Peace News
Written by Joan Russow
Friday, 02 November 2012 16:48



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6930 Carroll Avenue, #340, Takoma Park, MD 20912; 301-270-6477; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.nirs.org






November 2, 2012

Dear Friends,

Regardless of what happens in next week’s election, afterwards the current Congress is going to meet in a lame duck session and try to grapple with major federal tax, budget, jobs, and deficit issues. And they’re going to be looking for savings—both real and imagined—wherever they possibly can.

We’ve got an easy way for Congress to support tens of thousands of American jobs, and to reduce future budget deficits by billions of dollars. And our plan will also help prevent radioactive poisoning of our nation while building a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy future.

Tell Congress now: End the nuclear power tax credit, renew the wind tax credit!

While wind power itself dates back centuries ago, the era of modern industrial-scale wind power is only a couple of decades old, and owes its incredible surge in use (wind is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S.) in part to a tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour for new wind generators.

But that tax credit has always had to be renewed nearly every year, thus being held hostage by a sometimes hostile Congress, making private investment in wind uncertain, and actually has held back the level of wind power we could have. And right now, the wind tax credit is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. It needs to be renewed, and for a lot more than one year, to support the burgeoning wind industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it generates.

Meanwhile, almost no one (outside of the utilities that intend to use it) realizes that nuclear power has a similar tax credit available for new nuclear reactors. Except that their tax credit, established by President Bush’s 2005 energy bill, doesn’t expire every couple of years—it covers new reactors brought on line by 2021. The credit covers the first eight years of generation by the first 6,000 megawatts of new nuclear power (or about six new reactors). But the language is ambiguous and can be read to allow the same credit for 6,000 MW at a time, meaning that many more reactors could receive its benefits (and could mean that the credit itself could actually last until 2029!).

The nuclear tax credit is capped at $125 million per year per reactor (given reactors’ much greater size than wind turbines, a much larger amount than any wind farm could get). Thus, for six reactors, this tax credit would deprive the federal treasury of $750 million per year—billions over its lifetime, and the credit could even get extended.

Why should nuclear power’s tax credit last more than a decade, when wind power’s tax credit must be renewed every year or so? That makes no sense. Why should dangerous, dirty and expensive nuclear power receive that kind of support from taxpayers at all? It shouldn’t.

Tell your Congressmembers now: end the nuclear power tax credit, extend the wind power tax credit.

If we’re going to create a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy future, we need to adopt policies that move us closer to that goal. Right now, Congress is on the verge of going in the opposite direction. The wind power tax credit is in danger of not being extended, while the nuclear tax credit is safe and sound. That needs to be reversed, but it won’t be unless we all raise our voices now. Please act.

By the way, this would also be an excellent question to ask your Congressmembers and their challengers during the final days of this election campaign! We’re willing to bet 90%+ of them don’t even know about it! Help educate them now.


For a variety of reasons, ranging from Superstorm Sandy to installation of our new server, we’ve been disrupted a lot during October. And our shrinking bank account is desperately in need of replenishment. Seriously. Right now, we need your support--our bills are mounting. Thus, we are extending our Thanks and Treat month offer for one more week from today: if you give NIRS $25 or more by November 9 online (or a check postmarked by Nov 9), we will thank you by giving you a treat of CDs by two of our favorite friends: Bonnie Raitt and Ani DiFranco. You can donate online here or after you send your letters to Congress. Or you can send a check to NIRS, 6930 Carroll Avenue, #340, Takoma Park, MD 20912. And thank you so much.


Finally, some very good news. Yesterday, November 1, 2012, an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board issued a formal order ending the licensing proceeding for the Calvert Cliffs-3 nuclear reactor—in NIRS’ favor. With denial of the license. This is the first time that has ever happened. And we did it ourselves, pro se, without a lawyer because we couldn’t afford one. Just imagine what we could do if we had adequate resources! We’re now waiting for a final Commissioners’ decision on review of the case; we expect to win there too. We'll let you know when we do.

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
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NIRS on the web (stay up-to-date with the Nuclear Newsreel section on the front page, featuring the day's most interesting news on nuclear power and other energy issues): http://www.nirs.org

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Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2012 16:51