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TV ad challenges 'dangerous' nuclear rate hike bill in Iowa

Posted Mar. 7, 2012 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

Ad highlights Japan's ongoing radioactive disaster and calls MidAmerican's plans for new nuclear reactors too dangerous and costly

DES MOINES, IOWA — A TV ad highlighting the risks of a bill that would allow MidAmerican Energy to raise electric rates for Iowa consumers in advance to pay for new nuclear reactors began airing today in Des Moines, Sioux City and Cedar Rapids.

The ad, sponsored by the watchdog group Friends of the Earth, reminds Iowans of the ongoing impacts of the nuclear disaster that rocked Fukushima, Japan one year ago, "proving that nuclear energy is dangerous and costly," as an announcer says in the ad.

The ad also explains the financial burden the state's consumers face in being saddled with higher electric rates for years to come — even if the reactors never get built — warning, "Investors won't take the gamble so MidAmerican wants you to foot the bill."

The 30-second ad can be viewed online at: http://www.youtube.com/user/FriendsoftheEarthUS#p/u/0/BLa1J3j0R94

"The rate hike sets MidAmerican up for windfall profits, while strapping consumers with the financial and safety risks," said Mike Carberry, Iowa nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth. "State senators should heed the 77 percent of Iowans who oppose the bill and reject it."

The ad will air as the Senate Commerce Committee prepares for an afternoon hearing on Thursday, March 8 at which senators may consider whether to move forward with the nuclear rate hike bill. According to the rules of the legislature, March 16 is the deadline for moving the House bill out of the Senate committee.

On March 11, the world will mark the one year anniversary of the humanitarian and nuclear disaster in Japan. Three reactors suffered melt downs and explosions, spewing dangerous radioactive contaminants over thousands of square miles. The disaster has forced more than 100,000 people from their homes with little hope of returning for decades and left farmers with tainted, unsellable crops.

"The Fukushima disaster is a tragic reminder of the dangers of the nuclear industry. The same vulnerabilities and safety lapses that fueled Japan's disaster exist at many reactors across the U.S. The risks are unacceptable and simply unnecessary, especially when Iowa has more than enough clean, safe wind energy to power its future," said Carberry.

Contact:
Mike Carberry, 319-594-6453, mike@greenstatesolutions.com
Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, ktrout@foe.org

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Friends of the Earth is fighting to defend the environment and create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

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