ACCESS News Public Citizen Tom SMITTY Smith.mp4


WELCOME TO ACCESS NEWS. A PROGRAM THAT ENCOURAGES US
TO THINK ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN. HOW CAN WE, THE PEOPLE, BECOME INVOLVED
THROUGH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT? IS GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE REAL? IS NUCLEAR ENERGY SAFE? ARE WE PROPERLY MANAGING
OUR WATER SUPPLIES? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES RUNS AFOUL OF THE LAW? PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
WAS ACTUALLY IMPEACHED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
BUT ACQUITTED BY THE SENATE. PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON
WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPEACHED BUT HE RESIGNED
THE PRESIDENCY INSTEAD. WHAT DOES IMPEACH MEAN? TO IMPEACH MEANS
TO ACCUSE OF WRONGDOING. IMPEACHMENT IS NOT
A FINDING OF GUILT. TODAY, ACCESS NEWS WELCOMES
OUR GUEST, TOM SMITTY SMITH, THE DIRECTOR
OF PUBLIC CITIZEN OF TEXAS. TO DISCUSS ALL OF THIS
AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE, THE PEOPLE,
BECOME INFORMED, CARING, ENGAGED CITIZENS. YOU’RE WATCHING ACCESS NEWS,
HANDS ON NEWS. RICHARD NIXON
WAS OUR 37th PRESIDENT. KNOW FOR OPENING THE DOORS
TO TRADE WITH CHINA, WAGE AND PRICE CONTROLS, THE ESCALATION AND THEN END OF THE VIETNAM WAR, TITLE IX, AND THE CREATION OF THE
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. HE WAS REELECTED IN A LANDSLIDE. BUT IN HIS SECOND TERM,
HIS POPULARITY FELL DRASTICALLY. NIXON WAS THREATENED
WITH IMPEACHMENT DUE TO HIS APPROVAL
OF THE COVER-UP OF THE WATERGATE SCANDAL. WELCOME TO ACCESS NEWS, TOM.
CAN I CALL YOU SMITTY? PLEASE, DO. RECENTLY, A FEDERAL JUDGE
ORDERED THE RELEASE OF THE SEALED TRANSCRIPT
OF NIXON’S GRAND JURY TESTIMONY OF JUNE 23rd AND 24th, 1975. AGREEING WITH PUBLIC CITIZEN
THAT COURTS HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO RELEASE GRAND JURY MATERIALS
IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. TRADITIONALLY,
GRAND JURY TESTIMONY IS KEPT SECRET. CAN YOU TELL US
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RELEASE OF HIS GRAND JURY TESTIMONY? AFTER 40 YEARS, THERE’S STILL
A LOT OF SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT NIXON KNEW,
WHAT NIXON DID, AND HOW DEEPLY HE WAS INVOLVED
IN THE COVER-UP. AND, UNFORTUNATELY, WITH
EVERYBODY THAT PARTICIPATED, NOW BEING DEAD, THE ONLY WAY
WE’LL EVER GET THESE ANSWERS IS BY LOOKING
AT THE GRAND JURY TESTIMONY. AND THAT TESTIMONY, WE BELIEVE,
HAS THE ANSWERS TO A NUMBER OF KEY QUESTIONS. WHAT HAPPENED IN HIS
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE COVER-UP WITH H.R. HALDEMAN? WHAT HAPPENED TO CAUSE
THE ELIMINATION OF 18 1/2 MINUTES OF THE TAPES OF WHAT WAS GOING ON
IN HIS OFFICE? DID HE PERSONALLY
BECOME INVOLVED IN EDITING THE TRANSCRIPTS
OF THE TAPES THAT WERE GIVEN TO CONGRESS WHEN THEY WERE
DELIBERATING HIS IMPEACHMENT? AND DID HE ENGINEER
