Former US Trade Ambassador Visits Mercy College

Amb Ron Kirk_Mercy College_US Flag

Earlier this week, backed by the projected image of a large American flag, CASEnergy Coalition co-chairman and former US Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk spoke to group of Mercy College students –including a contingent of physician assistants who will be traveling to Nicaragua soon– on the future of nuclear energy.nuclear power as an affordable and reliable source.

 

Mercy College_Joe KelleherBronx Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Kelleher welcomed the CASEnergy Coalition co-chair Ambassador Ron Kirk. Clean and Safe Energy (CASEnergy) Coalition is a national grassroots organization that supports the increased use of clean, reliable, and safe nuclear energy.

 

Amb Ron Kirk_Mercy College PAsIn making his point about the importance of an  affordable, reliable energy supply, Kirk spoke to students about the nightly brownouts that plague many countries in the developing world. He shared that his security detail would often make him walk up stairs rather than be caught in an elevator during a brownout.

In citing his organization’s support for nuclear energy, Ambassador Kirk said, “We need reliable, clean energy.” And he pointed out that Indian Point Energy Center in upstate Buchanan, New York provides nearly one-third of the Bronx and New York City’s energy supply.

Lenny Caro, CM Andy King, Ambassador Ron Kirk, Rich Thomas, President Joe Kelleher

Lenny Caro, CM Andy King, Ambassador Ron Kirk, Rich Thomas, BCC President Joe Kelleher

“This college is growing. The Bronx is booming. Where do you think the energy to power this growth is going to come from,” said Kirk. He also pointed that nuclear power is emissions-free and is vital, if we are going to reduce climate change.

 

Courtesy NY1 Inside City Hall

Courtesy NY1 Inside City Hall

Ambassador Kirk, who is also formerly mayor of Dallas, Texas, sat down with Errol Louis on NY1’s Inside City Hall on Wednesday night to talk nuclear energy and the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement.  Ambassador Kirk is as conversant on nuclear energy and  climate change as he is on trade policy.

 

Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake, who worked with Ambassador Kirk in the White House, called him as a continual champion for equality.  “Ambassador Kir consistently mentored me while we both served in President Obama’s administration on how to humbly yet passionately stand up for communities of color.”

Calling him inspiring and a great friend, Blake said, “His work as Mayor of Dallas and U.S. Trade Representative demonstrated his commitment to public service and to finding more ways to create economic opportunities for communities of color.”

 

Instagram: Peter Wing/Baruch College

Instagram: Peter Wing/Baruch College

Earlier in the day, Ambassador Kirk spoke at City and State NY’s “On Energy” forum which was held downtown at Baruch College on 23rd Street in Manhattan. Kirk sat down for a One on One with City And State NY’s executive editor, Michael Johnson.

“If you shut down Indian Point you’d have to build enough solar to fill four Manhattans,” said Ambassador Ron Kirk. Adding later that “Most of the non-carbon emitting energy in this country is produced by nuclear.”

Groups such as Riverkeeper dispute Ambassador Kirk on this and other points. In response, a Riverkeeper spokesperson tweeted, “ Not accurate. NYISO has found only a 500MW need if Indian Point shuts down tomorrow.

 

 

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