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October 27, 2008

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

McCain Shows Scorn for Nuclear Risks

In Sunday campaign appearance, candidate downplays threats from nuclear power: ‘safe, environment, blah, blah, blah’

In a campaign appearance yesterday in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Senator John McCain mocked the safety and environmental risks posed by nuclear power.

“We talked about nuclear power,” McCain said, referring to the most recent presidential debate. “Well, it has to be safe, environment, blah, blah, blah.”

McCain’s comments drew criticism.

“McCain is showing an alarming lack of respect for the very real risks that come with nuclear power,” Friends of the Earth Action President Brent Blackwelder said. “There have been a string of safety incidents at U.S. and international reactors, there is nowhere to store the 100,000 shipments of waste we’ve already generated, and nuclear plants are, as the FBI director has stated, ‘target rich’ environments for terrorists.”

“The fact that McCain so readily dismisses these very real concerns with a ‘blah, blah, blah,’ is disconcerting to say the least,” Blackwelder continued. “It appears that McCain’s absolute support for nuclear power has more to do with ideology than facts, and underscores the risky nature of his candidacy. He just doesn’t get it.”

Background Information:

USA TODAY overview of major U.S. reactor incidents since Three Mile Island: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2007-12-12-nuclear-safety-problems_N.htm

In 2005, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before the Select Committee on Intelligence in the U.S. Senate: “Another area we consider vulnerable and target rich is the energy sector, particularly nuclear power plants. Al Qaida planner Kahalid Sheikh Mohammed had nuclear power plants as part of his target set and we have no reason to believe that Al Qaida has reconsidered.”

More information about the safety and environmental problems attendant to nuclear waste and the Yucca Mountain dump site is available here: http://dontdumponnevada.org/

Another resource on nuclear power generally is Friends of the Earth’s http://www.nuclearlie.org

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Friends of the Earth Action (www.foeaction.org) provides extra muscle to our sister organization, Friends of the Earth, in legislative battles affecting our environment. FoE Action and our affiliated PAC also serve as Friends of the Earth's political arm, making thoughtful political endorsements, providing direct support to candidates, and placing environmentalists in the field on critical campaigns. Friends of the Earth Action's mission is to promote a clean, healthy and just world and to ensure that we have lawmakers who will work to protect the environment.

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