Physical Insights

An independent scientist’s observations on society, technology, energy, science and the environment. “Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.” – Carl Sagan

Ridiculous double standards.

with one comment

Whilst perusing the Atomic Insights blog this evening, I learned something new, and quite astonishing to me.

If I may quote the following from Rod’s excellent blog:

“Unfortunately, that facet of the competition is almost completely skewed since building a coal fired power plant is not defined as a “major federal action” under the 1970 National Environmental Protection Act, but issuing a nuclear power plant license is.

That means that a coal plant, though having many permitting requirements, does not require the submission or approval of a federal Environmental Impact Statement. That bit of legal nuance was the work of the well funded team that opposed Calvert Cliffs. They managed to persuade a court that the thermal discharges of a nuclear heated steam plant were somehow of great concern while the thermal and hazardous gaseous emissions of a coal fired steam plant never even get a federal review.”

I find that really quite horrifying. This sort of legislative nonsense isn’t protecting the environment – it’s encouraging the most environmentally destructive energy systems in existence, discouraging their clean alternatives, and really serving nobody other than the commercial interests in dangerous fossil fuels.

Really, those responsible for such a ridiculously unbalanced playing field for regulating the well-understood environmental impact of energy systems, those responsible for such legislation are essentially just about complacent in the premature deaths of tens of thousands of people in the US alone each year.

This has to stop!

Written by Luke Weston

September 26, 2007 at 10:18 am

One Response

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  1. Heh, you’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg.

    It is really difficult to believe how these groups function until you see it for yourself and hear it with your own ears.

    I have been to meetings of US anti-nuclear groups in recent years, where they have discussed the changes that have been made to the rules since the “glory days” of the 1970s and 1980s. They were genuinely amazed that intervening groups would now have to submit their objections _in writing_ before appearing at a meeting to launch a complaint against a company in the process of building a nuclear plant.

    How unfair!! They’re no longer allowed to just show up and “wing it,” wasting everybody’s time and money but their own. What is the world coming to?! It’s a conspiracy of the highest order!

    My description hardly does the experience justice. You really had to be there and see the looks on their faces as this important revelation was brought to light.

    Believe me, after what I’ve seen, nothing strikes me as ridiculous anymore. It’s just plain sad what they have gotten away with in the past.

    Brian

    September 26, 2007 at 6:18 pm


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