Home > Uncategorized > Local Republicans Turn Out To Support Christie Oyster Creek Nuke Water Permit Deal

Local Republicans Turn Out To Support Christie Oyster Creek Nuke Water Permit Deal

Back in the Day - when technology was cutting edge and safe

Back in the Day - when technology was cutting edge and safe

Political Deal – Not “Best Professional Judgement” mandated by Clean Water Act

As a set up for today’s Clean Water Act permit hearing for the Oyster Creek Zombie nuke plant, I wrote a satirical post yesterday.

I contrasted the NY Times’ lame coverage of the US nuclear establishment with the hard hitting coverage of Japan after the Fukushima disaster.

Little did I know that the straw men I sarcastically assembled would come to life today in lovely Lacey Township, NJ.

Life is more absurd  than art ( watch this BBC documentary on the history of 20th Century technology – and especially episode 5 ”A is for Atom“ for cultural meanings).

The hearing room was packed with about 75 partisan residents, organized and turned out by the Lacey Township Republican Committee chairman.

That local Republican Chairman not only was living proof of every fatal flaw in the Japanese nuclear culture exposed by the NY Times, but he openly bragged about supporting Exelon and the Oyster Creek nuclear plant for purely economic and blatently partisan political reasons.

Not to be outdone, the Mayor of neighboring Waretown said he would support Exelon, if he could just “get a piece of the action”.

Residents spoke of how great a neighbor Exelon was, one asked for another nuclear plant to be built at the site, and one said that the Oyster Creek plant actually improves the health of Barnegat bay and fisheries.

You see, Atlantic Coast migrating fish have learned to “take a left turn at Barnegat Bay” (no shit, this is a direct quote).

Exelon has discovered just how easy it is to buy local support when you spread a little money around town.

I testified that Christie DEP’s decision to reverse the prior December 2009 draft permit decision that cooling towers are the “Best Technology Available” (BTA) to protect the Barnegat Bay was transparently a political decision, that is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.

The DEP BTA decision also conflicts with and violates the Clean Water Act’s Section 316(b) mandate to protect the Bay and apply “Best Professional Judgement” (BPJ) based on factors of science, law, and engineering and environmental economics, not partisan or local politics.

The Clean Water Act requires DEP to protect the Bay, not the profits of Exelon or the host community economic benefits of Lacey Township.

I noted that the only material fact that had changed upon which DEP based this BTA reversal was the alleged plant closure date of 2019, instead of 2029 under the NRC license.

DEP used this 10 year payback period to conclude that the capital costs of installing cooling towers was economically infeasible and thus not BTA. 

But I noted that this fact that formed the sole basis of their new BTA determination was CREATED by the Governor’s political deal and Commissioner Martin’s ACO. 

This Christie/Martin political negotiation process with Exelon made a sham of the Clean Water  Act’s mandate to apply science, law, engineering based objective economic factors, and cost/benefit analysis.

My testimony was made easy, because I followed directly after the Exelon VP, whose testimony confirmed these facts for me.

I was attacked by residents for “picking on” a nuclear power plant.

When the corruption and lies are so bold and so transparent, its hard not to despair that we are doomed. [Note: there were some well meaning local residents who were either duped, ignorant, or in denial. One resident who opposed the plant asked to speak with me outside. They agreed with my testimony, but was intimidated and afraid to speak because they had kids in the school district.]

Oyster Creek nuclear power plant - one of the nation's oldest "Zombie Plants"

Oyster Creek nuclear power plant - one of the nation's oldest "Zombie Plants"

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  1. July 8th, 2011 at 08:25 | #1

    Bill, It would be nice to get the sign in sheet and expose the political hacks and their affiliations. Its the oldest trick in the book and its to bad more people didn’t show up to counter balance these jerks. Thanks for your great work as usual

  2. Bill Wolfe
    July 8th, 2011 at 09:15 | #2

    @Bob Spiegel
    Thanks Bob – a resident told me that she knew most of the people there – they all got phone calls from the Lacey Republican Chair and were told to be there. Room was packed when I got there, 40 minutes before the start, so it was obvious. Plus, he was the second speaker and basically had no problem confirming that. Exelon has these folks bought and paid for.

    The AP story on the hearing is really bad, so of course it is printed in 170 US news outlets, including all the major papers – WaPo et al.

    The AP storyline is local residents support nuclear power! No sense of the absurdity of that or any sense of irony at all!

    If ENGO’s don’t organize, we lose – adn we’re losing badly.

    There needs to be at least 1,000 of our people at the upcoming BPU Energy Master Plan hearings, or else we lose any possibility of renewable energy programs.

    If NJ ENGO’s can’t pull that off, we deserve to lose.

    Hell, I’m on the verge of civil disobedience.

  1. July 20th, 2011 at 14:21 | #1
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