THE TRANSFER OF $100,000 OF FUNDS FROM ONE OF HIS BIGGEST
CAMPAIGN DONORS TO THE WATERGATE BURGLARS? AND ALL OF THESE THINGS,
WE THINK, ARE IN THOSE WATERGATE
GRAND JURY TAPES. ONE THING THAT I DON’T
UNDERSTAND IS WHY NOW? WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT THAT
WE UNDERSTAND THAT NOW? IT HAPPENED SUCH
A LONG TIME AGO. CAN YOU EXPLAIN MORE ABOUT
HOW THE INFORMATION HELP US TODAY? SURE. OFTENTIMES, THE LESSONS
OF HISTORY HELP US FIGURE OUT WHAT KINDS OF LAWS AND POLICIES
WE NOW NEED TO ENACT TO PREVENT THESE KINDS OF THINGS
FROM EVER HAPPENING AGAIN. THE WHOLE WATERGATE ERA SCANDAL CREATED A WHOLE MOVEMENT TOWARD OPEN GOVERNMENT
AND OPEN RECORDS ACTS THAT HAVE REALLY HELPED
US OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON
IN OUR GOVERNMENT AND TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION. BUT WE’VE NEVER BEEN REALLY
BEEN ABLE TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING ON
IN THE NIXON ERA, AND THE WAY MONEY WAS MOVED AND THE WAY
HE DECEIVED CONGRESS. AND, NOW, WITH THE WHOLE
CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE WAY WE FINANCED CAMPAIGNS IS
AN ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TIME TO UNDERSTAND THE WAY
NIXON MOVED MONEY FROM HIS BIG DONORS
TO THE WATERGATE BURGLARS, AND THIS WILL REALLY
HELP US THERE. AND IT WILL ALSO HELP US
UNDERSTAND A KEY MYSTERY, HOW DEEPLY INVOLVED WAS HE
OR WAS IT JUST HIS LIEUTENANTS THAT WERE COVERING UP FOR HIM IN TRYING TO BUILD
A PROTECTIVE WALL AROUND HIM OF DECEIT? I CAN IMAGINE THAT
THE TESTIMONY WOULD ANSWER A LOT OF THOSE QUESTIONS. NOW, LET’S GO AHEAD AND MOVE
FROM WATERGATE TO WATER. THAT’S GREAT. WE KNOW TEXAS HAS EXPERIENCED
ITS WORST DROUGHT IN HISTORY. IT’S ONGOING, AND PEOPLE
TODAY ARE REALLY, I THINK, TAKING WATER FOR GRANTED. AND WITHOUT WATER, WE DIE. SO, AND WATER RIGHT NOW
IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN OIL. SO, I’M WONDERING ARE WE
PROPERLY PREPARING OURSELVES FOR HOW WE USE WATER NOW,
IN THE NEXT 5, 10, 50 YEARS? NO, WE’RE NOT. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY WE’RE NOT
COUNTING THE LIKELY IMPACTS OF GLOBAL WARMING
ON OUR WATER SUPPLIES AND BEGINNING
TO PREPARE IN ADVANCE FOR THE DECLINE IN WATER. A RECENT DEBATE OVER WHETHER
TO PERMIT A BIG COAL PLANT DOWN ON THE COAST THAT WOULD
TAKE ABOUT 25,000 ACRE/FEET OF WATER A YEAR
OUT OF THE HIGHLAND LAKES, LAKE TRAVIS,
LAKE BUCHANAN, ET CETERA. IT SORT OF
ILLUSTRATES THE POINT. EVEN THOUGH LCRA WHO HAS TO MAKE
THIS DECISION HAS SAID THAT WATER AVAILABILITY WILL
DECLINE BETWEEN 14 AND 34% BETWEEN NOW AND 2050. THE DECISION WAS BEING
BASED ON AN ASSUMPTION THAT THOSE LAKES
WOULD ALWAYS BE FULL. AND WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT
GLOBAL WARMING IS THAT I-35 WILL BE
A MAJOR DIVIDING LINE. TO THE WEST, THERE WILL BE
A SIGNIFICANT DECLINE IN RAINFALL, ABOUT 25%. MEANING WE’LL HAVE
MORE AND MORE OF THE KINDS OF DROUGHTS
