(CHARLESTON, WV) A majority within each of the Democrat and Republican caucuses in the State House and Senate passed SB 4, a bill to repeal the ban on the construction of nuclear power plants. In truth, the existing law is not an explicit ban on nuclear power, but rather requires common sense conditions such as the safe storage of radioactive waste. Already, West Virginia is dealing with another radioactive waste problem from oil and gas drilling.
The major parties’ quick removal of these safeguards, that would otherwise prevent the reckless and risky operation of a rudimentary nuclear power plant, is an act of bad faith. The Republican led legislature is not concerned about harnessing nuclear fission technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but rather to facilitate power generation by all means necessary, regardless of the consequences.
The Mountain Party supports the immediate and rapid implementation of clean renewable energy using current available technology, especially geothermal energy in West Virginia. Only recently has the legislature begun to take geothermal seriously, with the House passing HB 4098, aiming to explore its development in the state. The timeline of such development can realistically be obtained in the very near future, unlike the unfortunate reality of clean nuclear fusion which is far from being developed for any practical use- too late to prevent the damage of climate change.