Climate scientist James Hansen and environmental movement pioneer Stewart Brand joined over 50 leading scientists, scholars and environmentalists in urging Illinois lawmakers and utilities to protect the state's nuclear plants by including them in the state's renewable energy mandate.
Illinois nuclear plants, which provide 90 percent of the state's clean energy, are at risk of being closed because they are excluded from the state's renewable portfolio standard, and do not receive the subsidies received by other sources of clean energy like solar and wind.
Two Illinois plants, Clinton and Quad, "prevented 18,640 premature deaths from coal pollution," the letter signers noted. "And if they run their 60-year lives, Clinton and Quad nuclear plants will prevent between 2,468 and 5,474 deaths from coal."
Other signers include Nobel and Pulizter Prize winners; leading conservation biologists; the former CEO of The Nature Conservancy, the world's largest conservation organization; and scientists and scholars from Europe, Australia, India and other nations.