In an energy article published today, The New York Times reports German Prime Minister Angela Merkel abandoned plans for extending the life of Germany’s nuclear power plants and ordered them to be closed by 2022.
This is a stunning reversal of energy policy for the German Chancellor considering she approved plans 9 months ago to extend the country’s nuclear power plants. The decision, still facing legislative approval, was popularly endorsed by environmental groups and expected to be warmly received by voters.
In recent days, hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets demanding for the end of nuclear power dependency spurred on by the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima plant in Japan. Reportedly, the nuclear crisis has been believed to have been the culprit for Mrs. Merkel’s party losing control in the election of the German state of Baden-Württemberg for the first time in 58 years. The election was based on a energy policy referendum.
Switzerland recently unveiled their plan to phase out nuclear power dependency by cutting plans to build new nuclear plants and promising to close nuclear plants when they reach the end of their normal operating lives. However, surrounding European states, France, the Netherlands, and Poland, still remain committed to building new nuclear power plants or maintaining their current nuclear plants.
What can the state of Texas take from this new German energy plan? Well, admittedly not much.
After a recent legislative session spent passing SB 1504, A.K.A Simmons’ Bill, and SB 1605, another Harold Simmons/WCS led bill on the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission, Texas Legislature sadly is not in a position to propose new aggressive measures to phase out nuclear power dependency. But the people do have a voice. Write your congressmen and representatives, and if you live close to a nuclear plant, attend town hall meetings and ask poignant questions on nuclear power. Demand a nuclear-free Texas.