Oil spill raises doubts about new nuclear power

June 14, 2010

The spill in the Gulf of Mexico should ring like a gong that the current industries that produce the means for our energy needs cannot be allowed to police themselves. BP and others have extensive track records and have been cited and fined numerous times for their utter disregard for the planet and its people.

Having said that, here is a part of a speech by President Obama back in February: "Investing in nuclear energy remains a necessary step. The choices we make will affect not just the next generation but many generations to come." This is what worries me. He continued, "The fact is, changing the ways we produce and use energy requires us to think anew, it requires us to act anew, and it demands of us a willingness to extend our hand across some of the old divides to act in good faith and to move beyond the broken politics of the past. That is what we must do. That is what we will do."

In light of the current disaster in the Gulf, the wording of this speech sounds eerily like just another push for deregulation, like another endorsement for the American people to trust an industry, "in good faith" to do what we trusted the oil industry to do, to keep our families safe. Instead we have loss of human life, loss of animal life, and untold damage to the environment that supports that life. I for one do not feel comfortable putting my children's safety in their hands.

There are better, safer, sustainable alternative technologies, and if we do not commit to them with all we have, immediately, we will merely be sitting back waiting for the next disaster. We all know now how bad it can be as we helplessly watch the oil spill worsen due to the negligence and careless disregard for the environment by industries that put profit above our safety, industries that have free reign to do as they please.

Imagine the very real scenario of the damage possible from a nuclear industry accident with the same lax governance.

Steve Weaver, Baltimore

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