Thursday, April 23, 2009

CWIP: Ameren Greenwashes Radioactive Waste

Get out your Geiger Counter. There's a lot radioactive waste being spread around. Aim the counter at your TV. The next time Ameren UE's TV ads about CWIP airs, the counter should light up like a carnival. In case you live in a cave, and people do, CWIP stands for Construction Works in Progress. WAY back in the 1970s, Missouri voters banned CWIP. You know those crazy yuppies, hippies, baby boomers, and vets. They didn't like the idea of subsidizing large corporations' risky investments with no promise of return. Thought their money was better spent on stuff like station wagons, leisure suits, and Love Boat cruises. What were they thinking??

Better yet, what is Ameren thinking now? Ameren UE wants us, their customer, to PAY the interest on the loans they get to build a new nuke plant. We pay the interest as long as they are building/the plant isn't online. There is no promise that it will ever go online or produce electricity. Or what the total bill would be. Or that there won't be cost overruns. Plus, we don't even NEED a new nuke plant in the first place.

In fact, the only really sure thing is that if we subsidize a nuke plant, we won't have any money left to invest in clean energy. However, that didn't stop Ameren from giving the Bill before the Missouri legislature a cool green name: "The Clean and Renewable Energy Act" to give legislators and rate payers the IMPRESSION the bill funds clean energy. And the swanky TV ads mention solar and wind energy, even though not only are wind and solar NOT included in this bill, we don't need CWIP to build wind or solar. The Clean and Renewable Energy Act is radioactive waste greenwashed.

CWIP is the equivalent of uranium lipstick and yellow cake Vaseline for Ameren customers.
Here's why: Imagine your kid gets a "student loan credit card" that only requires that the interest be paid monthly, not the principle. And then imagine that you since you are the parent, you get stuck having to make those interest payments (not the principle, just interest) on WHATEVER debt Junior manages to rack up. Now, you have NO control over the interest rate, which is based on Junior's credit rating, so you could get slammed for say 25, 30, even 35% - or MORE. You also have NO control over the credit limit, so Junior can charge up as much as s/he wants (further destroying his/her credit rating). You also have NO control over how long it takes Junior to graduate or even IF s/he graduates. But as long as s/he is a student (or just doesn't graduate, i.e. drops out), YOU are stuck with payments. Now imagine that Junior DOESN'T need the degree in the first place because s/he's already got one! PLUS, as long as you are saddled with Junior's bill, you have no money to invest in your own life -mini van, velour sweats, Love Boat cruise, anyone?

The nuclear industry would not exist without massive subsidies and the risks being underwritten by the federal government, i.e. US taxpayers. When the investment market and insurance companies will not support an industry, there is a reason. We need to listen to that warning. Call your representation and tell them that the boomers, yuppies, hippies and vets were right. A station wagon has more ROI.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like the bill is dead for now: