Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Do Groups Seeking To Close Indian Point Need A New Coalition?

Everyone knows the three main organizations *supposedly* involved in the Indian Point fight, the players that get all the money (in donations) to fight the good fight of pushing for closure of Entergy's Indian Point plant. IPSEC is the key group when you want to talk about a coalition of groups working towards a common goal, with Clearwater and Riverkeeper the big 501 3C's that hold the fund raisers, put up a good front, and ask you for a donation, encourage you to take out a yearly membership to support the cause...question is, are any of these groups doing anything of much good, are they really fighting to close down Indian Point, or just giving the public and press lip service? What have they really done to MOBILIZE THE MASSES for this fight?

Lisa Rainwater seems to be the go to woman when the press wants a quote from the anti Indian Point forces, and from what GNB can tell, she wants Indian Point closed, is sincere in her personal beliefs. However, is Riverkeeper anti-nuclear, do they, and will they openly call for the closure of all 104 aging, degradated nuclear reactors now operating in America? With Indian Point slated to submit their application for license renewal this year (which they did on April 30th) why wasn't Indian Point the number one item on Riverkeeper's 2007 agenda of important tasks for the year? Are they anti-nuclear, or just a NIMBY organization? In fact, Indian Point was not even on the list of the six most important items on Riverkeeper's to do list this year.

If Riverkeeper is to be a leader in our community's fight to close down Indian Point, if they are going to be seen as a protector of our Hudson River, of the nation's rivers, they need to do two things publicly. First, much like the Sierra Club has done, as an organization they must take an anti-nuclear stand, and secondly, they as an organization must publicly state their only goal as relates to Entergy, is closure of Indian Point. Riding the fence, playing both sides to the middle in the name of keeping the donations pouring in by hammering only on safety issues related to the Hudson River is inadequate.

Clearwater ranks right up there with Riverkeeper. Can someone explain to the GNB why Indian Point was kept off the agenda at last months meeting with unions on what to do about Global Warming? Can someone verify the rumor that Manna Jo removed Indian Point from the agenda because Eliot Spitzer wanted it that way, because he needed Indian Point out of the news? If Clearwater wants to shut down Indian Point, what is their battle strategy other than praying for Congressman John Hall's doomed to failure legislation seeking an ISA? Will Clearwater's new leader (soon to be voted in) be luke warm when it comes to the fight to close down Indian Point...it is GNB's understanding, that only one of the three people being considered is strongly anti Indian Point, willing to do anything it takes to stop relicensing.

Why did the board of Clearwater deny the citizens a chance to sign a Citizen Petition For Rulemaking at this past weekend's festival, and will history repeat itself at their BIG Clearwater Festival next month? Has the current board of Clearwater made the organization obsolete, nothing more than a group capable of holding social events, and bake sales? Are they so worried about GETTING ALONG with everyone, including the enemy, that they are no longer effective as and activist organization in protecting the environment and its citizens here in the Hudson Valley? The public in and around Indian Point should demand three things from Clearwater before they continue supporting them. First, a public proclamation from their board that Clearwater the organization is anti nuclear as an organization. Secondly, a proclamation calling for full and complete closure and Decommissioning of Indian Point reactors 1,2 and 3. Lastly, a detailed strategy plan to fight Entergy's License Renewal Application. These items should be out to the public before we support the rumored fund raising concert planned with Jackson Browne.

Then we have IPSEC. The problem as Green Nuclear Butterfly sees it with IPSEC is very simple. It is impossible to accomplish much of anything when your bylaws require consensus among ALL MEMBERS of the coalition before you can move forward with any action, sign onto any petition as a group. Even more discouraging, how many times is the dissenting voice in IPSEC Clearwater and/or Riverkeeper? The battle has been joined, the NRC's time clock for relicensing started on April 30th, and we need a coalition that can be decisive and move fast. Building consensus is not something that happens quickly, if at all. Foot soldiers in the fight to close down Indian Point cannot be deployed quickly if everyone is quibbling over small details and singular words, trying to find 100 percent consensus on each and every issue and petition.

No one is saying these groups in their time have not served their purpose...the question is, are any of them capable of doing the job now at hand? Can we rely on a Model T to halt relicensing, or do we need a new, sleek, streamlined coalition that can attack fast and often to slow down the Entergy relicensing juggernaut. Can an organization effectively fight the relicensing of Indian Point if they as an organization are not willing to publicly go on the record as being anti-nuclear, and fully in support of closure and decommissioning of the Indian Point facility and its three reactors? Green Nuclear Butterfly believes it is time for change, time for a new coalition if we are to stop Indian Point's attempt to win a 20 year license renewal. Calling for and ISA is a dead strategy, we need to move on to something else that just might work, and IPSEC, Riverkeeper and Clearwater all seem unwilling or unable to abandon that losing strategy.

We have 22-30 months from April 30th to stop Indian Points License Renewal Application. We are already behind in the fight, do not have our boats in the proverbial water and up to cruising speed. For this reason, Green Nuclear Butterfly believes all the various assorted groups in this fight need a new coalition, one with clear leadership that has the ability to make quick decisions in a timely manner, rather than having to wait for consensus among all members. If you and/or your group agree with this, if you think the time has come for a new modernized coalition, please email roycepenstinger@aol.com expressing your interest. If there is enough interest, and organizational meeting will be held in early June.

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