Not FirstEnergy nuclear plants

Regarding the Nov. 20 editorial “Earth needs Ohio’s nuclear plants”: We agree that the climate prognosis is dire, and the challenge in the next decade to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is steep. The U.S. cannot afford to shut down low-carbon nuclear plants that meet high safety standards and risk replacing their generation with fossil fuels.

But the Union of Concerned Scientists strongly disagrees with your assessment that FirstEnergy’s proposal to subsidize its Ohio nuclear plants should be supported.

That proposal does not meet any of the five conditions we lay out in our report that your editorial references. The Davis-Besse plant is currently not meeting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s highest safety standards and has one of the worst safety records in the nation’s nuclear fleet. Their proposal also lacks protections for ratepayers and support for energy efficiency and renewable energy. These issues must be addressed before the legislature gives FirstEnergy’s plan any consideration.

Furthermore, FirstEnergy’s proposal needs to be assessed in the broader context, namely that this company has repeatedly sought bailouts for its coal plants and has opposed energy efficiency and renewable energy standards before the Ohio legislature. This is not the path forward for a genuine climate solution for Ohio.

Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, Mass.

 

Trump and Khashoggi

Should being a good business partner or political ally justify getting away with murder? If I own a company and there’s strong evidence that a reliable customer has murdered someone, should his anticipated future purchases exempt him from prosecution? Or, if I’m a legislator and a staunch backer stands credibly accused of murder, should her solid support be enough to clear her? Of course not.

Yet that’s what Donald Trump claims in his response to overwhelming evidence that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The president’s cozy relationships with other murderous leaders — Kim Jong Un, Rodrigo Duterte and Vladimir Putin — has already revealed the amorality of his foreign policy. It’s purely transactional.

If a brutal tyrant offers what Trump thinks America needs or wants, there’s no reason not to do business. So, do business he will — even with a nation whose agents bring bone saws on their operations.

Trump can’t understand that an amoral, transactional policy assures future violent transactions that America neither wants nor needs. It tells the Saudis that we need them as a customer and ally so much that we’ll overlook murder. Other violent regimes will get that message, too, and believe they have permission to do anything.

“It’s a mean, nasty world out there,” opined Mike Pompeo, to excuse this shameful expression of neediness. It will only become meaner and nastier if Congress fails to show that we don’t need anything that murderers might offer and, instead, allows this moral catastrophe to stand.

Steve Gehlert, Cuyahoga Falls

 

More on Khashoggi

Before the Trump administration sweeps the murder of Jamal Khashoggi under the rug, someone should inform the president (because I’m sure he doesn’t know) that it was Saudi citizens who carried out the terrorist attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. The architect of that attack, Osama bin Laden, was of Saudi descent as well.

Dave Griffin, Green