Value proposition in sustaining nuclear power
When it comes to slowing climate change, Akron and even Ohio have small parts to play. Yet pull together American cities and states, and the commitment gains clout. In withdrawing from the global climate accord, President Trump argued that he was elected to serve Pittsburgh not Paris. It mattered then that the Pittsburgh mayor pushed back, reiterating his city’s support for the climate agreement.
On Monday, Mayor Dan Horrigan officially added Akron to the list of those defying the decision of the president. The mayor signed an executive order stating the city will do what it can to follow the terms of the climate accord.
Part of that effort actually took place four days earlier. The mayor testified at the Statehouse in support of Senate Bill 128, the proposal to enact zero emissions credits for the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants. FirstEnergy wants the measure the pass. So it follows the mayor would add his voice in backing a major employer and leading corporate citizen.
The mayor did more than lead cheers. He reminded lawmakers that Davis-Besse and Perry account for 90 percent of the state’s clean electricity. That shouldn’t be sacrificed lightly in view of Akron and the rest of Northeast Ohio rating among the country’s worst regions for particulate air pollution.
More telling, nuclear power offers a reliable, complementary clean energy source to solar and wind. Here is a proven method for achieving substantial reductions in greenhouse emissions. Its safety record is far better than critics contend. Policymakers seeking to address accelerating climate change in an effective way must carve a place for nuclear power, including the pursuit of less costly next generation designs.