US Nuclear Industry Calls In Political Favors To Avoid Making Safety Upgrades
The US House Energy Committee released a letter to the NRC trying to dissuade them from implementing the post Fukushima safety upgrades. While this letter was sent on Energy Committee letterhead it was only from a few members of the Committee. The politicians who signed it (all republicans) below along with their nuclear industry funding:
Head of Committee Fred Upton (Republican) has Entergy as his #3 political financier.
Joe Barton (Republican) Exelon is his #3 political financier.
Marsha Blackburn (Republican) from Tennessee, a major nuclear state that hosts Oak Ridge National Lab, Babcock & Wilcox, Bechtel and the TVA, all very dependent on nuclear power.
John Shimkus (Republican) Exelon is his #2 polticial financier
Ed Whitfield (Republican) Exelon is his #3 poltiical financier (he also gets lots from the coal and oil industry)
Steve Scalise (Republican) Entergy is his #15 poltiical financier, his #2 financier is a nuclear industry services provider Geocent
Phil Gringrey (Republican) Lockheed Martin #2 polticial financier, #5 is Southern Co. owner of Vogtle nuclear plant
Bill Cassidy (Republican) Shaw Group #18 political financier
Renee Ellmers (Republican) most of her donations are from donation bundlers or PACs so actual donors are hard to follow but she does make this statement where the first energy source she champions is nuclear power and she declares it as an “alternative energy source”
Tim Murphy (Republican) Toshiba #4 political financier
Bill Johnson (Republican) American Electric Power #2 political financier, this company owns Cook nuclear plant. #4 financier was Honeywell, First Energy #10 political financier
Greg Harper (Republican) Entergy #3 political financier, Southern Co. #4 political financier,
Robert Latta (Republican) American Electric Power #1 political financier, this company owns Cook nuclear plant, First Energy #5 political financier
Ralph Hall (Republican) Energy Future Holdings #8 political financier,
David McKinley (Republican) American Electric Power #4 political financier
Pete Olson (Republican) Energy Future Holdings #1 political financier, GenOn #2 political financier
Billy Long (Republican) and one of the few without direct nuclear industry funding. He is on the record calling for more nuclear power
Lee Terry (Republican) Berkshire Hathaway (owner of MidAmerican Energy #8 political financier, Exelon is #12, First Energy also ranks #12
Adam Kinzinger (Republican) Exelon #1 political financier
Leonard Lance (Republican) PSEG #4 political financier, PSEG owns Salem nuclear plant.
Gus Bilirakis (Republican) No clear direct funding, Florida Light & Power the largest utility in Fl is a nuclear company.
A number of these politicians also received money from the Freedom Project PAC, donors to the PAC include FirstEnergy(an executive donated twice) , American Electric Power (their chairman and two presidents, a senior vp, and another vp)
All but 3 signatories of this letter trying to pressure the NRC had major nuclear industry funding. Many of these people also received money from Freedom Project. Conveniently the paid for politicians of the nuclear industry happen to be on the energy committee and just happened to suddenly have an issue with the NRC trying to assure public safety when the nuclear industry decides they don’t like it. Part of what this protest is about is filtered vents the NRC is considering requiring as Europe has since the 1980’s. Even TEPCO has voluntarily decided to install filtered vents.
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