WE’RE SEEING. AND TO THE EAST, WE EXPECT
TO HAVE TORRENTIAL FLOODS THAT WILL BE COMING DOWN
IN SUCH QUANTITIES THAT WE WON’T BE ABLE
TO CAPTURE THE WATER AND WE WON’T BE ABLE
TO USE IT BENEFICIALLY AT LATER TIMES UNLESS WE BEGIN
TO PREPARE TO CAPTURE THAT WITH A SERIES OF RESERVOIRS
AND OTHER HOLDING FACILITIES. AND SO AS A STATE, WE’RE ADVOCATING
RESPONSIBILITY FOR PLANNING EFFECTIVELY
FOR OUR WATER. BUT THERE’S ALSO
ANOTHER LESSON. EACH OF US CAN SIGNIFICANTLY
REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF WATER WE CONSUME THROUGH SIMPLE
CONSERVATION MEASURES. FOR EXAMPLE,
THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO USES 1/3 OF THE WATER
PER PERSON TODAY THAT THEY DID JUST 15 YEARS AGO BECAUSE OF CHANGING
THE WAY THEY OPERATE THEIR WATER-CONSUMING
APPLIANCES, TIGHTENING UP LEAKS
IN THEIR WATER SYSTEM AND CHANGING THE KINDS
OF LANDSCAPING WE USE AROUND OUR COMMERCIAL
BUILDINGS AND OUR HOMES. I’M ACTUALLY GLAD
YOU BROUGHT UP THE POINT ABOUT GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. I KNOW THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT’S STILL ARE
IN DENIAL, SAY THAT THE GLOBAL CLIMATE
CHANGE IS A MYTH. WHY DO PEOPLE STILL BELIEVE
THAT IT’S A MYTH? BECAUSE IT’S GOING TO BE
EXPENSIVE AND DIFFICULT TO MAKE THE CHANGES TO OUR
SOCIETY THAT WE NEED TO. BUT IN THE WAY MEDIA WORKS
IS THEY TYPICALLY TRY AND CREATE A CONTROVERSY OUT
OF EVERYTHING AND TRY AND PRESENT
A BALANCED VIEWPOINT. SO ALTHOUGH 99.5%
OF ALL THE SCIENTISTS THAT HAVE STUDIES THIS
SAY CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING AND FAR MORE
RAPIDLY THAN WE THOUGHT, THAT 1/2 OF 1% IS GIVEN
EQUAL TIME IN THE MEDIA, SO IT APPEARS THE CONTROVERSY
IS FAR MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN IT IS. AND THERE IS CONTROVERSY
AMONG THOSE THAT BELIEVE IN GLOBAL WARMING, ABOUT
HOW FAST IT’S GONNA HAPPEN, AND, YOU KNOW,
WHAT WE DO ABOUT IT. BUT THE QUESTION
OF UNDERLYING SCIENCE IS OVERWHELMINGLY
IN FAVOR OF THE BELIEF THAT CLIMATE CHANGE
IS HAPPENING. AND BEFORE WE MOVE ON
TO ANOTHER TOPIC, I’D LIKE TO ASK YOU
ANOTHER QUESTION ABOUT THE GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. YOU SAY SCIENTISTS
AGREE 99.5%, WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL BELIEF
ABOUT WHY PEOPLE ARE STILL RESISTANT
TO THOSE FACTS? FOR INSTANCE,
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE TAKE THE EARTH FOR GRANTED? ABSOLUTELY. AND ALSO MOST PEOPLE
DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S THEIR DECISIONS
AND THEIR CONSUMPTIVE PATTERNS THAT ARE CAUSING
THIS PROBLEM, AND ARE REALLY AFRAID
TO CONFRONT THE CHANGES THAT ARE GONNA BE NECESSARY, AND BELIEVE THAT THEY’RE GOING
TO BE IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE. BUT FOR MOST OF US,
THE CHOICES ARE AS SIMPLE AS BUYING A MORE
EFFICIENT AUTOMOBILE. WEATHERIZING OUR HOMES
AND REDUCING OUR ENERGY USE SIGNIFICANTLY
BY CAULKING OUR WINDOWS OR BY PUTTING IN
