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Money is king

Ellie Ripley's Dec. 21 commentary has it right about 'Safe, clean, and reliable' nuclear power

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Remember that those financed by Big Tobacco said "smoking causing cancer is unproven and highly questionable."

That's what big money can do to protect profits—hire people with degrees to sell out and protect those profits. Meanwhile, millions of Americans believed smoking was not harmful and ended up dead.

Now Big Fossil Fuel is doing the same—funding so-called environmental groups to spread fear about nuclear power so they can keep making trillions of dollars worldwide. Again, they do not care about your health, nor the beauty of nature, nor our children's future.

All they want is billions and billions of dollars more in the pockets of their CEOs and fat-cat investors. If you are thinking "Koch brothers," you are right on target. (According to Forbes, the Koch brothers made $115 billion in 2006.)

Here's an example for all you Sierra Club supporters. In 2012, Time magazine caught the Sierra Club "secretly" (according to Time) taking $26 million from Chesapeake Energy, a natural gas corporation.

The Sierra Club campaigns endlessly against nuclear plants. Think there could be a connection? When a nuclear plant closes, the natural gas industry is the big winner, especially if renewables get built to replace lost clean nuclear electricity.

Think of renewables as fossil fuel plants in disguise, because when the wind isn't blowing, and the sun isn't shining (like at night), some energy has to take their place and that something, is almost always coal, oil, or natural gas.

The "capacity factor" for solar is around 20 percent and wind is about 40 percent. That means they put out 20 percent and 40 percent of their advertised full power.

But something has to keep electricity flowing to our homes and factories when renewables are "off duty," and that something is mostly earth-warming, unhealthy fossil fuel, including natural gas.

To understand how you are being deceived, read Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes's book, Merchants of Doubt. She shows how industry uses a few "scientists-for-sale" to confuse the public and keep the money rolling into industries poisoning our people and killing our only planet.

Beware citizens. It's the age we live in when money is king and all other concerns ranging from our children to polar bears aren't even in the equation. Δ

William Gloege submits a lot of opinion pieces about nuclear power and Diablo Canyon from Santa Maria. Send comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com.

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