We were called “Pinkos”

Using nuclear power to generate electricity is like using a chainsaw to slice a pat of butter.

Hal Marcovitz’s 12/30/21 piece in the Herald about the Point Pleasant Pumping Station stirred memories of my activism with the Central Bucks Clean Energy Collective. Any old heads still in Bucks that had protested the pump, know the “Collective” was an upstart group of environmentalists against withdrawing up to 95 gallons of water a day from the Delaware River. The water, diverted across Bucks and Montgomery County through streams and reservoirs, was destined to the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant near Pottstown, for cooling the fuel rods in the reactor.

After the March 28, 1979 accident at Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant in Harrisburg, the anti-nuke protests ramped up in Bucks and many places across America. We never were able to verify a rumor that PECO initially had proposed to build their nuclear plant along the bucolic banks of Pt. Pleasant. Once denied, their compensation prize was the pumping station.

People power escalated. Letters flooded local and area newspapers, citizens showed up at the Wednesday Bucks County Commissioners’ meetings–many speaking eloquently and with knowledge, about nuclear power and saving the Delaware. At one special County Commissioners meeting, the anti-nukes outnumbered the other side, composed mostly of construction workers, builders and realtors. Abby Hoffman came out of hiding and settled in Bucks County helping with organizing peaceful protests.

We even marched in a couple local parades carrying our huge banner with a lonely duck in the water saying, No Delaware Water To Limerick. Labeled “Pinkos” by pro-pumpers, in the early 80s, the Clean Energy Collective sponsored a Teach-in at Buckingham Friends School with workshops on conservation, solar panels, solar voltaic cells and wood burning stoves. I presented the path of uranium from its mining on Native lands to its radioactive half-life burial in the ground. Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey was our Keynote Speaker, probably the only member at that time in the early 80’s who could speak about energy policies.

By 1988 when construction of the pumping station began, over a hundred protestors staged a demonstration. Arrests were made. When a lawsuit filed by environmental group Del Aware suing Bucks County, PECO and Montgomery County Water Authority, construction was halted for months. The Court battle ended, the pump was built and interestingly, houses began popping out of the ground all over Montgomery County. Some years ago the Pt. Pleasant Pumping Station shut down, its walls collapsing into one other.

In recent years proponents for alternative energies are speaking with loud voices. Construction costs for nuke plants is astronomical; yet the “suits” are beating the drums to build again. There’s talk about conservation and wind or solar funding but the solar industry in America is pretty much owned by China.

In a November 22, 2021 Pottstown Mercury article by Evan Brandt—

“The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has signed off on a plan by Exelon Corp. to divest itself of its fleet of 23 nuclear power reactors, including the two at the Limerick Generating Station.

Exelon Corp. will transfer the NRC licenses to a new company, currently called HoldCo, as part of a corporate restructuring, the NRC announced on Nov. 17.

There is no money changing hands.”


Bring back ‘Teach-Ins’

Teach-Ins were all the rage during the 60s to educate citizens about the Viet Nam War. Last I can recall Teach-Ins happening was during New York City’s Occupy Wall Street. But as millions of us continue to grieve the presidential election results, now’s the time to bring back the teach-in.

In the early 1980s a couple dozen of us anti-nuke “pinkos” succeeded in raising the consciousness within our community. We were the Central Bucks Clean Energy Collective with a message to stop a pumping station at Point Pleasant Pennsylvania from sucking water out of the Delaware River for diversion to a nuclear power plant under construction in Limerick, Montgomery County Pennsylvania. We marched in protests, attended public hearings, wrote letters to newspapers and even managed local television media coverage. But most importantly we knocked on the doors of our elected local-state-and federal officials. We actively supported other environmental groups that filed lawsuits to Stop the Pump. There was even a brief appearance in Bucks County by the late Abbie Hoffman.

Awareness of the dangers of nuclear power spread when on March 28, 1979, a near meltdown occurred at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

The time was ripe for a Teach-In

We decided to poll our activist-colleagues and found individuals who volunteered to share their energy or alternative energy knowledge at 20-minute workshops. Also invited to our Teach-In were local entrepreneurs and non-profits to exhibit energy-saving products and messages. We succeeded in bringing in a Keynote Speaker–former Massachusetts U.S. Congressman Ed Markey who is now a Senator along with Elizabeth Warren.

After January 20, 2017:  Bring  Back Teach-Ins

What are those issues that drive your colleagues to bring about better change–locally or globally?

I’m confident that among your like-minded brother and sister activists, are individuals who will–backed by confidence and knowledge–share their passions with your community. Who are your Jewels of Knowledge who can educate citizens about Climate Change; or the Rights of either Workers-Women-Humans-Voting ; or Racism; or Veterans; or Immigration; or Social Security/Medicare; or Health Care; or Redistricting; or Religious Tolerance; or Public Education; or Citizen Lobbying; or Criminal Justice; or the Power of Voting?

What’ve I left out? What’s on your Issue List for a one day Teach-In? This can happen in your community.

Venues are out there–churches or large spaces that will welcome your message. Lobby that high-profile supporter in your group who can persuade a powerful person to become the Keynote Speaker at your Teach-In. We lobbied and for a minimal fee, brought in former Congressman Markey.

Knowledge IS Power. Our Up-start Clean Energy Collective activists may not have stopped Limerick. But how many nuclear power plants have been built since Three Mile Island?


Do It! The Time Is Now. Need direction? Search http://www.IndivisibleGuide.com

BE THERE: Women’s March on January 21 in Washington, DC.