ADDITIONAL INSULATION OR CHANGING OUR LIGHT BULBS OR BEGINNING TO TAKE A LOOK
AT THE FOOD WE EAT AND BUYING LOCAL FOOD. IT’S REALLY A FASCINATING
DISCUSSION TO TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH OUR FOOD COST
AND HOW LITTLE OF IT HAS TO DO WITH FOOD? HOW MUCH OF IT HAS TO DO
WITH MOVING THAT FOOD FROM ONE PART OF THE WORLD
TO ANOTHER, WRAPPING IT UP IN PLASTIC, AND THEN KEEPING IT COOL? ALL OF WHICH WOULD BE ELIMINATED
IF WE JUST GREW OUR FOOD LOCALLY AND WENT BACK
TO THE KIND OF ECONOMY THAT OUR GRANDPARENTS
OR GREAT-GRANDPARENTS HAD WHERE WE ATE STUFF
THAT CAME FROM OUR GARDENS. ATE FOOD OR MEATS THAT CAME
FROM LOCAL DAIRIES AND RANCHES. AND WE SURVIVED WELL UNDER
THAT KIND OF AGRARIAN SYSTEM. OBVIOUSLY, I CAN SEE
THAT LOCAL BUSINESS IS REALLY GROWING IN THIS AREA. I’D LIKE TO GO AHEAD
AND CUT TO DON MILLER, WHO’S GONNA TELL US A LITTLE
MORE ABOUT OUR GOVERNMENT, AND THEN WE’LL CONTINUE
WITH OUR CONVERSATION. OKAY. THANK YOU, TAMARA.
HI, I’M DON MILLER. THOMAS JEFFERSON
WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY AND ACCOMPLISHED MAN. YET HE ASKED TO BE
REMEMBERED FOR ONLY THREE OF ALL HIS ACHIEVEMENTS
IN HIS LIFE. HE SERVED AS GOVERNOR
OF VIRGINIA, AS U.S. MINISTER TO FRANCE, AS SECRETARY OF STATE
UNDER GEORGE WASHINGTON. AS VICE PRESIDENT
UNDER JOHN ADAMS, AND AS PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED OF STATES FROM 1801 TO 1809. HOWEVER, ON HIS TOMBSTONE FOR WHICH HE WROTE
THE INSCRIPTION, THERE IS NO MENTION
OF THESE OFFICES. IT READS THAT
THOMAS JEFFERSON WAS, “AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION
OF INDEPENDENCE, OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA
FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, AND FATHER OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.” AND, AS HE REQUESTED,
“NOT A WORD MORE.” THOMAS JEFFERSON ALSO EARNED
DISTINCTION AS AN ARCHITECT, NATURALIST, LINGUIST, AND FATHER TO THE CHILDREN
OF SALLY HEMMINGS, A MIXED-RACE SLAVE OWNED BY THOMAS JEFFERSON. LET’S WATCH AND LEARN MORE
ABOUT THOMAS JEFFERSON, AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION
OF THE INDEPENDENCE. MORE THAN ANY OF THE OTHER
FOUNDING FATHERS, THOMAS JEFFERSON GRAPPLED
WITH THESE QUESTIONS. BORN IN 1743,
HE WAS A WELL EDUCATED MAN. HE ATTENDED WILLIAM AND MARY
COLLEGE IN HIS NATIVE VIRGINIA. WAS A SCHOLAR
AND AN INTELLECTUAL. JEFFERSON WAS WELL AWARE
THAT THE NOTION OF CITIZENSHIP AND ITS ASSOCIATED RIGHTS
WERE DERIVED FROM THE GREAT THINKERS OF,
FIRST, THE GREEK CITY-STATES AND LATER THE ROMAN EMPIRE. BUT HE WAS ALSO A STUDENT
OF THE EUROPEAN AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT. THE ENLIGHTENMENT
LAUNCHED WESTERN SCIENCE AND BROUGHT ABOUT
A DEEP REFLECTION ON SOCIETIES AND GOVERNMENT. BUT THE ENLIGHTENMENT
WAS ALSO A GREAT AWAKENING AND AN ANALYSIS
OF WHAT IT MEANT TO BE HUMAN. TO BE A FREE MAN. FIRST EXPRESSED
IN JOHN MILLS’ “ON LIBERTY.” IN THE EARLY 1770s, AS HOSTILITY TOWARD BRITAIN
