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Senator Akaka's Remarkable Nuclear Climate Bill

The corporate news media hasn’t made one peep about it. The blogosphere has been almost completely silent about it. Yet, S. 1675, legislation introduced last week by Senator Daniel Akaka, is remarkable in the way that it brings many current policy concerns together, and takes action through a 31 year-old law.

S. 1675, the Energy Development Program Implementation Act, cites the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978. Nuclear Nonproliferation has been used to justify the war in Iraq, as politicians in Washington D.C. hooted that Saddam Hussein wasn’t supposed to be working on developing nuclear weapons. That’s true, but under nuclear nonproliferation treaty obligations, the United States is placed under requirements as well. The USA was supposed to provide non-nuclear, sustainable energy assistance to developing countries – but never did.

Akaka’s legislation directs the Secretary of Energy to correct the neglect, and develop a plan to finally live up to the obligations created under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act. The bill also would create an Alternative Energy Corps, made up of American volunteers who agree to go overseas and help set up solar, wind and other forms of sustainable energy in developing countries.

This bill addresses poverty, climate change, nuclear proliferation, treaty obligations and international relations through simple, achievable means. It’s a brilliant piece of work that ought to be passed. Please contact your U.S. senators, and ask them to cosponsor S. 1675.

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