Tomorrow's leaders aren't waiting for us to screw things up (any more).
Local activist organizations Southwest Workers Union and Fuerza Unida sent a shock troop of high-school-aged student interns into the breach today to protest developing plans to double the size of the South Texas Project nuclear complex.
Outside City-owned CPS Energy’s downtown office building they gathered to chant their opposition as a two-day hearing of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board down in Bay City was wrapping up.
Two years ago, CPS and NRG Energy were the first to break a 29-year gap in nuke power applications. Now the pair top the U.S. Department of Energy’s federal loan guarantee program and are on track to start into the multi-billion-dollar expansion unless San Antonio’s council fails to approve moving forward (and NRG can’t find a replacement partner) or federal regulators find fault with the pair’s plans.
While nuke opponents in Bay City rattled off a long list of objections they hoped would gain traction with regulators, SWU and Fuerza wanted to make sure the flavor of that protest was not lost on San Antonio.
“Over the long run, nuclear is much more expensive and there’s more at risk,” said Diana Lopez, of SWU. “The city is creating this whole sustainability plan that should include [renewables] more than nuclear.”
Blaring from banners and posterboard was word of the young people’s objection to an investment that NRG Energy says will reach $10 billion. Cost projections by opponents have trended toward the deeper end of the debt pool, most recently topping off at $22 billion.
CPS Energy is set to release their cost estimate to the public in the coming days.
The SWU/Fuerza protest was also intended also to send a message to SA Congressmembers Charlie Gonzalez and Ciro Rodriquez (South Texas nuke objectors have given up on Sentators Cornyn and Hutchison) that local residents want a strong climate bill out of the American Clean Energy & Security Act. The bill is expected to be taken up in the House on Friday.
For my part, I couldn't help enjoying the "Hey, Milty!" chant as twin CPS heads Milton Lee and Steve Bartley ducked down the street for lunch...
+ to listen to audio follow http://www.sacurrent.com/blog/queblog.asp