Silver Spring, MD - Last night’s public event provided an expert perspective on how subsidies for nuclear energy in Maryland take money away from real clean energy efforts and work against a clean and equitable transition to 100% renewable energy. Food & Water Action, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, and a number of other groups coordinated the event. While Governor Hogan and legislators are pushing for increased subsidies to aging nuclear energy plants, a movement towards clean energy is underway in Maryland, and nuclear is a counterproductive investment.
Panelists warned against subsidies to aging nuclear power plants, citing evidence that the investment does not pan out long-term. Nuclear comes with other unavoidable downsides, such as the toxic waste it produces, to which there is no long-term solution. Moreover, the nuclear industry disproportionately places this waste in close proximity to indigenous communities and communities of color, a practice that makes nuclear fundamentally inequitable. Wind and solar, on the other hand, provide opportunities for community ownership and create well-paying jobs.
“New nuclear power plants take too long and are too costly to meet the decarbonization needs of the climate emergency,” said Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of IEER and an expert panelist from last night’s event. “Utility scale solar and wind can save money and lower costs at the same time. There is no excuse for not moving ahead on those initiatives at full speed.”
“Subsidizing old nuclear power plants like Calvert Cliffs is a dead end for Maryland,” said Tim Judson, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS) and another of last night’s panelists. “In other states, consumers are now paying hundreds of millions of dollars every year to prop up uneconomical old nuclear reactors, when solar, wind, and energy efficiency would save money and create more jobs. We can’t afford to make the same mistake here”
“Maryland officials must work towards the public good by turning away from nuclear subsidies and instead investing in wind and solar,” advises Rianna Eckel, Maryland organizer for Food & Water Action. “For the sake of our health and safety, we hope to see our state put its resources towards a promising clean energy economy, and not throw money away by spending it on dying power plants. Maryland’s clean energy future is bright, and it sure doesn’t include nuclear.”
Food & Water Action is the political advocacy arm of the research and education organization Food & Water Watch. We mobilize people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time.