Union Leaders Stand Up for Nuclear Power, Deride Wind and Solar

Nuclear power is the most effective way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and efforts to replace nuclear power with wind and solar power either are misguided or based on deception, two union leaders advocate in a column published in the Buffalo News. The column, written by union leaders concerned about job availability, implicitly rebukes assertions that wind and solar power are better job creators than other forms of power generation.

Writing in the September 5 Buffalo News, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 97 business manager Ted Skerpon and Western New York Area Labor Federation president Richard Lipsitz document the enormous amount of emissions-free electricity provided by New York nuclear power plants. According to the union leaders, nuclear power generates 19 percent of New York electricity.

New York's Shoreham nuclear power plant. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

New York’s Shoreham nuclear power plant. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

“New York’s installed renewable capacity took over a decade to build…. At that rate, it would take almost four decades to replace the zero carbon energy that upstate nuclear provides without major emission backsliding,” Skerpon and Lipsitz observe.

Nuclear power is also key to fighting global warming, the union leaders explain.

“We cannot let scare tactics influence policy – not when it comes to something as serious as global warming. Our New York leaders should be commended for taking the lead on protecting the cleanest, most reliable energy sources in New York and taking a stand against climate change,” write Skerpon and Lipsitz.

The union leaders deride “scare tactics” employed by wind and solar power advocates to shut down nuclear power plants.

“[T]he threat of climate change is real. Where we differ is how to solve the problem – we choose to believe facts, not scare tactics, and we support maintaining our current portfolio of clean assets and adding new resources as the best way to protect our planet,” they write.

As union leaders, Skerpon and Lipsitz are first and foremost concerned about providing western New York workers with abundant, well-paying jobs. Their decision to write a column for the Buffalo News supporting nuclear power illustrates how effective nuclear power is at providing those jobs.

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