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Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear’
February 26th, 2019 at 3:13 pm
Want “Green Energy?” Go Nuclear
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Amid public ridicule of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” monstrosity, The Wall Street Journal includes a brilliant commentary in today’s edition addressing a truly beneficial way to advance safe, reliable, carbon-free energy – nuclear.   Importantly, authors John Rie and Alan Emery detail nuclear energy’s remarkable safety record through the decades:

Is nuclear power generation dangerous?  The only major nuclear accident in the U.S. — Three Mile Island, in 1979—caused neither death nor increase in cancer areawide.  The 2011 ‘disaster’ at the Fukushima plant in Japan also directly caused neither deaths nor disease from exposure to radiation.

World-wide, there have been fewer than 150 deaths from nuclear plants, mostly from the 1986 Chernobyl accident, in which bad design and a series of operator errors led to a significant release of radiation into the environment.  Thanks to the Soviet government’s attempt to keep it secret, lifesaving efforts such as the provision of iodine pills to local residents never happened.  For comparison, according to a 2012 World Health Organization report, urban outdoor air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass is estimated to cause three million deaths world-wide each year.”

It’s an excellent piece worth reading in full, not least for its corrective of the all-too-common myth that nuclear power somehow maintains a comparatively weak safety record.

October 30th, 2017 at 11:24 am
Iran Nightstand
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 3rd, 2017 at 1:14 pm
State Senator in N.Y. Post: “Residents Shouldn’t Have to Pay for Cuomo’s Upstate Nuke Bailout”
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Since last summer, we at CFIF have sounded the alarm regarding a crony capitalist “green” energy boondoggle forced upon New York state residents by Governor Andrew Cuomo and a power commission staffed entirely by his appointees.

The plan imposes an artificial mandate that 50% of all New York power be generated by carbon-free plants in just over a decade, and will cost taxpayers and businesses $1 billion in just its first two years of operation, as well as $8 billion over the course of the scheme.  Making matters worse, the subsidies generated will go to a single company named Exelon that owns all three struggling upstate nuclear plants that will benefit.  Obviously, New York consumers and businesses will pay those costs, which has led even left-leaning environmental leaders to oppose the plan.  Governor Cuomo’s scheme is also the subject of a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause and its supremacy clause.

In today’s New York Post, state senator Tony Avella, a Democrat, joins the opposition with a blistering piece entitled “City Residents Shouldn’t Have to Pay for Cuomo’s Upstate Nuke Bailout.”  Among other points, Sen. Avella notes the cost to be paid by residents who won’t even benefit:

There’s a new wrinkle in the quest to power New York that will further drive up our already high utility bills.  It’s both unfair and completely avoidable.  Under a new plan announced last year, the state is adding a surcharge to all utility bills – regardless of whether the person uses gas, oil or a renewable resource, which many people are already paying a premium for.  That surcharge, which will also hit businesses and local governments, will bring an estimated $7.6 billion over the next 12 years.

All of the money will go to Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues over $34 billion.  All so the company can prop up three aging nuclear power plants.

That’s not a fair deal for New York taxpayers.  And it’s even more one-sided when you consider the fact that the vast majority of New Yorkers aren’t even getting their power from these old nuclear plants.  Customers with Con Edison, which powers parts of New York City and Westchester, alone will pay $700 million.  So we’re basically paying for something we’ll never use.”

Fortunately, he’s not just complaining about it.  He’s doing something about it:

I recently introduced a bill that would require the state’s Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, to determine what parts of the state are served by the nuclear power plants, and which ones aren’t.  Communities that don’t get their power from the plants, mostly in downstate areas like New York City, wouldn’t have to pay under my bill.  It’s only fair.”

That’s for sure.  Bit by bit, Gov. Cuomo’s boondoggle is unraveling.  For New York consumers and businesses alike, the sooner it is brought to an end, the better they’ll be.

