Chris Newmarker’s piece in Minneapolis / St Paul Business Journal on Minnesota’s new nuclear advocacy group leaves something to be desired.
Here’s the opening:
A coalition of business, labor and environmental leaders is backing a nonprofit that wants to increase nuclear power generation in Minnesota.
Sensible Energy Solutions for Minnesota, or SESM, wants repeal of the state’s moratorium on constructing nuclear energy facilities.
“As we look ahead, we must put nuclear power — the most sensible and carbon-free base-load electricity source in existence — back on the table as an energy option,” said Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President David Olson, an SESM board member.
Compare and contrast that with the opening of the Pioneer Press’ version:
A coalition of business, labor and environmental leaders has joined a new nonprofit organization to advocate repeal of Minnesota’s ban on new nuclear power plants.
Three veteran Republican operatives organized the group, Sensible Energy Solutions for Minnesota, but on Tuesday they announced formation of a bipartisan board of advisers that represents a wide range of interests.
Board members include Carl Crimmins, president of the Minnesota Pipe Trades Association; Harry Melander, executive secretary of the St. Paul Building & Construction Trades Council; Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President David Olson; Don McMillan, president of the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance; and Cynthia Lesher, retired president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.
It seems to me that the story here is that a group of people who’d directly and/or indirectly profit from nuclear power production are setting up a group to lobby from those efforts. And, rather than call themselves, “People who Profit from Nuclear Power” they’re calling themselves, “Sensible Energy Solutions for Minnesota” which says nothing about their profit motives. Is it sensible for them to profit from nuclear power at any cost? Have they forgotten why the moratorium is in place?
Mentioning that the organization is a 501(c)(4) may have been pertinent rather than saying “backing a nonprofit” if you want to be more clear about what type of advocacy is going on here.
Perhaps someone could find out why people are motivated to join the Facebook group?
If Minnesota was to decide to build another nuclear power plant based on the recommendations of a bunch of people who would profit from it, I have one condition I’d like to see imposed: build it at 898 Mendakota Court, Mendota Height, MN. The address of the “Environmental Group” that’s part of this charade. Lake Mendakota could be the cooling pond. If it isn’t large enough, Mendakota Country Club could be dredged to increase the lake’s size.
That seems appropriate considering that the same address used by Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance is also home to Conservative Political Action Committee – CONPAC and home to yet another Don McMillan backed group called Sportsmen for Bush.
Who’s Don McMillan?
A dentist from Mendota Heights. Yep, a dentist by day, political advocacy group creator by night, and weekend hunter, is running the environmental group supporting repealing of the nuclear power plant moratorium in Minnesota from what appears to be his home office. I’m cool with hunting, and stand somewhere to the left of Mr. McMillan politically from what I can tell, but I hope we can both agree that decisions regarding nuclear power should probably be decided by more qualified people than either of us.
To me, these are relevant facts missed by BizJournals but easily gleaned from Google that help tell the story of why a innocuous sounding advocacy group is relying on support from environmentally-unfriendly environmental groups to get a very real moratorium on nuclear power plant creation overturned.