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Nuclear energy can be dangerous

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William Gloege’s very biased and myopic letter “Make your political support about nuclear energy” in the May 26 issue of New Times certainly deserves a strong response.

Mr. Gloege, your complaint about “dirty” natural gas falls on deaf ears with me. You can spin your disinformation any way you want but here’s a fact you failed to mention: technological advances in “fracking” have helped create an abundance of natural gas and natural gas liquids. That, in turn, has lowered the price of natural gas allowing multiple Midwestern and Eastern power plants to switch from burning coal to burning natural gas. 

Here’s more: The chemical industry (you know, the industry nobody wants to talk about) has also benefited because natural gas and natural gas liquids are its primary “feedstock.” In fact, it is the only major industry in the United States that has “re-shored” production facilities from overseas back to the U.S. creating more American jobs in the process. I’m sure many Central Coast residents have never been to or seen the “Chemical Coast” of Texas and Louisiana. It would probably break some people’s hearts to see it but it doesn’t break the heart of former California residents I know who have found better-paying jobs and lower costs of living there. That’s a fact.

This is not to say I completely agree with the idea of converting Diablo Canyon to natural gas. But as one who lived in SLO during the protests against the construction of the nuclear power plant, I saw real fear in the eyes of the protesters because I knew many of them: They were local residents. Today the fear is still real, it’s just stored at the back of their memory banks. And there are more than a few who believe natural gas isn’t such a bad idea vs. the possibility of a major earthquake and possible reactor meltdown. They just won’t say it publicly.

Finally, Mr. Gloege, I find your statement about Fukushima and Chernobyl simply outrageous. Both have suffered and continue to suffer from “collateral damage,” damage that is likely permanent. Would you want to live within 5 miles of each location today?

-- S. A. Myers - Orcutt

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