Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

"The toxic waste byproducts of nuclear plants are not worth the risks of the technology’s benefit," Sanders' campaign platform reads. (Photo: Bill Liao/flickr/cc)

While Sanders Rejects It, Clinton Embraces Nuclear as Part of 'Clean-Energy' Vision

The two candidates battling for the Democratic presidential nomination are divided as to whether nuclear power qualifies as "clean energy"

Nika Knight

Bernie Sanders has made climate change a central pillar of his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, and he is adamant that nuclear power has no place in his vision of the nation's cleaner future.

Hillary Clinton, to the contrary, believes "nuclear energy has an important role to play in our clean-energy future," Jake Sullivan, Clinton's policy director, told the local Idaho news source on Monday.

Sanders argues for "a moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals in the United States," on his campaign site.

"Bernie believes that solar, wind, geothermal power and energy efficiency are proven and more cost-effective than nuclear—even without tax incentives," his platform goes on, "and that the toxic waste byproducts of nuclear plants are not worth the risks of the technology’s benefit."

When it comes to the candidates' climate proposals, observed that Sanders' "biggest contrast with Clinton is on nuclear energy."

Clinton has switched her answer several times on the question of nuclear power. She was pro-nuclear power in 2007, when she began her first campaign for the Democratic nomination, changed her mind in the midst of that campaign in 2008 and stated that she was against it—"I have a comprehensive energy plan that does not rely on nuclear power," she declared that year.

Clinton continued to argue against nuclear power until this most recent election season. As of February 2016, her campaign platform states that she is once again in favor of it.

The Democratic presidential hopefuls are currently focusing campaign efforts in Western states such as Idaho, which holds its Democratic caucus on Tuesday. The state is also home to the Idaho National Laboratory, a federal research facility that focuses on nuclear energy, which employs "thousands of  Idahoans," as noted.

Sullivan told, "The Idaho National Laboratory would be an important institution to promote our clean-energy policy."

Clinton's renewed pro-nuke stance may meet resistance from voters nationwide, who are against nuclear power in greater numbers than ever before. Indeed, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans now oppose nuclear energy, Common Dreams reported last week.

And nuclear power is not the only energy issue on which Clinton's stance has recently pivoted. Just last week, she walked back statements she made arguing against coal at a Democratic town hall. In a "head-spinning reversal," Grist reported, only a day after the town hall the Clinton campaign "released a statement saying, 'Coal will remain a part of the energy mix for years to come.'"

Sanders has long been against both coal and nuclear power, and has often critiqued the nuclear power industry. He has harshly condemned the U.S. government's subsidies of nuclear energy companies as well as the nation's failure to maintain its dangerously aging nuclear reactors. 

As a U.S. senator, Sanders also battled federal regulators for the right of his home state of Vermont to determine its own energy future in its struggle to shut down the problem-plagued Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) "has no right to tell us what kind of future we will have," Sanders proclaimed on the floor of the Senate back in 2011. "The people of Vermont believe, and I agree, that our future lies with energy efficiency and sustainable energy."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·

Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo