Regardless of your political affiliation, a look at the facts shows that nuclear power is critical to a clean energy future. When legislators do their part in preserving nuclear energy, clean, affordable baseload power becomes more accessible to the people who need it. Here are five reasons why you should care if your legislator supports nuclear power:
1. The nuclear energy industry needs policy support now more than ever. In the past five years, six nuclear plants have closed across the country, forcing people out of well-paying jobs and leaving states without reliable clean energy. More plants are slated for premature closure in the coming years; without strong advocacy for nuclear energy more states across the country will suffer lost jobs, increased air pollution, and fall victim to less reliable electric grids. Legislators have the power to shape the laws and policies that impact the industry.
2. The choices made by today’s legislators have lasting impacts. While lawmakers may only serve for a limited time, their work impacts you now, and will continue to do so for generations to come. Unfavorable policies leading to nuclear plants’ premature closures result in job and tax revenue losses today, but in the future, our children will face the impacts of higher air pollution impacting their health and the environment. With supportive legislators and strong advocacy efforts, we can leave our children a positive legacy of carbon-free energy. Nuclear Matters Advocacy Council members and cofounders of Mothers for Nuclear, Heather Matteson and Kristin Zaitz, said it best – “Our future generations deserve the right to live, work and play in places that are free of harmful pollution. We have an obligation to our children and to do everything in our power to protect the future of their planet."
3. Nuclear plants affect more stakeholders than you might think. These facilities create well-paying jobs, support communities with taxes and philanthropic programs, support a long and wide-reaching supply chain, and generate billions of dollars in economic activity across the nation. There are entire communities that exist thanks to the benefits of nuclear power plants. If legislators in those areas don’t support nuclear power, they’re choosing to play politics with the livelihoods of their constituents.
4. For the United States to remain competitive on a global scale, we need buy-in from legislators across the country, at every level of government. America has been at the forefront of nuclear technology and innovation since its inception, but without continued investment and prioritization of nuclear energy as a power source, we will fall behind countries like Russia and China. Supportive lawmakers are key to securing a strong nuclear energy future for America, allowing us to continue leading the industry and providing clean, safe power for Americans.
5. Finally, your legislators work for you. Plain and simple, lawmakers are elected to represent the interests of their constituents – that’s you! When you speak to your legislators about nuclear power, you’re showing them what matters to you and the expectations you have for them. By advocating for nuclear energy, you are helping to inform their decisions. If you don’t feel like your interests are represented, you have the power to vote for someone who will support them.
If you want a future powered by clean energy, if you want America to maintain its global leadership, if you want to support innovation in critical technologies, you need legislators who agree. It’s critically important to talk to your legislators and emphasize why nuclear energy is important to you. Your voice – and your vote – make all the difference. Contact your legislators in the Nuclear Matters action center to earn points as a nuclear advocate and make sure to show up at the polls on November 6th.