By Heather Matteson and Kristin Zaitz
As mothers, we care deeply about our children’s futures. As environmentalists, we are fighting to ensure that our children live in a world that prioritizes their health and the environment. With Mother’s Day around the corner, now is the perfect time to consider the ways we can provide for our children – including protecting and preserving their planet.
As the proud founders of Mothers for Nuclear, we support clean, safe and reliable energy sources like nuclear power. We consider nuclear energy a critical resource that is essential to protecting our children’s future, the environment and the climate. For us, the issue of nuclear energy’s preservation is personal and real.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues our children will face in their lives, and any loss in carbon-free energy generation is a step backwards on the road to a clean energy future. Nuclear energy is emission-free during the production of electricity, which means action on climate and air pollution for our children and future generations. In fact, the amount of carbon emissions prevented by existing U.S. nuclear power plants is equivalent to the emissions of nearly 119 million cars. To put this in context, that is more than the number of passenger cars on the road in the U.S. today.
Unfortunately, many nuclear energy plants around the country are at risk of closing prematurely. When nuclear plants are closed, not only does the environment suffer, but local economies crumble and electricity rates go up. That’s not a world I want my child to grow up in. Once a nuclear facility is closed, it is unlikely that it will ever be restarted. In order to protect our country’s remaining nuclear fleet, it is crucial that policymakers at both the state and federal levels consider policy solutions to properly value nuclear plants for the carbon-free, reliable and safe energy they provide.
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. So, when you take your children outside this Mother’s Day, keep in mind that there are steps we can take – today – to preserve a healthy environment for them in the years to come.
Heather Matteson and Kristin Zaitz, Cofounders of Mothers for Nuclear, are members of the Nuclear Matters Advocacy Council. Nuclear Matters is a coalition to raise awareness about the value of nuclear power and the need to preserve existing nuclear energy plants.