Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More on New Jersey nuclear advocacy

Yesterday, in "Nuclear energy support from a former foe" , we noted how interesting it was to see the environmentalist and Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore supporting the need for nuclear power in an article published in a state business magazine.

What we did not realize at the time, was that the author, Patrick Moore, is (along with former NJ Governor Christie Whitman) a paid consultant to the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition which receives funding from the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade association of nuclear reactor operators.

This we learned today in Source Watch, a collaborative project of the Center for Media and Democracy.

The fact that Patrick Moore and Christie Whitman are both paid to promote the nation's nuclear industry does not, in itself, mean that each may not truly believe that New Jersey needs to expand its nuclear-generated electric power capacity. After all, New Jersey currently relies on nuclear power for some 50% of its total energy supply, the state's energy appetite continues to grow, and the re-licensing of one of its nuclear reactors is under challenge.

But it does raise valid concerns. Being paid to support a cause is not the same as offering your views voluntarily.

Commerce Magazine, where Moore's article was published, gets credit for noting that he is:

"Co-chair of an industry-funded initiative, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, which supports increased use of nuclear energy"

But the use of the term "co-chair" doesn't give a reader the entire story. "Paid consultant" adds an other dimension that also serves to inform.

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