1. Note: I have been working with my web hosting company to overcome the significant delays in posting comments. There is something happening with the caching settings that is causing what looks like a several hour moderator delay. I apologize for any interruption in the discussion that has caused and will continue to seek a solution.

  2. No offense Rod, but you’re not looking very hard if your one example of market advocate response is, “You reap what you sow” (although frankly, it is also a perfectly good response on its own). Plenty of market advocates have decried the blatant rent-seeking involved in this practice.


    Nobody likes rent-seeking, Rod (except for perhaps its primary beneficiaries). No need to create an artificial division where none exists.

  3. Chesapeake VP Thomas Price said:
    “I mean, this really is a zero sum game.”

    What this says to me is that Mr. Price believes that natural gas should replace coal but at no decrease in cost (perhaps increased cost!?).

    The goal for most of us who support nuclear is that power and heat from nuclear sources should be less expensive than fossil fuels, so that we have a positive sum game!

    Even if Mr. Price means that energy from natural gas should be substituted for coal one-for-one, this straight-across substitution only happens by maintaining at least the current price for energy. Decreasing the cost of energy leads to its productive use in more areas, thus more energy consumption from which we benefit.

  4. The Sierra Club is liberal Democrat and don’t you forget it. Don’t blame conservatives for this mess. That’s all on you liberal progressives. President Bush – may God bless him – did more for nuke power than Obama ever did. You can blame Jaczko as Commission on Obama. You libs are and have always been the problem.

    1. Actually, the Sierra Club is a conservation group, started by people with conservative, admirable principles of protecting some of god’s greatest gifts to mankind. The question that should be stimulated by the post, however, is how moral is it for a business to give money with the express purpose of kneecapping a competitor? Is the Tonya Harding school of competitive behavior really acceptable?

      Is that a classical “liberal” position or a classical “conservative” action? My answer is neither. It is an unprincipled maneuver justified by pure greed.

      1. I don’t really blame Chesapeake or other LNG companies. It’s a basic, fundamental right to support whoever you want. If they saw advantage in supporting people who were attacking their competitors anyhow, I have no problem with that.

        I *do* however have a problem with the Sierra Club accepting their money, and secretly. If they’re going to accept an industry’s money, they should be up-front about it and let everyone know.

        1. I DO have a serious issue with Chesapeake.

          How did they account for taxes those $26 million dollars in donation? Did they deduct what looks very much like a public relation service as charitable donations?

          What about the Sierra Club? How was it accounted? Did they file and pay the proper taxes due on a commercial service?

          I’m not just a supporter of nuclear power. I’m also a tax payer and what others fail to pay goes on the public debt tab, my and everybody else’s tab.

  5. Rod,
    I’m surprised you didn’t mention all the anti-nuclear columns written by Carl Pope.

    1. It’s kind of hard to draw a straight line from one to another. That is, Sierra Club has been antinuclear for a long time. The Gas Industry can easily claim that, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, so they supported the Sierra Club but that they did not influence SC to do or say anything they wouldn’t have said *anyhow* – just that the money allowed them to more effectively spread their message.

      Sierra Club, for their part, can say much the same thing – the money didn’t change our policy – just enabled us to do and say things in ways and on media we couldn’t otherwise afford. To run campaigns we couldn’t have run without the money, but which we wanted to do anyhow.

      Of course, I’m also not so naive as to see that the money can “cement” a group into a particular position – e.g. during these periods, some of their own members were calling on them to adopt a *new* policy wrt nat gas and fracking, a policy which would have been in direct conflict with their sources of funding. Also, there are a number of environmentalists who are trying to call upon environmental organizations to change their minds and policies wrt Nuclear Power, and it’s easy to see how gas money can, again, “cement” their position so that they cannot afford to change, even if they do start to doubt that nat gas is a better alternative than nuclear power for the environment.

      1. @Jeff S

        I did not go into the long history of corporate support for the Sierra Club in this post. However, it is interesting to note that the Sierra Club in CA once ran a campaign called “Atoms, not dams” in the early days of nuclear energy – pre 1970.

        Then, the Club decided that it would accept corporate donations. At the time, two of the largest corporations in California were Chevron and Gulf Oil. They both had some trouble with keeping their operations clean and became reliable donors to the Club. Some thought of those donations as protection money or as ways to prove that the companies really did care about the environment.

        They did not notice that there was also a sudden shift in the Club’s position about nuclear energy to be almost completely negative. Coincidence?

        It is difficult to provide links to back these assertions because I accumulated notes from dead tree sources over a long period of library research. However, here is a link to an oral history that provides some glimpses.


        Here is another fascinating viewpoint about the nuclear energy controversy within the Sierra Club between 1966 (when it passed a resolution favoring Diablo Canyon as an appropriate alternative site for a nuclear plant) and 1974 when it passed a resolution that put it squarely in the antinuclear camp.


        Pages 140-143 of In the thick of it: My life in the Sierra Club by John Michael McCloskey are also informative with regard to the Sierra Club’s energy positions


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