Shameless shills

Don't be fooled by the recent spate of announcements and press releases by so-called professionals that tout the importance of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township.

What might appear to be genuine, scientific endorsements for the relicensing of the oldest nuclear plant in the United States are anything but.

Consider the fledgling organization New Jersey Affordable, Clean, Reliable Energy Coalition - NJ ACRE. The group's goals appear harmless at first: to educate the public about the need for energy policies that protect the environment.

That sounds like a nice mix. That's until the reader gets to the next sentence in the press release. The organization's "immediate" goal is to drum up support for Oyster Creek's relicensing.

Even the title of the Aug. 16 press release is misleading. "State Leaders Launch New Jersey Affordable, Clean, Reliable Energy Coalition," followed by the subtitle "Oyster Creek License Extension Essential to Meet New Jersey Energy Needs."

But the "state leaders" are all former state leaders, not current ones. The only current "leader" is, not surprisingly, Brian Reid, the mayor of Lacey Township, who obviously has a vested interested in the plant's future.

And you have to go to the group's Internet Web site at to find the real kicker. At the very bottom of the second page, in small print, are the words "Start-up cost funded by Exelon."

Exelon, for the uninformed, is the parent company of Amergen, which owns and runs the 38-yearold nuclear power plant.

There's more. A week later, a "story" - translation, press release - appeared on the Business Wire. It announced the results of a new study by a "national economic consulting firm" that concluded closing the 40-year-old Oyster Creek plant when its license expires in 2009 would have "severe economic and environmental consequences for the state."

The study was conducted by Bates White, a consulting firm that aims to help clients make informed decisions and "optimize bottom-line results."

The 38-page report predicted "sharply higher" electricity costs, more air pollution and more blackouts if Oyster Creek is shuttered.

And it's no surprise that this "study" was sponsored by - you guessed it - Exelon.

Exelon executives are scraping bottom with misleading information. It will hurt Ocean County residents who are most at risk in the event of an "event" at the aging nuclear plant.

Providing money for public relations shills to extol the virtues of a plant that must be shut down is shameless and disingenuous.

Read the fine print.

Source: Tri-Town News