February 10th, 2016 at 3:45 pm
The Super Bowl Ad You Didn’t See
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 8th, 2015 at 9:57 am
Iran: Obama’s Other Legacy “Achievement” Continues to Unravel
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Last week we highlighted the latest manifestation of ObamaCare’s ongoing failure, and noted how the emerging question is whether that law or Obama’s similarly disastrous Iran nuclear deal will prove the worse of his two signature “achievements” as president.  Well, don’t look now, but the Iran deal just staked its latest claim to that title:

Iran tested a new medium-range ballistic missile last month in a breach of two U.N. Security Council resolutions, two U.S. officials said on Monday…  All ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned under a 2010 Security Council resolution that remains valid until a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers is implemented.  Under that deal, reached on July 14, most sanctions on Iran will be lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.  According to a July 20 resolution endorsing that deal, Iran is still ‘called upon’ to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.”

But not to worry – we can rely upon the U.N. to discipline Iran and steer it back into better behavior as a member of the “international community,” right?  Oh, wait:

In October, the United States, Britain, France and Germany called for the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee to take action over a missile test by Tehran that month that they said violated U.N. sanctions.  So far, no action has been taken by the committee.”

Your move, ObamaCare.

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August 25th, 2015 at 11:35 am
Barone: Even Clinton and Obama Military Appointees Widely Oppose Iran Nuclear Capitulation
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In recent days we’ve noted how the American public now opposes Obama’s Iran nuclear weapons agreement by 2-to-1 margins, and how opposition in both the Senate and House of Representatives is approaching 2/3 veto-proof majorities.

Apparently, opposition within military and intelligence communities is similarly broad.

In a new piece this week, Michael Barone lists a number of military and intelligence figures appointed during the Clinton and Obama administrations who voice sharp opposition to the proposed deal.  From well-known names like General Michael Hayden to General Barry McCaffrey and several others, it’s an impressive list.  As Barone concludes, “These are all highly respected retired military officers whose judgment should command respect, and their criticisms of the Iran deal are certainly withering.”

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August 21st, 2015 at 9:47 am
Iran Deal: House and Senate Approaching Veto-Proof Majorities
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As we recently noted, we’ve reached a strange state of political affairs when the definition of “success” in the Obama Era is reduced to scraping together a 1/3 minority of either chamber of Congress to salvage an executive accord with the terrorist state of Iran.

With clear majorities in both the House and the Senate already opposed to the accord, and an overwhelming majority of Americans also opposed, Obama’s remaining hope is that he can convince 1/3 of either house to stick with him.  Should that occur, expect another one of his tawdry “victory” dances afterward.

According to the latest tally from The Washington Post, however, even achieving that 1/3 minority level of support is in jeopardy.  In the House, 290 votes are required to override an Obama veto of a resolution rejecting the accord.  The Post confirms that “all 246 House Republicans are expected to vote against the deal,”  with 18 Democrats either already against the deal or leaning against the deal, for a total of 264.  With 82 Democrats either for the deal or leaning toward favoring it, that means only 26 of 88 undeclared Democrats are needed to reach the veto override threshold.

In the Senate, meanwhile, 67 votes are required to override an Obama veto.  The Post calculates that “56 Senators – including all Republicans plus two Democrats (Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (N.J.)) – are either overtly against the pact or presumed foes.”  According to its estimate, 31 Democrats are either on record supporting the agreement or leaning that way, leaving 13 undecided.

Persuading 11 of that remaining 13 to do the right thing rather than march in lockstep with a president who will be out of office in little more than one year will be an uphill climb.  Each day, however, brings new disturbing revelations regarding the mechanics of the accord, including this week’s news that Iran will essentially be allowed to self-report on its nuclear activities.  That drip, drip, drip only makes support for Obama’s deal less defensible, and increases the justification for rejecting this dangerous capitulation.

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August 14th, 2015 at 11:07 am
Gallup: Obama’s Iran Sales Job Failing with Americans
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It says a lot about how far the Obama years have defined “success” downward that he will claim victory if he can manage to convince just 1/3 of either house of Congress to approve his much-maligned Iran nuclear capitulation.  That’s all he’ll need to overcome a near-certain veto, but leave it to him to claim that 33% amounts to some sort of mandate and justification for yet another tawdry victory lap.

Judging from public opinion, however, he may not even reach that minimal degree of support.  According to a new Gallup survey, only one in three Americans support his dealings with Iran.  In fact, Obama is under 50% approval on every single one of eight surveyed issues – race relations, the economy, terrorism, immigration, foreign affairs, education, climate change and Iran:

Only one in three Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the situation in Iran – his lowest rating of eight issues measured in a new Gallup survey.  The president’s policy toward Iran has been a major focus as he tries to drum up support for the multi-national agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities that Secretary of State John Kerry helped broker.  Obama earns his highest marks on race relations, education and climate change, though he does not receive majority approval on any.”

A president typically retains greater latitude and approval from Americans when it comes to foreign affairs, but the fact that the public rejects Obama’s Iran accord by such a wide margin is encouraging.  Now if only enough members of Congress can demonstrate similar sobriety and reject this dangerous deal with such disastrous potential long-term consequences for the nation, the region and the globe.

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August 3rd, 2015 at 9:56 am
New Poll: Americans Oppose Obama-Iran Accord By Over 2-to-1
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There’s good news to begin the week from the public opinion front.

Despite – or perhaps because of – the Obama Administration’s desperate effort to sell a skeptical Congress and American electorate on its dangerous nuclear accord with Iran, a new Quinnipiac poll shows that the public opposes the deal by more than a two-to-one margin:

American voters oppose 57-28 percent, with only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition from Republicans and independent voters, the nuclear pact negotiated with Iran, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.  Voters say 58-30 percent the nuclear pact will make the world less safe, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.”

That skepticism is matched by some in Congress, including Senator Tom Cotton (R – Arkansas) and Representative Mike Pompeo (R – Kansas).  In a Wall Street Journal commentary this morning, they highlight how secret side deals between Iran and third parties offer an additional reason to withhold support:

The response from the administration to questions about the side deals has brought little reassurance.  At first the administration refrained from acknowledging their existence.  Unable to sustain that position, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on July 22 during a White House press briefing that the administration ‘knows’ the ‘content’ of the arrangements and would brief Congress on it.  Yet the same day Secretary of State John Kerry, in a closed-door briefing with members of Congress, said he had not read the side deals.  And on July 29 when pressed in a Senate hearing, Mr. Kerry admitted that a member of his negotiating team ‘may’ have read the arrangements but he was not sure.

That person, Undersecretary of State and lead negotiator Wendy Sherman, on July 30 said in an interview on MSNBC, ‘I saw the pieces of paper but wasn’t allowed to keep them.  All of the members of the P5+1 did in Vienna, and so did some of my experts who certainly understand this even better than I do.’

A game of nuclear telephone and hearsay is simply not good enough, not for a decision as grave as this one.  The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act says Congress must have full access to all nuclear agreement documents – not unverifiable accounts from Ms. Sherman or others of what may or may not be in the secret side deals.  How else can Congress, in good conscience, vote on the overall deal?”

The simple answer is that it cannot.  The Obama Administration’s disastrous Iran proposal must be rejected, and we urge our supporters and activists to contact their elected representatives in both the Senate and House to demand opposition.

July 15th, 2015 at 7:54 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Famous Last Words
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 13th, 2011 at 10:30 am
Ramirez Cartoon – Iran’s Ahmadinejad: Look! Weiner!!
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 18th, 2011 at 1:48 pm
Precautionary Principle Applies to Government Assurances on Japan Radiation Levels

Environmentalists embrace the ‘precautionary principle’ in opposing human development of land.  In essence, the principle boils down to better-safe-than-sorry.

Though eco-crazies use the precautionary principle as a substitute for science that empowers government, Americans on the West Coast should put the teaching to another use: being skeptical of government assurances that radiation from Japan is too little to harm humans.

