Define Our Decade Makes Tax Day a Better Day

April 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm 3 comments

Post by University of South Carolina at Aiken student Lam Le

Is it Tax Day already? The year just started! The start of this New Year also marked the beginning of a new decade. Whether you say “two thousand ten” or “twenty-ten”, you probably want this decade to be defined by more than justLady Gaga reinventing disco from the 1970’s. It’s urgent that the movers and shakers of this decade have a bigger impact on our environment than the hippies of the 1960’s. Even half a century after the most infamous tree huggers before us, coal is still king and there are still over 100 nuclear reactors in the U.S.  Even worse, earlier this year the President Obama and the U.S. Department of Energy approved federal loan guarantees for two new nuclear reactors in Georgia as well as significant expansion of natural gas and oil exploration off our coasts. When the federal government offers loan guarantees to dirty energy projects, they’re guaranteeing that taxpayers will be on the hook for the new project, whether it’s ever completed or not. This isn’t very progressive, President Obama!

An offshore wind farm

In the case of the new nuclear reactors, tax payers are paying $8.5 billion for just two reactors. If we committed $8.5 billion to clean energy, how many solar panels could we install? How many wind turbines could we erect? How many homes and buildings could we weatherize? In spite of the huge opportunity we have to use our tax dollars to clean up our environment, our leaders are putting that money into new nuclear, new offshore drilling and continued dirty energy subsidies.

An offshore oil rig

The New York Times covered these recent developments in-depth. You can check out two informative pieces on both the expansion of offshore drilling and the guarantees for the reactors HERE and HERE.

The need to take action is more urgent than ever before, and today students who have led the Define Our Decade campaign are taking our message to legislative offices. Young people in communities across the country have been collecting ballots, asking their peers to vote for a clean, renewable, responsible energy future. April 15th is such a symbolic day in American society; students in South Carolina decided it was the perfect time to go to legislators and demand that our future is full of clean, sustainable communities powered by wind turbines and solar panels. Students have also written editorials for campus newspapers and letters to the editors of local papers concerning this campaign. I don’t know if it’s possible to achieve 100% clean energy during this decade, but once we use up finite resources like coal and oil, what are we going to do? Hopefully, we’ll have that issue already resolved when that time comes!

We’ll post updates later about the legislative office meetings. For now, please consider taking a moment today to call your Representative or write a letter to the editor of your local paper.


Entry filed under: southern energy network. Tags: .

Wanted: Talented, Dedicated Students to Plan 2010 Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference! Time for Energy Efficiency in the South

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rmarg  |  April 16, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Just a brief clarification: the 8.5 billion is only paid if the loan defaults. If the plant is built and operates, the US taxpayers make money since the government collects a commission for the loan guarantee.

    With current natural gas prices, gas is likely the competition for solar rather than nuclear.

  • […] Tax Day on April 15th, students from Clemson and Winthrop in South Carolina met with Senator Graham’s staff to highlight the unfair taxpayer burden of new nuclear subsidies in the bill and let them know that […]

  • […] Tax Day on April 15th, students from Clemson and Winthrop in South Carolina met with Senator Graham’s staff to highlight the unfair taxpayer burden of new nuclear subsidies in the bill and let them know that […]


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