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Tax Day Protest Against Nukes

Posted Apr. 16, 2009 / Posted by: RConnors

Tax Day ProtestWhile it may not have exactly been what organizers of the April 15 tax day protests had in mind, Friends of the Earth supporters took a no-taxes-for-nukes message to the “tea party” rally at the South Carolina capitol in Columbia.

Dressed as characters from the tea party in Alice in Wonderland, the activists stood on the steps of the capitol, carying signs which decried giving taxpayer money to the nuclear industry in order to build costly new nuclear reactors.  With the Mad Hatter pointing the way down the nuclear rabbit hole, Alice and the Queen of Hearts carried signs against spending tax money on more nuclear reactors and more deadly radioactive waste.  Our Rabbit even hopped up and shook Senator Jim DeMint’s hand right after he spoke, carrying a "no-nuclear-pork" sign for the crowd to see.

The nuclear industry is busy lobbying for an additional $50 billion in loan guarantees to underwrite costly nuclear projects, which amounts to a large subsidy for nuclear reactors. In South Carolina, South Carolina Electric & Gas has a $18-billion project to build two new reactors.  In order to afford this project, they must tap into the approved loan guarantees being managed by the Department of Energy.  Given that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 50% of loans to nuclear utilities could end in default, this is a huge risk which the industry is trying to foist on taxpayers.

The nuclear industry also receives other tax subsidies for preparing nuclear license applications, accident insurance, fees paid to utilities for electricity generated by new reactors and for managing nuclear waste for thousands of years.

Taxes for this dirty and dangerous energy means less money available for cheaper and cleaner options, which is a message that rang true not only at the tax day protest but every day. Friends of the Earth will continue to work to make sure that the nuclear industry doesn’t pull us down their rabbit hole and doesn’t trick us into shouldering a bigger tax burden for the bitter nuclear tea they are trying to serve up.

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