As one commentator puts it:

In addition, the radiation currently being measured does not take into account radiation emitted by pools of deadly spent nuclear rods, which only began to emit serious amounts of radiation a few days ago.

We will not know the true level of the threat until the radiation particles emitted as a result of the three explosions that devastated Fukushima hits the west coast over the weekend and into Monday.

The article goes on to recount similar guarantees that turned out to be fatally false.  The most recent example involved Ground Zero workers being told – erroneously – that the air on site was safe to breathe.  Tragically, hundreds of ground crew workers are suffering from crippling illnesses associated with inhaling toxic substances.

Now, we’re being told that buying over-the-counter potassium iodine pills verges on alarmism.  If the price of a helpful supplement puts one’s mind at ease, have at it.  After all, it’s not like the president and his party can boast a sterling track record when it comes to predicting outcomes in the economy, health care or job creation.

August 25th, 2010 at 6:27 pm
Vladimir Putin, Action Star

You can tell a lot about a man from his pastimes.  According to the Associated Press (with associated photos), the former Russian president shot a gray whale with a crossbow from a rubber speed boat in choppy arctic waters.

This isn’t Putin’s first brush with staged danger.

He has been photographed fishing bare-chested in Russia’s Altai region, and was shown on television diving into an icy river and swimming the butterfly stroke.

In April he attached a satellite-tracking collar on a tranquilized polar bear. He also has shot a Siberian tiger with a tranquilizer gun and released leopards into a wildlife sanctuary.

While there’s no need for President Obama to wrestle an alligator or box with a grizzly bear, it would be nice if our dear leader could compensate by showing a bit more backbone in the foreign policy arena; especially towards Iran and the country that built its new nuclear facility.  (I.e. Russia)

January 6th, 2010 at 5:44 pm
North Korea Provides Another Cautionary Tale to the Naive
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In 1994, North Korea placated the Clinton Administration by agreeing to discontinue its nuclear program.

Jimmy Carter trumpeted this supposed achievement of peaceful negotiation.  Bill Clinton sang its praises.

Since that date, of course, we have endured the “Groundhog Day” style cycle of North Korean troublemaking, hollow admonitions from the “community of nations,” more “peaceful negotiations,” and ultimately successful North Korean nuclear blasts.

In other words, as conservatives and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton have often pointed out to an unwelcoming mainstream media, the popular process of toothless negotiations with incorrigible rogues was again proven pointless.

But chilling news from the Korean peninsula suggests that it was even more dangerously naive than we realized.  According to South Korea’s foreign minister, North Korea resumed its nuclear program almost as soon as it agreed to the 1994 accord.  In other words, Kim Jong Il never intended to respect his obligations, and made dupes out of Carter, Clinton and liberal non-confrontationalists.  Instead, it was all merely another maneuver in his endless game of squeezing largess out of all-too-willing negotiators, a process that continues today with both North Korea and Iran.

It all puts Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize in a different light, doesn’t it?

November 17th, 2009 at 11:28 am
Iran Answers Obama By Constructing New Nuclear Sites
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Apparently, Iran never received Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” memo.  Or, more worrisome, they did and opted to play him for a Jimmy Carter-like fool.

Yesterday, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran may be constructing multiple covert nuclear facilities in addition to the Qom site disclosed two months ago.  Moreover, Iranian representatives have brazenly announced that they intend to commence operating the exposed Qom facility by 2011.  Making matters even worse, Iran is also wavering on its commitment following exposure of the Qom plant to ship its uranium to other nations for benign reprocessing.

The Obama State Department and IAEA reacted with their usual impotence, with the State Department saying that “now is the time for Iran to signal that it wants to be a responsible member of the international community.”  No, that time passed decades ago.

This endless cycle of Iranian duplicity and feckless response is beyond farce.  Obama brought false “hope” to international relations, but where’s the “change?”