In response to my post taking legislators to task for the deceptive language in their bill authorizing “carbonless energy parks,” Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Hole I’m Digging For Myself) tells the Bellingham Herald’s Sam Taylor that I’m just plain wrong:
It currently is a nuclear site, they, Energy Northwest, want to build a thermal solar facility. The bill transfers a water right from the nuclear facility which was never built to the carbonless park….. or maybe they could store black helicopters there?
Well, we all know how much I hate being wrong, which is why, before publishing, I tend to research my posts, even the snarky ones. So before throwing in that “black helicopter” line, let alone flatly refuting me, Rep. Morris should have done a little more research himself… or at the very least got his story straight with Rep. Brad Klippert (R-Kennewick) whose own press release on the bill actually touts the nuclear option:
Klippert said the bill provides for water usage from the Columbia River for cooling of nuclear reactors.
“We have one nuclear reactor in operation and two others partially constructed. This bill specifically addresses the need for water. With three operating nuclear reactors, we could produce as much electricity at Hanford as all the wind generators in the United States combined,” said Klippert.
Oops. Is that the whirring of helicopter rotors I hear?
Rep. Morris is right that there is also talk of building a solar-thermal project on the 20-square-mile Hanford site, but Energy Northwest’s Jack Baker makes clear that for now it’s just talk: “We want to build solar facilities there in the future when the price is right, and have options there for future nuclear development.”
Again, I’m not opposed to debating nuclear energy; I think there are valid arguments pro and con. But this adoption of the phrase “carbonless energy parks” on a bill that, amongst other things, specifically secures water rights and tax breaks for the construction and operation of two additional nuclear power plants, is clearly an attempt to deceive, not persuade.
Perhaps, in Rep. Morris’s defense, he too was deceived. I dunno. But when it comes to his assertion that this bill is about nothing more than transferring water rights from an unfinished nuclear facility to a solar thermal one, it is he who is wrong, not I.