So as Ontario decides who is going to get the contract for its new nuclear generators, every yahoo out there is chiming in to try and help the government make the best decision- except one: Greenpeace.
To recap, the Ontario government has three companies bidding to build some new nuclear power plants starting in 2012. One company is American, one French, and the federally owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. While the American and French companies are cheaper up front, the end result is money going to foreign countries instead of to taxpayers. When a federal company makes money, that means that we can use that money for more social programs, upgrade healthcare, etc. That’s impossible when you outsource.
Enter Shawn-Patrick Stensil, energy analyst for Greenpeace. Stensil has been incredibly vocal against nuclear power in general, and most specifically using Canadian CANDU technology for these reactors. Here’s what he said to the Toronto Star:
Greenpeace energy analyst Shawn-Patrick Stensil said any new jobs attached to building the reactors wouldn’t help those hit by the recession since they wouldn’t be created until after 2012, when construction is expected to begin.
“The premier wants to be seen to be creating jobs, so getting behind the Canadian bidder would be the way to do that, even if it doesn’t result in more jobs,” Stensil said.
Stensil said he wouldn’t be surprised to hear more talk about job creation as the selection process nears its end, since there are rumours that Areva has outbid AECL and he believes the company may be trying to find another reason for the government to pick its reactor.
Sometimes I wish I had a big club so I can knock some sense into people. Obviously if the bidding isn’t until later this year, the jobs created as a result won’t help recession victims. That’s not the point. When you put Canadian money into a federally owned company, I win and you win. When the company makes a profit, life gets a little easier. A sixth-grader with a basic knowledge of how government works knows this. Hell, we could even borrow the money to pay for this from the Bank of Canada at zero interest. Considering that once the plants are operational they’re going to start paying for themselves immediately, I don’t see how Stensil would be against this. Oh wait, I forgot, he works for Greenpeace.
I went over to the Greenpeace website and found a press release from the other day blasting the Ontario government’s nuclear initiative. You can go over and read it, but to sum it up, Stensil argues that if the government is going to build more nuclear plants (which he says is a bad idea), that we should be spending the least amount of money possible. The funny thing, looking through the site, I have not found one article or even link to an alternative. Stensil says the government should be using “green energy”, but what is he talking about? Biomass? Solar? Wind? For a guy who spent so much time criticizing the plan to go nuclear, he’s coming up short on what to do instead.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving the environment and being as energy efficient as possible, but guys like this don’t do the cause any justice. I’m really surprised that Greenpeace, after all these years, doesn’t have a plan at all. It’s like the Republicans attacking Obama’s stimulus bill. They’re all talk and bring nothing to the table.