Energy Debate in Neighborhoods

NAN requested that Entergy sponsor a “fact finding” tour regarding nuclear facilities. Entergy Corporation is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States, with operations across the nation, one being the Indian Point Energy Center. The tour follows the recent announcement by Entergy, to seek re-licensing of the nuclear facility to operate until 2030.

NAN brought together five national African-American organizations comprised of professionals and African-American elected officials to participate in the tour. The trip gave the organizations an opportunity to learn more about the nuclear industry, how a plant operates and to discuss with Entergy, public health, safety concerns, plant security and the impact of nuclear energy on neighborhoods of color. Participating organizations included: Black Leadership Forum Inc., National Black Caucus of State Legislators, National Newspaper Publishers Association, National Organization of Black County Officials, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the National Association of Neighborhoods.

The Indian Point nuclear facility is the source of heated debate. Despite protests by environmental groups regarding plant safety, the disposal of nuclear waste, and energy alternatives; supporters argue reliability, clean air benefits and consumer affordability. The facility is responsible for generating nearly 30% of New York State’s electricity – enough to power 2 million homes. “The looming energy crisis will disproportionately affect the health and financial well-being of people of color,” states Ricardo Byrd, NAN’s Executive Director. Further, “the reality of our nation’s increasing energy demands, while the world’s traditional supplies are depleting at an alarming pace, warrants a better understanding of energy alternatives. Nuclear is one of those alternatives that deserves further consideration.”

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), there are 103 commercial nuclear plants producing electricity in America, located at 65 sites in 31 states. Six states have nuclear as the largest percentage of their electricity: Vermont (67%), South Carolina (55%), New Hampshire (53%), Illinois (50%), New Jersey (49%), and Connecticut (45%).

NAN is committed to urging America’s neighborhood leaders and minority organizations to become more active in and vocal on the nation’s energy policy debate. Similar “fact finding” tours are being planned for upcoming months.

NAN Corporate Roundtable
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