“Energy Revolution” Bike Ride gathers thousands of signatures for petition against nuclear power

Feature story - May 23, 2009
Hundreds of cyclists from Manila and Central Luzon have set off today on a historic tour from the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to the House of Representatives in a bid to gather and deliver a petition opposing nuclear power signed by thousands of concerned Filipino citizens.

Volunteers of Greenpeace, Livestrong and Firefly Brigade leave Morong, Bataan 180 kilometers west of Manila, during the start of the “Energy Revolution Bike Ride" to oppose the proposed revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

Dubbed the "Energy Revolution Bike Ride," the event is organized by Greenpeace in cooperation with the Nuclear Free Bataan Movement Network (NFBM Net) to rally opposition to ongoing efforts in Congress to re-commission the obsolete Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) that was mothballed 30 years ago following public opposition.

For the bike ride, a core of 35 Greenpeace, Livestrong and Firefly Brigade volunteer cyclists will be traveling 200 kilometers from Morong to Dinalupihan, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga, then to Malolos, Bulacan, and finally to Batasan, Quezon City.  At every town along the route, they will be joined by local biking groups who support their call for renewable energy, and will enjoin townsfolk to uphold their right to be heard by endorsing the petition for clean energy addressed to the House of Representatives.

View No nukes bike ride in a larger map

"Greenpeace is gathering the voices of concerned communities from Bataan Province to Manila and beyond to tell Philippine Congress that they should abandon their misguided attempts to resurrect the Bataan nuclear power plant.  It is a known fact that nuclear power is an expensive technology that is risky to operate and creates deadly radioactive waste.  Congress must realize that every Filipino citizen aspires for a safe and secure future.  This will not be achieved through nuclear power technology," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaigner Francis dela Cruz.

The measure to revive the BNPP, now House Bill 6300 or "An Act Mandating the Immediate Rehabilitation, Commissioning and Commercial Operation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Appropriating Funds Therefor, and For Other Purposes" was proposed by Congressman Mark Cojuangco in July 2008.  Early this year in January, it cleared the House Committee on Energy without due consideration of concerns about the bill's many faults.  The proposal passed the Committee on Rules last week.  It is now in the order of business in Congress, which means that it will most likely be taken up in plenary in the next two weeks.

Greenpeace is concerned that the proposal will once again be railroaded amid other issues also due to be discussed in Congress.  The environment group is therefore calling on concerned citizens to add their voice to the growing outrage against the dangerous nuclear proposal at the Lower House.  The petition, which will be delivered by bikers and volunteers on Monday, can be accessed online at www.greenpeace.org.ph/bnpp.

"Congress cannot ignore the groundswell of opposition to Cong. Cojuanco's nuclear delusions.  Congress should finally listen to the voices of ordinary Filipinos who are standing in solidarity with the people of Bataan to oppose this folly," said dela Cruz.

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