Greenpeace “Energy Revolution Bike Ride” concludes with a call to Congress to reject Nuclear energy

Feature story - May 25, 2009
Thousands of concerned Filipinos have sent a clear message to the House of Representatives to reject any proposal for nuclear power in the country and instead enable massive uptake of renewable energy.

Greenpeace volunteers attach the pinwheels and banners at the gate of the Philippine House of Representatives in Quezon City.

Their message-petition was delivered by 35 core cyclists of the Greenpeace "Energy Revolution Bike Ride" who arrived today after biking for 3 days and 200 kilometers from Morong, Bataan, site of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) whose revival is now under deliberation at the Lower House.

The bikers dramatized their petition delivery by covering Congress gates with banners with the message "No to Nukes" and 1,000 pinwheels symbolizing renewable energy. The petition, which calls upon the representatives to reject the proposal to revive the BNPP, has been signed by five thousand people in last five days.

"Cong. Cojuangco would have people believe that nuclear power is the answer to our energy needs. The truth is renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency technologies-not nuclear power-are the real solutions to climate change and energy security."

Francis Dela Cruz
Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaigner

"The Greenpeace Energy Revolution Bike Ride concludes today with a challenge to Congress representatives to become visionary leaders who can see beyond the false promises of nuclear power. Nuclear power is an expensive technology that is risky to operate and creates deadly radioactive waste. There is no clear benefit from rehabilitating the Bataan plant. The Congress who initiates such a move will be the Congress who will condemn future generations to the dangers of nuclear energy," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaigner Francis dela Cruz.

The measure to revive the BNPP, now House Bill (HB) 6300 or "An Act Mandating the Immediate Rehabilitation, Commissioning and Commercial Operation of the BNPP" was proposed by Congressman Mark Cojuangco in July 2008. Early this year in January, it hurdled the House Committee on Energy without due consideration to 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, raising serious concerns that the bill will be railroaded before the House adjourns on June 5.

Greenpeace has been campaigning against the proposed legislative measure ever since it was filed. The bike tour, launched last May 23, is the latest in a series of activities meant to rally opposition against Cong. Cojuanco's misguided bill. The tour was organized in cooperation with the Nuclear Free Bataan Movement Network (NFBM Net) and travelled from Morong to Dinalupihan, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga, then to Malolos, Bulacan, and finally to Batasan, Quezon City. At selected legs the 35 primary riders were joined by local cycling clubs, and welcomed by local governments and Church groups opposed to the BNPP revival, such as San Fernando Mayor Oscar Rodriguez.

"Cong. Cojuangco would have people believe that nuclear power is the answer to our energy needs. The truth is renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency technologies-not nuclear power-are the real solutions to climate change and energy security. Voting in favor of nuclear means entangling the country in a whole new range of problems: safety risks, deadly radioactive waste and sky-high energy costs. Voting against nuclear means creating more space for clean, safe renewable energy technologies in the country's energy market," said dela Cruz.

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