Federal, state legislative actions threaten renewables, efficiency again; create new radioactive waste threats
If you believe in safe energy and a less-nuclear world, we ask you to take immediate action on two urgent issues described below.
Actions in Springfield threaten to take away some of the hard-won renewable energy gains of the last year, as the proposed Gov. Rauner budget calls for “sweeping” dedicated renewable energy funds as part of his proposed budget balancing fix.
In Washington D.C. Rep. John Shimkus’ (R. IL-15) again proposes re-starting the flawed Yucca Mt. site in Nevada for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLRW); and promote unnecessary private “centralized interim storage” (CIS) radwaste facilities in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico – over strong local objection. While it’s tempting to want to get HLRW out of communities like Zion ASAP, prematurely sending it to flawed or unnecessary facilities like these is both dangerous and uneconomic; and increases the risks from transportation accidents in communities that have nothing to do with nuclear power and waste currently, while senselessly contaminating additional new sites around the nation that will ultimately have to be cleaned up. This is simply dumb energy policy, designed to “unconstipate” the dying nuclear power industry at ratepayer and taxpayer expense.
Please take these action steps listed below to oppose these dangerous and RE/EE-threatening plans. You can find the “active links” for this Alert posted on the NEIS website homepage at www.neis.org
- STOP THE RAUNER SWEEPS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY FUNDS: This in from our friends and colleagues at the Illinois Environmental Council:
Governor Rauner has called state legislators into special session from June 21 to June 30 to address the state’s budget crisis. The Governor has endorsed the Senate Republican budget plan that would “sweep” hundreds of millions of dollars from clean energy and conservation funds.
We need to oppose this newly introduced budget for several important reasons:
Clean Energy Programs Would Be Devastated.
Last December, legislators with the Governor’s support passed the Future Energy Jobs Act. A critical piece of this law was the designation of approximately $185 million remaining in the state’s Renewable Energy Resources Fund (RERF) to be used for the Illinois Solar for All Program. Legislators committed that the RERF dollars would be used to ensure that new solar development would occur in economically disadvantaged communities and a training pipeline would be set up to provide solar jobs in these areas. The Senate GOP proposal (SB 2217) would sweep every dollar from this program. Incredibly, less than a year after creating the Illinois Solar for All Program, the legislature would take the RERF funds and end the program.
IEC and the organizations we represent understand that Illinois is facing a serious budget crisis and the legislature must move decisively to solve this problem. However, a budget solution should be sustainable. Relying on one-time fund transfers is not sustainable and sets the state up for another year of deficit spending. By using fund sweeps, the state would be “robbing Peter to pay Paul” – funding some programs by devastating others.
Take action here to ask legislators to pass a budget the protects the Future Energy Jobs Act and leaves special funds alone! ( to get the contact info for your state legislators, go to
- STOP THE SHIMKUS HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE CON-JOB:
Contact your U.S. Representative ASAP! Oppose the Mobile Chernobyl U.S. House bill before the full House Energy & Commerce Committee
Last week, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), succeeded in rushing his “Screw Nevada” Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump legislation through the Environment and Economy Subcommittee he chairs. Now the bill moves on to the full U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Full committee markup is currently expected to take place Wed., June 28th.
If passed there, it would then move on to the full House floor for consideration. If ultimately passed into law, H.R.3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017, would launch unprecedented thousands of truck, train, and/or barge shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel, through 45 states, bound for Nevada. These shipments would pass through the heart of many major cities. They would pass through 370 of the 435 congressional districts in the U.S.!
Each shipment represents a potential Mobile Chernobyl, Floating Fukushima, or Dirty Bomb on Wheels risk, whether due to severe accident or intentional attack. Even “routine” or “incident-free” shipments have been called “Mobile X-ray machines that can’t be turned off,” given the hazardous gamma radiation they would emit, and expose persons to, who get too close (as by living along the shipping route, getting stuck next to a shipment in traffic, etc.).
Please take action and contact your U.S. Representative via the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 225-3121, or look up your U.S. Representative’s direct office phone number, fax number, web form/email, and/or snail mail (enter your ZIP and click <GO> in upper right corner, then follow the links to your Representative’s website, and contact info. posted there). Urge your U.S. Representative to block this dangerous legislation, by voting against it and urging their U.S. House colleagues to do the same.
The bill would also expedite the opening of centralized interim storage sites for radioactive waste in Texas and/or New Mexico, multiplying Mobile Chernobyl risks. And Energy Secretary Rick Perry just dropped a bombshell proposal this week, at a U.S. House hearing, to also do interim storage at the Nevada Nuclear Weapons Test Site, before ultimately burying the wastes at Yucca, all against the state’s will, without its consent. For more background information and actions, see our Yucca Mountain website section.