Hi, here is some information on our Northern California (Bay Area) press briefing to release the "Green Scissors '98" report. Simultaneous (or nearly so) press conferences took place at about 50 locations across the U.S., with a national release in Washington, DC.
We highlighted the report's recommendation to terminate the Livermore Lab's National Ignition Facility, along with the nuclear testing readiness program at the Nevada Test Site and expansion of plutonium pit production at Los Alamos Lab. Participants in the Northern California event included: Tri-Valley CAREs, Western States Legal Foundation, Cal-PIRG, 20/20 Vision, Republicans for Environmental Protection, American Friends Service Committee, Clean Water Action and the Western Environmental Law Center. While we could have used some more media at the event(!), the report's release was covered by KGO radio (a huge market), KPFA (Pacifica radio and a progressive market), the Tri-Valley Herald and the Valley Times. Perhaps press call-backs garnered one or two more stories, but I haven't seen them yet.
We look forward to working with other Green Scissors Campaign member groups to actually CUT NIF and these other programs!!! Here is our Bay Area press release, tailored from the national release to highlight the NIF...
National Coalition Of Environmentalists, Taxpayers Calls For Termination Of National Ignition Facility; 1998 Green Scissors' Report Targets $49.5 Billion In Wasteful Programs That Harm The Environment
NATIONWIDE RELEASE ON JANUARY 21
BAY AREA PRESS BRIEFING: NOON, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21
65 NINTH ST. (NEAR MARKET), SAN FRANCISCO
WASHINGTON, DC/SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Organizations representing over 8.5 million environmentalists, taxpayers and deficit hawks have joined together to cut federal programs that threaten the environment and waste taxpayer dollars. This powerful and diverse coalition proposes savings totalling $49.5 billion. The "Green Scissors '98 Report, Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending and Subsidies," slated for national release today, targets 71 harmful programs ranging from the National Ignition Facility (NIF), currently under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to tobacco and timber subsidies.
The Green Scissors Campaign has already been successful in cutting wasteful projects to the tune of over $20 billion. Now in its fourth year, "Green Scissors '98" recommendations aim to save the country even more taxpayer dollars. "We call these targeted programs 'polluter pork' - government and corporate polluters bring home the bacon and taxpayers get fried in the pan," said Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs and a neighbor of the Livermore Lab. "It's outrageous that our own hard-earned tax dollars come back to haunt us in the form of toxic and radioactive pollutants, as will happen if the NIF is brought on line," Kelley added.
Slated to be about the size of the Oakland Coliseum if completed, the NIF would replace the Livermore Lab's Nova laser as the world's biggest laser. The NIF's goal is to shoot 192 laser beams onto a radioactive fuel pellet inside a reactor vessel in order to create a controlled thermonuclear "ignition."
"The NIF gives new meaning to the word 'boondoggle,'" said Jackie Cabasso, executive director of the Oakland-based Western States Legal Foundation. "Not only is it hugely expensive and totally unnecessary, but at a time when even ex-Generals are calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons, building the NIF signals a renewed U.S. commitment to these terrible instruments of mass destruction. We welcome the support of the Green Scissors Campaign in opposing this dangerous and destabilizing project. It's clear that opposition to the NIF is growing."
Representatives from key Bay Area organizations participating in the Green Scissors Campaign will participate in the San Francisco press briefing to release the report. The groups will work together to terminate the NIF and other programs targeted by the report.
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