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Nuke-fight Whack-A-Moley


Greg Harman

The ad is scare-your-pants-off serious. I don't know what the budget for the campaign sits at or where this sucker ran, but it certainly was on par â?? or approaching parity with â?? those fullpage “filthy coal” ads that preceded the Guv Perry ass-kicking protests that shot down coal-plant fast-tracking in the state. Will we ever see the same come from the anti-nuking efforts of a rapidly coalescing assortment of regional critics?

A variety of groups hammered on San Antonio's publicly owned utility CPS Energy after it announced it was pursuing a partnership with NRG Energy to construct two new nuclear plants at the South Texas Nuclear Plant outside Bay City.

Then other applicants started falling into place. Texans for a Sound Energy Policy, brains behind the above ad, have been whippin' up on isotope-polluting Excelon's plans for dual nukes near Victoria.

Now there is activity at Comanche Peak and even a Panhandle proposal. What had been a single-front skirmish a year ago has become an exhausting, extended Whack-A-Mole session. Still, I'm counting anti-nuke web presence running about 6-1 contra the single industry-backed Nuclear Energy for Texans.

Tomorrow, a new anti-atomic power coalition will be welcomed into the world by a handful of reporters at a press conference in Austin.

ALTURA, the Alliance of Texans for Uranium Research & Action, will merge a coalition of groups including Kingsville's South Texas Opposes Pollution; Uranium Information at Goliad; and the Coastal Bend Sierra Club chapter.

When the coal fight was burning from white to blue, a takeover of TXU led to the elimination of almost a dozen proposed new coal plants. Will Texas respond similarly to nukes? A lot will depend on the accessibility of reliable information about the technology â?? from the in-situ uranium mines, a state happy to allow for across-the-board ruination of groundwater, heavy plant water-use requirements, realities of proliferation fears, and ultimate disposal non-answers.

In an interesting upping of the pace of events, crowds will be gathering the next night for a talk by sustainable-energy guru Arjun Makhijani down in Victoria.

If you are in car-pooling range, this would be a talk to hear. Makhijani not only understands the many risks of nuclear power production, but has been advocating an alternative policy based on energy efficiency (and wind, solar, biofuels, and natural gas) since the '70s.

When: Thursday, October 9th 2008, 7 - 9 PM

Where:Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts, 214 N. Main St. Victoria, TX 77901

More Info: 361-576-6277

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