Skip to main content

Nuclear Matters to Carol Browner in Chicago

Uh-oh:

Not too long ago Carol Browner would have sided with the activists clad in white hazmat suits protesting nuclear power outside the City Club's lunch Tuesday in downtown Chicago.

Or maybe not so uh-oh:

"I can't believe what I believe about climate change, about the dangers of carbon pollution and take off the table a carbon-free form of power," said Browner...

That’s an evolution that a lot of environmentalists have experienced in the last decade, as shown in the movie Pandora’s Promise. Browner speaks with great authority, as she is the former EPA administrator under President Clinton and director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy under President Obama. The Chicago Tribune turns over a lot of the article to anti-nuclear activists, so Browner does not get her full say.

So is there a fuller way to hear Browner’s views on nuclear energy? Happily, local radio station WBEZ interviewed her and, as expected, she is bullish on nuclear but still exceptionally judicious. She pushes for green energy diversity and balances concerns about nuclear safety (and acknowledges that the industry’s record is very good) and proliferation (ditto) against the threat of climate change (dire). The solution presents itself, is in fact inevitable – you can’t solve the emissions puzzle without nuclear energy.

You can listen to the 10 minute interview, which ranges over a number of environmental issues, at Soundcloud. Browner represented the Nuclear Matters campaign in Chicago along with former Sen. (and current Nuclear Matter co-chair) Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and others in a panel discussion on the future of nuclear energy in Illinois. This is a large topic we’ll address more fully another time. In the meantime, if you want a primer on just how important nuclear energy is to Illinois’ emission reduction goals, this story fills the bill and provides some pointers to more information. You can also pick up some of the conversation at the Chicago panel from Nuclear Matters’ Twitter feed, which is well worth subscribing to.

---

I was surprised to see an anti-nuclear energy screed at The New Republic. The writer, Zoe Loftus-Farren, is a contributing editor at Earth Island Journal, not a very friendly nuclear outlet. Even aside from that, I’d say the articles there are not really to my taste – they’re a bit dreamy, which is at least an interesting approach:

The poet, novelist, essayist and farmer [Wendell Berry] discusses organic foods, his frustrations with the environmental movement, and his love of his horses.

Brower Youth Award Winner Doorae Shin writes that being a progressive activist has fulfilled her childhood fantasy to attend Hogwarts.

Is altruism possible across species borders? And – the crucial question – can an entire species learn to shape its behavior, to its own cost, for the good of other species?

But I like the New Republic. So disappointing.

Comments

Engineer-Poet said…
You forget, the bulk of the staff of TNR just resigned in protest of the new owner's strategy to turn the magazine into on-line click-bait.

The TNR name may exist, but what's left is a zombie at best.
Chris Bergan said…
An interesting talk at the City Club of Chicago from a few days ago. Bayh & Browner spoke as expected, but the position of union officer Sean McGarvey is a welcome surprise (to me at least).
http://youtu.be/octsQF4Y_H0

Popular posts from this blog

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

New Home for Our Blog: Join Us on NEI.org

On February 27, NEI launched the new NEI.org. We overhauled the public site, framing all of our content around the National Nuclear Energy Strategy.

So, what's changed?

Our top priority was to put you, the user, first. Now you can quickly get the information you need. You'll enjoy visiting the site with its intuitive navigation, social media integration and compelling and shareable visuals. We've added a feature called Nuclear Now, which showcases the latest industry news and resources like fact sheets and reports. It's one of the first sections you'll see on our home page and it can be accessed anywhere throughout the site by clicking on the atom symbol in the top right corner of the page.
Most importantly for you, our loyal NEI Nuclear Notes readers, is that we've migrated the blog to the new site. Moving forward, all blog posts will be published in the News section, along with our press releases, Nuclear Energy Overview stories and more. Just look for the &qu…

Hurricane Harvey Couldn't Stop the South Texas Project

As Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas over the past week, the devastation and loss of life in its wake have kept our attention and been a cause of grief.

Through the tragedy, many stories of heroics and sacrifice have emerged. Among those who have sacrificed are nearly 250 workers who have been hunkered down at the South Texas Project (STP) nuclear plant in Matagorda County, Texas.

STP’s priorities were always the safety of their employees and the communities they serve. We are proud that STP continued to operate at full power throughout the storm. It is a true testament to the reliability and resiliency of not only the operators but of our industry.

The world is starting to notice what a feat it is to have maintained operations through the catastrophic event. Forbes’ Rod Adams did an excellent job describing the contribution of these men and women:

“STP storm crew members deserve to be proud of the work that they are doing. Their families should take comfort in the fact that…