New Jersey Hearing on Saving Nuclear Power Plants
Testimony of Norris McDonald
African American Environmentalist Association
New Jersey Legislature
Senate Environment and Energy Committee
Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee
Public Hearing On
Strategies to Prevent the Premature Retirement of Existing, Licensed, and Operating Nuclear Power Plants
Committee Room 4, 1st Floor, State House Annex
Monday, December 04, 2017 - 10:00 AM
My name is Norris McDonald and I am the founder and president of the African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA). We are the nation’s oldest African American-led environmental group and we are dedicated to protecting the environment, promoting the efficient use of natural resources, enhancing human, animal and plant ecologies, promoting increased African American ownership of energy resources and infrastructure and increasing African American participation in the environmental movement.
We support strategies to prevent the premature retirement of Hope Creek and Salem nuclear power plants. These existing, licensed, and operating nuclear power plants are an invaluable asset in mitigating air pollution in New Jersey. The state is in nonattainment for ozone, which is a component of smog, and negatively affects the health of New Jersey residents. Any support the New Jersey state legislature can provide would be a Godsend to people suffering from asthma and other air pollution related illnesses. Minority communities are particularly vulnerable to air related illnesses with the highest rates of asthma attack, emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the state. These vulnerable communities are helped by ability of Hope Creek and Salem nuclear facilities ability to deliver incredible amounts of baseload electricity without producing any of the air pollution that hurts these areas.
Nuclear power plants represent our most important facilities for efficiently producing large amounts of baseload electricity while not producing air polluting emissions. It is for these reasons that we support the PSEG Nuclear nuclear fleet. Hope Creek and Salem nuclear facilities are invaluable clean air assets in New Jersey. Hope Creek and Salem are also uncredited assets in New Jersey’s ongoing goals to improve air quality.
We were the first environmental group in the United States to support nuclear power starting in 2001. We support nuclear power because operating the plants do not create smog-forming gases or greenhouse gases. We are also particularly interested in mitigating air pollution in New Jersey because African Americans represent most of the asthma hospitalizations in the vast majority of counties in New Jersey.