Former Governor Christine Todd Whitman Speaks to NYU Wagner Students

On Monday, November 9, the former EPA administrator and Governor of New Jersey, Christine Todd Whitman, spoke with board members from NYU Wagner’s Alliance for Climate Change and Environment (ACE) student group, along with the Environmental Law Society and the Stern Energy Group. Governor Whitman spoke in her capacity as co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy), an organization that promotes nuclear energy. As co-chair, Governor Whitman spends much of her time traveling around the country and meeting people to discuss nuclear energy and answer questions.

She spoke at length about energy policy as it relates to climate change mitigation. She explained how she sees nuclear’s role in the country’s energy mix and its potential to replace carbon-emitting core energy sources, while being complemented by alternatives like solar and wind. Since energy demand in the U.S. is expected to increase by 22 percent in the next two and a half decades, Governor Whitman noted the importance of taking advantage of an already-existing source that has proven to be reliable.

Students from all three groups asked questions and expressed concerns about health hazards and public safety issues that arise from the widespread use of nuclear energy. The dialogue, which represented many differing viewpoints, highlighted that combatting climate change requires urgent action to transition to non-greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources.