Reader's View: Wind, solar can supply energy needed now
A July 15 commentary in the News Tribune (Local View: “ Fear, misinformation block nuclear power consideration .”) made misleading claims to which I must respond as communications officer of the DFL Environmental Caucus.
For those unfamiliar with the caucus, we are a sanctioned statewide community caucus of the Democratic Farmer Labor party and have grown to over 1,000 members since officially forming in 2015. The caucus has been recognized by the DFL for our outreach work and effectiveness. Our mission is to educate and mobilize the citizens of Minnesota to address the climate crisis and to protect, preserve, and restore the natural environment. We endorse and help elect candidates who support the DFL Party platform and action agenda, particularly those items related to climate, energy, and the environment. We also work to influence the platform and action agenda by advocating for issues with which the majority of the group agrees.
Only a small portion of our membership supports changing the DFL Party platform’s position in opposition to the expansion of nuclear power. A recent membership survey question on future forum topics showed interest in nuclear power ranks very low, with 16 other topics receiving more support.
All forms of energy have tradeoffs. Our ongoing analysis indicates that nuclear energy has higher environmental costs, produces waste that is more costly and more dangerous, and is far more expensive to deploy. Furthermore, going from zero to any large-scale deployment of next-gen nuclear power would require decades before providing a meaningful contribution to the power grid. Wind and solar can supply the energy needed now, with existing technologies, upgrades to the grid, and battery storage. They are rapidly growing, job-creating industries in Minnesota. Nuclear is not. We will continue to support the DFL platform on this issue. Keeping our climate inhabitable requires nothing less.
The writer is communications officer for the DFL Environmental Caucus.