Nuclear power is in trouble. What should be done? The conventional wisdom holds that a techno-fix, like a radically new design, or new construction techniques, will save nuclear. But such a view assumes that nuclear’s underlying problems are technical. They’re not. Public acceptance remains the main obstacle to the future of nuclear. How can public acceptance be addressed? And what role in particular might women have to play? In this talk to Women in Nuclear, Canada, EP President Michael Shellenberger offers suggestions.Read More
California and Germany could have mostly or completely decarbonized their electricity sectors had their investments in renewables been diverted entirely to new nuclear instead, a new Environmental Progress analysis finds.Read More
I’m very happy to invite you to attend a historic, pro-nuclear power demonstration in Munich, Germany, on Sunday, October 21, from 10 am to 4 pm!
The official name of the event is the “Nuclear Pride Fest,” and its founding purpose is to save and expand nuclear energy in Europe. The Fest will be held in Marienplatz, Munich’s central plaza.Read More
Vipin Narang of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describes why nations pursue nuclear power as a weapons option, how North Korea provides a “blueprint” for building a weapon, and why the use of a nuclear weapon is unlikely to escalate into a full-scale war.Read More
Germany is, for the first time since 1949, without nuclear protection provided by the United States, and thus defenseless in an extreme crisis. As such, Germany has no alternative but to rely on itself. A nuclear-armed Germany would be for deterrence only.Read More
The Finnish Green Party adopted a new program on June 19, 2018 under the leadership of MP Olli-Poika Parviainen.
With regard to nuclear energy, and for the first time in Europe, this green party is now "open to all research and development on low-carbon technologies that respect the environment. The most recent nuclear projects in Finland have been slow and problematic. We do not want it to start over again. "Read More
What I think about a lot.
I have, for a long time, been thinking about three important interlinked crises. I put them in these general categories: 1) energy and climate, 2) human development and well-being, and 3) ecosystems and biodiversity.Read More
New Jersey’s passage today of legislation to prevent the premature closure of the state’s nuclear plants is another crucial victory to save America’s largest source of clean energy.
Climate and environmental scientists organized by Environmental Progress urged New Jersey’s Governor Philip Murphy to pass the legislation, and I testified in support of the legislation last December.
But the legislation’s passage came at a hefty price: 18 to 28 times more in subsidies for solar energy than will be received by nuclear plants.Read More
New Jersey’s state legislature today passed legislation that will subsidize solar at a rate 18 to 28 times greater than a state subsidy for nuclear, a new Environmental Progress analysis finds.Read More
Tom Steyer, a billionaire energy speculator, is bank-rolling an Arizona ballot initiative that would prematurely close the state’s sole nuclear plant — which is also America’s largest single source of clean energy — and replace it with fossil fuels.Read More
Seven nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania produce 30 percent more power than all of the solar in the United States. If they are closed, the future of our largest source of clean energy is dark.Read More
California today is frequently held up as a progressive model — but is it? California’s high cost of living is a major factor behind the state having the country’s highest rate of poverty and inequality. When the cost of living is taken into account, California still spends less on K-12 education than all but four other states. In truth, California is neither progressive nor a model for other states. What’s behind California’s high cost of living are tax, regulatory, and other policies that are regressive and parasitical. California has routinely reformed its government in the past and must do so again today. This begins with a vision of a high-productivity and high-wage economy.
— Curb corruption with a New Sunshine Act that requires transparency into government contracting, permitting, regulating and other activities, and break up the corrupt California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC);
— Build abundant housing by up-zoning all cities and suburbs to allow modestly taller buildings, and by closing the loophole in the state’s most important environmental law (CEQA) that allows interest groups to file expensive and frivolous lawsuits anonymously and repeatedly;
— Create high-paying jobs in advanced manufacturing, biotech, and innovative agriculture by leveraging the state's research universities and community colleges in partnership with new and modernized industries and capturing scale-ups from R&D;
— End poverty by raising the minimum wage, embracing automation, including the autonomous vehicle revolution, and mandating high school and college apprenticeship partnerships with advanced manufacturing and other industries;
— Personalize and modernize education by establishing a 9-to-5 school day that results in the elimination of homework for students, and of schoolwork for teachers; an incremental lengthening of the school year; and unleashing the special talents of all students through digital instruction and teacher tutoring;
— Make property taxes fair and sustainable by empowering a representative “citizens jury” to undergo a year-long evidence-based deliberation that culminates in an amendment to California’s constitution;
— Establish and enforce the principle of universal worker rights for all social classes by demanding the federal government create a path to citizenship for a labor force lacking political rights and power; reforming public pension obligations; and making pension contributions the responsibility of future public employees.
