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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sierra Club to hold meeting Tuesday, March 18th @ Witte

Ruth Stewart (photo)

Please mark your calendars for the following two important events:

1. The Sierra Club will hold its next general meeting Tuesday, March 18th @ 6:40 p.m. at the Witte Museum. The meeting is free and open to the public. The topic will be "Green is the New Red, White and Blue."

Thomas Friedman's film by that name will be shown, and then there will be discussion involving all present about the film and the ideas it presents. We are involved in a period of great transition regarding energy, and all citizens need to be aware of what's happening because all are affected.

2. Tuesday, March 25, CPS Energy will hold a public hearing on the two new nuclear units it is proposing to build. A coalition of citizen organizations has determined that the two new units are probably unnecessary to our future energy mix if CPS makes a concerted effort involving efficiency, conservation, cogeneration, and renewable sources.

CPS is saying that the two new units will cost about $4 - $5 billion and be online by 2016. This is highly unlikely. Moody's Investors Service has calculated that a plant the size of the one we'd be getting will cost more like $16 billion. And the plant is likely to experience delays that make 2016 much too optimistic a start-up date. Already the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has indefinitely postponed consideration of the application because of software concerns.

The waste disposal problem for all nukes is far from being solved. And water is an issue: Most nukes use a tremendous amount of it and it can become contaminated with radioactive material. In a drought-prone region that is a major concern.

Eight new nuclear plants are proposed for Texas, the CPS one being the first. Citizens who care about the future are urged to attend the hearing and say no to it, urging CPS to go with the abundance of safer and more economical (in terms of money and health) alternatives.

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