netherlands.

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NUCLEAR ENERGY INFORMATION SERVICE was established in 1981 to provide the public with information about nuclear power and radioactive waste hazards, and about viable energy alternatives to nuclear power. For more information: David A Kraft, Nuclear Energy Information Service, (847)869-7650