September 20, 2007

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Critics, supporters, about even at latest Indian Point hearing

Cortlandt Manor – From the Raging Grannies of Westchester to the African American Environmentalist Association, testimony from almost 30 speakers ran the gamut from demands to close Indian Point, to forecasts of economic disaster if the license for the nuclear power plant is not renewed.  The occasion was the latest public input sessions on the environmental scoping process, which is but one part of the license renewal review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Moore: "reduce
fossil fuel"

McDonald: "I love
Indian Point"

One of the original members of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, is now head of Greenspirit Strategies, Ltd, of Vancouver, Canada.

“If we want to actually reduce our fossil fuel consumption, the CO2, emissions, in other words, greenhouse gasses they give off, the concern about climate change, and if we want to get our air cleaner, most of the problem being caused by burning fossil fuels, we need to have an aggressive program of renewable energy plus nuclear energy in order to accomplish that task.”

“I love Indian Point”, said Norris McDonald, of the African American Environmentalist Association, one of several other supporters.

“It’s about the four-year-old child in Harlem, in a high-rise apartment on a non-attainment day, without air-conditioning.”

If you want clean, healthy air to breathe, McDonald argued, you want clean nuclear-generated power.

Critics weren’t buying that argument.

Jacobs: "5,000 fewer
cander deaths"

Marc Jacobs, of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, spoke of the cancer death he says follow nuclear plants, contending that based on statistics gleaned from the experience in California, around a closed plant, closing Indian Point would save many lives.

“Five thousand fewer cancer deaths would occur in the next 20 years in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties.  While many factors contribute to cancer risks, evidence suggests that more detailed study on Indian Point is warranted and that the public be informed of any health risks.”

Few new arguments were heard, from either side, during almost six hours of input Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The entertainment, however, was new.  The “Raging Grannies of Westchester” – four senior citizens – composed their own song, which they sang, for the record. “Don’t dare to extend this plant’s license, by even as much as one year.”


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