Stephanie Jones, President, Stephanie Jones Strategies
Diverse communities across the country have an essential stake in clean energy, nuclear energy safety, and energy security. Therefore, it is crucial for our communities to be informed about and actively engaged in these issues. Toward this end, in 2010, AREVA formed the AREVA Community Advisory Council (CAC), of which I am an active member.
The CAC held our final meeting of 2011 this week in Washington, DC. It was a great opportunity for CAC members to update each other on our activities and priorities, share ideas, reflect on the work we did together in 2011 and plan a vigorous agenda for 2012.
Among the AREVA CAC’s activities in 2011 were a Breakfast and Clean Energy Workshop at the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Convention in Cincinnati, an energy panel discussion at Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) convention, an Energy Roundtable with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), and an Energy Symposium at National Hispanic Conference of State Legislators (NHCSL). CAC Members provided testimony to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, offering comments on the Commission’s draft report to the Secretary of Energy. We also participated in tours of Calvert Cliffs and the Richland Fuel Facility and two very dynamic Dinner and Dialogue meetings with influential grassroots community organizations.
CAC members agreed that 2011 was a year of growth and progress for the CAC, and that we were able to be particularly effective in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. During that time, AREVA regularly consulted with and promptly provided solid, unbiased information to CAC members, enabling us to help our communities better understand what was (and wasn’t) happening in Japan and what it meant for our energy security and safety at home. Everyone at the meeting commended how effectively and efficiently the AREVA-CAC collaboration worked during that critical time. This was one of the reasons the CAC was formed, and it has proven to be a tremendous resource both for AREVA and the communities our organizations serve.
We were reminded again in 2011 just how complex, confusing and, at times, even frightening issues related to nuclear energy can be, especially to people and communities who historically have not always been included in the conversations related to America’s energy future. So, it is critical that diverse communities across the country are an integral part of the conversations moving forward, that they are fully informed about all of the issues, and that their voices, concerns and ideas are heard and integrated into the decision-making. Stephanie Jones Strategies’ work on the AREVA Community Advisory Council is an important part of this effort.