Some Questions for MaryPIRG

Johann Neumann of the fringe Maryland Public Interest Research Group waxes poetic about in the Sun this morning about how Maryland doesn’t need actual solutions to our energy needs. Neumann is steadfastly against the construction of a third nuclear reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant in Southern Maryland. Her group has been leading a No New Nukes campaign to derail this third reactor for some time (a fact that was conveniently overlooked by the Sun).

So needless to say I’ve got a few questions for Ms. Neumann and for MaryPIRG as to why they are so hellbent on keeping a third reactor off line:

  1. MaryPIRG is an advocate for energy efficiency mainly through more efficient homes and businesses. Why does MaryPIRG oppose more efficient electricity generation?
  2. The majority of Marlyand’s power is now generated by fossil fuel burning electric plants. Why does MaryPIRG oppose cleaner nuclear replacements for dirty, fossil fuel burning plants?
  3. Nations such as France generate nearly three-quarters of their power through nuclear reactors, making a France a leader in cheap, clean electricity. Why does MaryPIRG oppose cheaper and greener electricity?
  4. Sixteen nations, including France, Germany, Belgium, Ukraine, Armenia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic generate a higher percentage of their power through nuclear power than the United States. Why does MaryPIRG want the United States to lag behind on cheaper, greener electricity generation?
  5. Construction of a third reactor could create up to 400 permanent jobs and provide work for 4,000 construction workers in Southern Maryland, to say nothing of a larger customer base for existing suppliers and businesses in the region. Why does MaryPIRG oppose new jobs and new economic opportunity for middle and working class Marylanders?
  6. MaryPIRG supports the redirection of money slated for construction of the third reactor towards wind and solar projects. Why does MaryPIRG support investing in unproven alternative energy projects instead of proven nuclear technology?

It’s funny that MaryPIRG takes such positions, because if you believe what they say in their mission statement they are all about baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet:

Maryland PIRG is an advocate for the public interest. When consumers are cheated, or our natural environment is threatened, or the voices of ordinary citizens are drowned out by special interest lobbyists, Maryland PIRG speaks up and takes action. We uncover threats to public health and well-being and fight to end them, using the time-tested tools of investigative research, media exposés, grassroots organizing, advocacy and litigation. Maryland PIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that protects consumers, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, and fosters responsive, democratic government.

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The problem here is multifold. MaryPIRG, in opposing nuclear power, is not advocating for the public interest. The public interest in construction of the new reactor would be job creation and cleaner, cheaper electricity. MaryPIRG, instead is doing what so many groups do; advocate for the interests of their continuance, and advocate for the policies supporter by the Democratic Party. They are the special interest lobbyists that are drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens who want more jobs for and cheaper power. The irony isn’t lost on me. I just wish that Ms. Neumann and her cohorts at MaryPIRG did not engage in such crass hypocrisy to try and make their points.

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