AND HER POLICIES ESCALATED IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES, JEFFERSON FELT THE NEED
TO PUT ON PAPER A JUSTIFICATION
FOR THE GROWING ANGER AND FRUSTRATION OF COLONISTS HARBORED AGAINST
THE BRITISH MONARCHY. IN 1774, HE PENNED
HIS JUSTIFICATION IN A PAMPHLET HE TITLED “A SUMMARY VIEW OF
THE RIGHTS OF BRITISH AMERICA.” IN IT, HE PUT FORTH COMPLAINTS
ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF THE COLONISTS
AS SECOND-RATE CITIZENS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. TO REMIND HIS MAJESTY
THAT OUR ANCESTORS BEFORE THEIR IMMIGRATION
TO AMERICA, WERE THE FREE INHABITANTS
OF THE BRITISH DOMINIONS IN EUROPE. AND POSSESSED THE RIGHT WHICH
NATURE HAS GIVEN TO ALL MEN OF DEPARTING FROM THE COUNTRY
IN WHICH CHANCE, NOT CHOICE, HAS PLACED THEM. IN OTHER WORDS,
JEFFERSON, LIKE MANY AUTHORS OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT,
BELIEVED CIVIL RIGHTS DERIVED FROM THE FACT
THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL HAS CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS. THAT IS, THESE RIGHTS EXIST
WITH OUR WITHOUT GOVERNMENT. MAN CANNOT CREATE,
TAKE OR GIVE THEM AWAY. THEREFORE, A GOVERNMENT
FOR THE AMERICAN COLONIES NEEDED TO BE CREATED THAT WOULD
PROTECT INDIVIDUALS’ FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS FROM UNWANTED
INFRINGEMENT BY GOVERNMENTS AND PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS. THIS CLASS OF RIGHTS
BECAME KNOWN AS CIVIL RIGHTS. AS A RESULT
OF THE 1774 PAMPHLET, THOMAS JEFFERSON WAS ASKED
BY THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS TO DRAFT A DECLARATION
OF INDEPENDENCE IN THE SUMMER OF 1776. THE ROUGH DRAFT
CONTAINED THESE WORDS, “THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED
EQUAL AND INDEPENDENT. “THAT FROM THAT EQUAL CREATION
THEY DERIVE RIGHT INHERENT “AND INALIENABLE AMONG WHICH
ARE
PRESERVATION OF LIFE, “AND LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.” WOW! THERE’S A LOT TO BEING
A GOOD CITIZEN. THERE’S MUCH TO LEARN ABOUT
BEING A WELL INFORMED INDIVIDUAL WHO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE
AND RELEVANCE OF VOTING. WHAT ARE OUR RIGHTS
AS INDIVIDUALS? WHAT ARE GOVERNMENT
CAN AND SHOULDN’T DO? DO YOU THINK WE REALLY HAVE
INALIENABLE RIGHTS AS STATED IN THE DECLARATION
OF INDEPENDENCE? LIFE, LIBERTY,
AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS? INALIENABLE MEANS INCAPABLE
OF BEING SURRENDERED TO ANOTHER. CAN YOU THINK OF EXAMPLES WHERE LIFE MAY NOT BE
AN INALIENABLE RIGHT? SHARE YOUR OPINIONS WITH US. JOIN THE DISCUSSION
AT OUR WEBSITE: ACCESSNEWS.US “.US” FOR UNITED STATES. WHAT DO YOU THINK? FOR ACCESS NEWS,
I’M DON MILLER. THANK YOU, DON. WELCOME BACK TO ACCESS NEWS, WE HAVE WITH US
TOM SMITTY SMITH. PUBLIC CITIZEN IS ON RECORD
AS OPPOSING NUCLEAR POWER. THE EARTHQUAKE
THAT JUST HIT JAPAN AND THE FUKISHIMA POWER PLANT, DOES THAT INCIDENT,
THE DEVASTATION, HELP YOUR CAUSE?
