Thursday, March 13, 2008

News Briefs

Columbia City Council
passes gay rights ordinance




National environmental group opposes nuclear reactors in S.C.

In a unanimous vote on March 5, Columbia City Council voted to prohibit discrimination against applicants for public housing and accommodations due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The passage of the bill, introduced by Daniel Rickenmann and Tameika Isaac Devine, puts Columbia at the forefront of Southern cities working toward comprehensive human rights legislation. New Orleans and Atlanta have also passed similar legislation.
“We have passed one of the most comprehensive bills in the country, in one of the most conservative states in the country,” C. Ray Drew, executive director of South Carolina Equality said in a statement. “South Carolina... represents the front lines of our battle for LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual] civil rights in this country.”
-Todd Morehead



National environmental group opposes nuclear reactors in S.C.


Columbia attorney, Bob Guild, filed a petition with the S.C. Public Service Commission last week on behalf of the local chapter of a national environmental group called Friends of the Earth (FOE), in opposition of two proposed nuclear reactors. The S.C. Public Service Commission regulates energy and transportation companies in the state. The “Petition to Intervene” urges the commission to reject pre-approval for nuclear facilities Duke Energy plans to build in Cherokee County. It also requests that S.C. FOE be allowed to become a party of record in the energy company’s application process for the reactors. 
“Most of us know nuclear power isn’t safe, but there are a host of economic and environmental reasons to be wary of this proposal,” Tom Clements, FOE’s Southeast region nuclear coordinator said in a written statement.  â€œNew reactors cost billions of dollars and nuclear power is far more expensive than other alternatives.”
The two proposed reactors would also supply power to North Carolina and according to FOE, environmental and public interest groups plan to file a similar petition with the N.C. Utilities Commission.
-Todd Morehead

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