Nuclear power: unsafe for Marylanders, environment

February 09, 2011

Ajax Eastman's Feb. 7 piece, "Wind power advocates full of hot air," presents the vastly distorted impression that the Maryland environmental community is divided on the issue of offshore wind power. This is not true. All of the state's major environmental groups — the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club, Environment Maryland, the National Wildlife Foundation and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters — firmly support Gov. Martin O'Malley's Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act.

Ms. Eastman loses credibility among mainstream environmental advocates by supporting the expansion of expensive, dangerous nuclear power plants instead of offshore wind power development. In fact, none of the leading environmental groups listed above share her view, as the dangers associated with nuclear power are numerous and well documented. Ms. Eastman also fails to mention the fact that uranium is not a renewable resource. Many estimates put total global supply at less than 75 years. What does she suggest Maryland do to meet our energy needs after that?

Offshore wind energy has much to offer, including limitless clean, homegrown energy and the addition of thousands of well-paying jobs to our economy. Moreover, there are zero credible studies showing offshore wind will have any negative impacts on bird or marine populations. Also, a recent report by fossil fuel giant ExxonMobil predicts that by the year 2025, wind power will be the least expensive energy source. Yes, even cheaper than nuclear.

Nuclear power is neither a safe nor a sustainable option for meeting Maryland's future energy needs. The state's leading environmental advocates agree — offshore wind power is our best choice.

Jamie Nolan, Takoma Park

The writer is communications director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

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