SURE. THERE ARE EIGHT NUCLEAR
PLANTS THAT ARE BEING PROPOSED FOR TEXAS AND FOUR OF THEM
ARE GOING THROUGH SOME OF KIND OF LICENSING
DEBATE RIGHT NOW. AND AS A RESULT
OF THE DISASTER IN JAPAN, WHAT WE’RE SEEING IS THAT
MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE INTERESTED
IN BUILDING THESE PLANTS ARE PULLING AWAY
BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID NOT ONLY OF SIMILAR DISASTERS BUT ALSO
THE COSTS OF RETROFITTING THESE NEW PLANTS
TO MAKE THEM SAFE AS A RESULT OF ALL LESSONS
WE’VE LEARNED. AND, INTERESTINGLY, ONE OF
THE PARTNERS IN THAT PLANT WAS THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO. AND INSTEAD OF BUILDING
THAT NUCLEAR PLANT, THEY ARE BEGINNING TO USE
A LOT MORE ENERGY EFFICIENCY. THEY ARE INVESTING HEAVILY
IN RENEWABLE ENERGIES LIKE WIND AND SOLAR, AND THEY’RE USING A LITTLE BIT
OF NATURAL GAS AS A BACKUP. BUT THEY’RE ABLE TO REPLACE ALL
THE ENERGY THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN COMING FROM THIS DANGEROUS
NUCLEAR REACTOR WITH FAR CLEANER ENERGY
AT A FRACTION OF THE COST. OH, THAT’S AMAZING. SO, I’M CURIOUS WHY IS
NUCLEAR POWER NOT SAFE? THERE ARE A NUMBER
OF PROBLEMS WITH IT. WE ALL THINK ABOUT
AN EXPLOSION AT A REACTOR. BUT THE PLACE THAT MOST OF US
ARE GOING TO BE EXPOSED TO RADIATION COMES
AT THE TIME THEY’RE– RADIATION IS MINED
OUT OF DEEP PITS OR OUT OF WATER SUPPLIES LIKE
IT IS THROUGHOUT SOUTH TEXAS OR THEN AFTER THE FUEL IS USED AND AFTER THE PLANTS
ARE DECOMMISSIONED, THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF WASTE, THE VERY HIGH-LEVEL FUEL RODS, BUT THE VAST MAJORITY OF
THE WASTE IS WHAT THEY CALL LOW LEVEL,
BUT NOT LOW-RISK WASTE, THAT WILL BE HAULED IN TRUCKS
AND PUT INTO A FACILITY OUT ON THE NEW MEXICO BORDER
WEST OF ODESSA IN A LITTLE COMMUNITY
CALLED ANDREWS. AND THERE’S A HIGH LIKELIHOOD
THAT THERE WOULD BE, SOMETIME DURING OUR LIFETIMES, AN ACCIDENT INVOLVING
THIS LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE THAT MAY COST SIGNIFICANT
CONTAMINATION OF THE COMMUNITY IT’S IN. AND IT’S A QUESTION
OF DO WE HAVE– AND IF THAT PARTICULAR FACILITY
WHICH IS VERY CLOSE TO THE OGALLALA AQUIFER
WERE TO LEAK, THE CONTAMINATION COULD HAVE
SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS NOT JUST ON TEXAS
BUT ON OTHER STATES AS WELL. THAT SOUNDS
REALLY DANGEROUS. I’M WONDERING SO IF WE CLOSE ALL OF THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS COULD WE REPLACE
THAT ENERGY OUTPUT? ABSOLUTELY.