This plan can unify workers, employers, and taxpayers. Workers will benefit from higher wages and cheaper housing. Employers benefit from being able to grow their high-wage and high skill business in California. And Baby Boomer homeowners will benefit from the creation of housing their children and grandchildren can afford. This coalition should be enough to overcome well-funded interest groups. School teachers, principals, and parents will benefit from a modernized school day and year, higher pay, and better outcomes. The labor unions whose members lack housing they can afford greatly outnumber the small number of unions opposing CEQA reform. And pro-density environmentalists are younger and growing in power over anti-development NIMBYs.Read More
Between 2016 and 2017, California’s electricity prices rose three times faster than they did in the rest of the United States, according to a new analysis by Environmental Progress.
The increases came despite 2017 having the highest output of hydroelectricity — the state’s cheapest source of electricity — since 2011.
Electricity prices in the rest of the United States outside California rose two percent, the same as the rate of inflation.
Between 2011 and 2017, California’s electricity prices rose five times faster than they did nationally. Today, Californians pay 60 percent more, on average, than the rest of the nation, for resident, commercial and industrial electricity.
Economists agree that “the dominant policy driver in the electricity sector [in California] has unquestionably been a focus on developing renewable sources of electricity generation.”Read More
When "Pandora's Promise" was released in 2013, Grist attacked nuclear energy, denying the scientific evidence for its safety and necessity. Now, Grist has come out strongly for nuclear — proof that not only people, but also institutions, can change.Read More
Since he was elected in 2010, Gov. Jerry Brown has gained an international reputation as a climate leader. He has spoken at the Vatican, at U.N. climate talks, and promoted California’s policies in China. Journalists routinely praise Brown for reducing emissions by expanding clean energy.
But is Brown’s climate reputation deserved?
A new, two-year investigation by Environmental Progress concludes that no American has killed more zero-emissions energy than Gov. Jerry Brown — and in ways that sometimes benefited his own family financially.
We publish this story on the day the Brown-controlled California Public Utilities Commission has voted to kill Diablo Canyon, California’s largest single source of clean energy, and the state’s last nuclear plant.
They did so despite being under federal and state criminal investigation relating to the closure of yet another nuclear plant, San Onofre, in 2013.
What makes this corruption story matter is that it resulted in rising emissions and electricity costs.
Had the Brown administration’s repeated self-dealing resulted in lower emissions and cheaper energy, this would just be the story of yet another crooked family’s political dynasty.
What makes EP’s investigation even more significant is the crucial role Brown played in legitimizing anti-nuclear ideology, and creating the anti-nuclear movement — one which has replaced nuclear plants with fossil fuels in Germany, Vermont, Japan, Taiwan, and other nations around the world.
The story begins in the 1960s with the construction of Diablo Canyon. The goal of the state’s electric utilities was, at the time, to reduce dependence on coal, oil and natural gas, which were expensive and dirty.
But the same year the Sierra Club endorsed the building of Diablo Canyon, Brown’s family came into extraordinary oil wealth — wealth that depended on maintaining the state’s dependence on imported foreign oil.
On taking power in 1975, Brown and his allies aggressively wielded power in ways that directly benefited Brown’s family, including by killing nuclear power plants.
All of the evidence and sources we cite come from credible newspaper, historical, archival, and court evidence, and none of the facts we present have been, to our knowledge, contested by any of the parties involved.
While little of the evidence we present is new — and most of it is, in fact, decades old — EP has presented comprehensive evidence that the war on nuclear energy has a strong financial component.
We are not suggesting that financial motives alone explain the anti-nuclear movement, but the heavy and sustained involvement of Gov. Brown and others with a direct financial interest in killing the main competitor to petroleum and natural gas can no longer be ignored as a key factor to its rise and continuing power.Read More
Environmental Progress has requested the U.S. Department of Justice to take over from the California Department of Justice the investigation of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for possible criminal activities relating to the closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).Read More
Over the last two years, Elon Musk has been lionized as a climate hero for creating a high-performance electric car (Tesla) and a fast-growing solar panel company (Solar City).
Now, Tesla, which absorbed Solar City last year, has come out in favor of *closing* Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, California's largest source of clean energy.
Imagine the outcry if a nuclear energy company tried not just to kill solar subsidies but actually *remove* Solar City panels from rooftops in order to build more nuclear plants.Read More