“These big companies have huge, sometimes much bigger, influence on supply chain decisions than governments do.” — Michael Shellenberger
Does the above headline look hyperbolic to you? I think it’s true — and we can help make it true by joining a long list of prominent scientists like James Hansen and Kerry Emanuel to sign the petition urging Amazon to save Ohio’s clean power. Consider the consequences if Amazon amends its 100 percent renewable electricity goal to include nuclear. Amazon’s goal would then function as a Clean Energy Standard (CES), not just a renewable goal (RPS). As it stands, nuclear is excluded from Ohio’s 12.5% RPS — as well as federal renewable subsidies. If Amazon redefines their corporate goal to include nuclear that will open a badly needed discussion: “Does humanity need to decarbonize, or to build more renewables?”
Jeff Bezos is one of America’s most-respected company leaders. When he explains why Amazon decided to focus on serious decarbonization people everywhere will listen. Certainly Ohio politicians will listen to a fast-growing company that’s bringing jobs to Ohio. And I think Apple, Facebook and Google will pay close attention when Jeff Bezos puts the Amazon brand on CES policies that support nuclear + solar + wind. More people should know that Jeff Bezos is one of the backers of Breakthrough Energy Ventures which intends to invest in promising advanced nuclear fission. Bezos has also invested in the nuclear fusion startup General Fusion.
I think that respected companies can change public policy much faster than working only through Washington DC. By adopting CES policies they exert leverage on public opinion while giving state leaders political cover to resist the powerful renewable lobbies.
You probably know people who work at Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook. Ask them whether they think our goal should be to decarbonize, or is it just to build more and more renewables? They can promote discussions inside these companies. They can raise questions at TGIF or similar (perhaps that’s too much to ask, but it would be very interesting to hear Larry explain why Alphabet doesn’t support nuclear in their clean data center portfolio).
Please donate at Environmental Progress and please sign the petition! The more people who sign the petition the more that signals to Jeff Bezos that there are a lot of people who care deeply about serious decarbonization. Associating the Amazon brand with clean, reliable nuclear will be positive for Amazon.