IT WOULD TAKE– NOT ALL THE NUKES ARE GONNA
RETIRE ALL AT THE SAME TIME, AND SO WE WOULD HAVE
SOME TIME TO PLAN IT. BUT IT IS CLEAR
AFTER FUKUSHIMA, THAT THERE ARE PROBABLY ABOUT 30
OF THE SAME KINDS OF REACTORS THAT NEED TO BE RETIRED
FAIRLY QUICKLY. WE ALSO KNOW THAT THERE
ABOUT 17 BIG REACTORS THAT ARE LEAKING
TRITIATED WATER OUT OF THE BOTTOM
OF THE PLANTS AND PIPES THAT ARE BEGINNING TO–
THEY ARE SO OLD THEY’RE STARTING
TO GET A LEAK. WE NEED TO CLOSE
THOSE AS WELL. BUT ONE OF THE INTERESTING
STUDIES IT HAS BEEN RECENTLY COMPLETED FOR A HEARING
WERE HAVING OVER WHETHER TO EXPAND THE SOUTH TEXAS PLANT, SAYS THAT IF WE JUST INCREASE
THE STRINGENCY OR THE EFFICIENCY OF OUR BUILDING CODES AND JUST INCREASE THE EFFICIENCY
OF OUR MAJOR APPLIANCES LIKE OUR REFRIGERATORS
AND WASHING MACHINES AND AIR-CONDITIONERS, THAT WE COULD AVOID
HAVING TO BUILD ANY OF THESE NUCLEAR PLANTS. AND THAT’S ALL
RECENTLY BEEN DONE UNDER THE FIRST PART
OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, THERE’S A PROCESS NOW
TO INCREASE THE EFFICIENCY OF ALL OF THOSE CODES. AND IT WILL BE ONGOING
OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS. AND WE COULD ALL SAVE MONEY
AT THE SAME TIME, WHICH IS THE GOOD NEWS. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A REALLY
GOOD LONG-TERM PLAN. SO, NOW, WITH ALL OF THE ISSUES
THAT WE’VE TALKED ABOUT, I CAN IMAGINE THAT
FOR A YOUNG INDIVIDUAL, MAYBE THIS COULD BE
OVERWHELMING OR CONFUSING, A LOT OF COMPLEX ISSUES. HOW WOULD YOU ADVICE
YOUNG PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND AND HOW TO MAKE DECISIONS
FOR THEMSELVES ON SOME OF THESE TOPICS? THE NAME PUBLIC CITIZEN
IS SORT OF EMBLEMATIC OF WHAT WE BELIEVE
IS THE RIGHT PATH FOR ANY CITIZEN. THERE WAS A SUPREME COURT
JUSTICE BY THE NAME OF LEARNED HAND AT THE TURN
OF THE CENTURY BEFORE LAST, WHO WAS VERY WISE AND HE HAD
PEOPLE ASKED HIM TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. HE SAID, “NO, I WOULD RATHER
GO BACK TO MY HOME COMMUNITY AND PARTICIPATE IN THE DEBATES
AT THE LOCAL LEVEL IN MY CITY COUNCIL
AND IN FRONT OF MY COUNTY BECAUSE THERE’S NO HIGHER OFFICE
IN THE LAND THAN THAT OF AN ENGAGED
PUBLIC CITIZEN.” AND THAT’S WHERE
OUR NAME COMES FROM, IS THAT PROCESS OF SAYING,
“LET’S ALL GET ENGAGED LOCALLY AND WE CAN MAKE
PROFOUND CHANGES.” AND TIME AFTER TIME,
AS WE HAVE ORGANIZED NOW OVER 25 DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS
IN THE LAST 25 YEARS, WHAT WE’RE SEEING IS ONE PERSON
STANDING UP AND SAYING, “THERE’S A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM
AND I THINK WE NEED TO TAKE IT ON AND MAYBE COME UP
WITH SOME SOLUTIONS TO RESOLVE IT.” WE CAN BRING TOGETHER
A NUCLEUS OF HIS OR HER FRIENDS AND COMPATRIOTS,
AND THEN CREATE A MOVEMENT FOR SOCIAL CHANGE. AS ONE OLD RANCHER
OUTSIDE OF WACO SAID, “IT’S KIND OF LIKE STANDING
ON TOP OF THE HILL AND KICKING A ROCK OFF,
AND PRETTY QUICK A COUPLE OF OTHER ROCKS
GO ROLLING DOWN THE HILL. AND PRETTY QUICK YOU HAVE
A WHOLE AVALANCHE OF ENERGY THAT MAKES SIGNIFICANT
CHANGE IN THE LAND. AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT ONE
PERSON CAN DO BY STANDING UP FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE, THEY CAN CREATE
AN AVALANCHE OF SOCIAL CHANGE THAT LITERALLY
CHANGES THEIR COMMUNITY AND SOMETIMES CHANGES THE NATION
AND THE FATE OF THE WORLD. THANK YOU, SMITTY. YOUR WORK REALLY EXEMPLIFIES
WHAT CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
IS ALL ABOUT. WELL, THANKS AND IT’S BEEN
A PLEASURE AND AN HONOR TO BE ON THIS SHOW. YOU CAN LEARN
MORE ABOUT THE WORK OF PUBLIC CITIZEN, TEXAS
AT THEIR WEBSITE, CITZEN.ORG
AND AT OUR WEBSITE, ACCESSNEWS.US. YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS, SHARE
YOUR COMMENTS AND OPINIONS. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK,
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER. ONE BEAUTIFUL THING
ABOUT AMERICA IS THAT WE, THE PEOPLE,
HAVE POWER. THE MORE WE KNOW, THE BETTER
DECISIONS WE CAN MAKE. FOR ACCESS NEWS,
I’M TAMARA, AND THAT’S AUSTIN. EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
DVORAH BEN MOSHE, KEN HURLEY. WITH FUNDING FROM THE JOHN S.
AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION THROUGH THE KNIGHT COMMUNITY
INFORMATION CHALLENGE. SUPPORTED BY: THE AUSTIN
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. FOSTERING PHILANTHROPY
IN AUSTIN FOR 35 YEARS, THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
FOR NOW AND FOREVER. CREATED AND WRITTEN BY:
DVORAH BEN-MOSHE, KEN HURLEY. HOSTED BY:
TAMARA SUITER-OCUTO. INTERPRETER
FOR TAMARA SUITER-OCUTO: JENNIFER STOKER. SEGMENT HOST
FOR “A MORE PERFECT UNION:” DON MILLER. VOICING FOR DON MILLER:
KEN HURLEY. CREW: PRODUCER:
LINDA LITOWSKY. DIRECTOR/EDITOR:
ORLANDO LOPEZ. 3D ANIMATION:
DOUG GRAY. TECHNICAL DIRECTOR:
KARLA SALDANA. DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY:
BRIAN BLAKE. ASSISTANT TO THE PRODUCER:
SUSAN HARPER. ORIGINAL MUSIC:
AARON JAQUES. CAMERA: DOUG GRAY,
TIM O’NEAL, ROSS WILSEY. PRODUCTION SOUND MIXER:
ROD SIMONSEN. TELEPROMPTER OPERATOR:
BRANDON “TOJ” MORA. ADDITIONAL CREW.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: EVE GRANICK,
DVORAH BEN-MOSHE. INTERN:
BRANDON “TOJ” MORA. ADDITIONAL INTERPRETERS:
JACOB STACEY, TRACEY HUGULEY,
JESSICA GRAVES. WEBSITE DEVELOPED BY:
ELECTRICLEAF, JONATHAN BRADEN. CLOSED CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY: CPC, CLOSED CAPTIONING
AND SUBTITLE SERVICES. CIVIC EDUCATION VIDEO
SEGMENTS PROVIDED BY: AMBROSE VIDEO PUBLISHING. SPECIAL THANKS
TO SUSAN MERMIT, LISA WILLIAMS, MARIBEN RAMSEY,
MONICA WILLIAMS, JANICE KLEKAR, PAULA LANGE, JEFF GARVEY. CLAIRE BUGEN, BOBBIE GUERRA,
RUSSELL HARVARD, CYNTHIA FOSS, BILL STOTESBERY,
KATELYN MACK, YITZHAK BEN-MOSHE,
BOBBIE NORD, KENNETH GLADISH. HI, I’M TAMARA,
HOST OF ACCESS NEWS. JOIN ME AS I TALK
WITH RENOWNED SCIENTISTS, COMMUNITY ADVOCATES,
POWERFUL BUSINESS LEADERS, AND POLITICIANS
FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. TOM SMITTY SMITH, AS A PUBLIC CITIZEN, YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. SMITTY EXPLAINS HOW. JOIN ME EACH SUNDAY AT 1:00 PM
ON KLRU AUSTIN FOR ACCESS NEWS,
HANDS ON NEWS.

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