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Experts Form Center to Correct Misstatements About Energy

 

VENICE, Fla., March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Prompted by recent published misstatements about nuclear energy, a group of technical experts have formed the Energy Information Center (EIC) to communicate technically-accurate information about energy issues to the public.

"While reading public reporting about topics such as the Fukushima, Japan nuclear event and debates about Pay-As-You-Go Financing of new nuclear energy plants in Florida, I frequently found myself in conversations with fellow nuclear engineers and other colleagues who shared a similar view that the public messaging about energy topics is increasingly dominated by misstatements and even falsehoods leading to myths," said former state Representative Jerry Paul of Englewood, FL, a founder of the EIC.

Some of the mis-characterizations, according to Paul, have been intentionally orchestrated by traditional opponents of nuclear energy.  But some, he said, stem from honest misunderstandings unintentionally reported in the press. 

Paul formerly served as the Principal Deputy Administrator of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, appointed by the President in 2004.  A nuclear engineer and attorney, he also served on faculty at the University of Tennessee as the Distinguished Fellow for Energy Policy, Howard Baker Center for Public Policy.  

"We recognized that activists make themselves readily available to the media but technical experts tend to be less vocal," said Paul, who also pointed out that utility companies which operate nuclear power plants do not generally wage effective communications in response to activists.  "We realized that those of us with engineering experience or from universities or former government officials have a duty to speak up."

"We decided to create the Energy Information Center as a volunteer organization through which contributing experts can make technically-accurate information available on energy topics that are being debated publicly," Paul said. 

Along with Paul, initial contributing experts include Dr. James Tulenko, professor at the University of Florida Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences; Hon. Dennis Spurgeon, former Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy; Dr. Thomas Sanders, Associate Laboratory Director for Clean Energy Initiatives, Savannah River National Laboratory and former President of the American Nuclear Society; and John Kotek, nuclear engineer and former Executive Director of the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. 

"The response has been great so far, and we're proud to announce the start of the Center this week," Paul said.  "We will be adding several contributing experts in the coming weeks."

The goal of the Energy Information Center experts will be to speak through guest columns, articles, interviews and panel discussions on topics related to energy, power plants, energy policy and energy delivery in an effort to foster clear, accurate conclusions.  EIC's website, www.energyinfocenter.org, states that the Center's primary goal is not to advocate for particular public positions but to ensure that society has accurate information to formulate effective decisions to provide for America's crucial energy supply and help avoid misguided, over-reactionary conclusions that can lead to decisions that are unfavorable to ratepayers and all Americans.

"The initial phase of the Center's activity is being launched on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident when anti-nuclear activists can be expected to exploit that tragedy to promote falsehoods in support of their anti-nuclear campaign here in America," said Paul, spokesman for the Center

In the future, Center experts plan to provide the public with current, accurate information on the role of energy efficiency improvements, solar energy, coal, natural gas, oil, biomass, wind energy and transportation fuels in delivering America's needed energy supplies.

Contact:  Jerry Paul, jpaul@energyinfocenter.org or 941-662-7874

SOURCE Energy Information Center

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