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A strange thing happened over the holidays. It appears the anti-nuke crowd got cordoned off at Hippy Hollow.

An abbreviated Houston Chronicle story that ran in the X-News listed two Austin groups as opposing our City-owned CPS's plans for two new nuclear plants. While I would have thought an astute copy desk editor would have made an effort here, the story stood.

Stranger yet, when the local daily's energy writer "localized" the story in a recent blog, she failed to include local groups. Who was it storming the CPS meetings downtown and following the utility's PR flacks on the speaking circuit with bullhorns? Well, those would be San Antonians, many unaffiliated, but including members of the Southwest Workers Union and the Alamo Area Sierra Club. There have been folks up from Kingsville and Goliad, where uranium mining is happening and may be on the way, respectively. And there have been the Austin groups, too, without a doubt.

The problem with the X-News representation is that it makes the whole matter appear to be an outsider issue. In truth it is an issue the whole region is contending with. The day that CPS took their vote approving $216 million for nuke-related projects, there were some comments made about the Austin "crazies" causing a ruckus. But as folks from South Texas started taking the mic and explaining what uranium exploration and mining is already doing to regional water supplies some utility folks were given pause. The realization that this is anything but an Austin-vs-SA issue was very clear that day, if it hasn't been clear in the local paper of late.

Meanwhile, a national campaign by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service opposing the reanimation of the country's nuclear power industry has enlisted 416 U.S. organizations, 146 international, as well as more than 6,000 individuals. Pretty good considering they're not the most prominent non-prof out there…

"We do not support construction of new nuclear reactors as a means of addressing the climate crisis. Available renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are faster, cheaper, safer and cleaner strategies for reducing greenhouse emissions than nuclear power."

Texas signers to date:
Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, Austin, TX
South Texas Opposes Pollution, Martindale, TX
Collective Vision, La Marque, TX
Oil Patch Democrats, Houston, TX
Environment Texas, Austin, TX
Southwest Workers Union, San Antonio, TX
El Paso Regional Sierra Club Group, Sierra Blanca, TX
Texas Fund for Nuclear Responsibility, Austin, TX
Texas Center for Policy Studies, Austin, TX
Garcia Hill Residents Opposed to Uranium Mining, Kingsville, TX

While the local Sierra Club hasn't signed yet (they weren't familiar with NIRS when we contacted them this week about it), their energy policy recommendations to the city are clearly contra-nuclear.

It'd be nice if readers of the X-News were allowed full access to the actual dynamics of resistence at work here.

Posted by Greg Harman on 1/3/2008
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