The Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy (CfECE) went to China for two weeks to tour nuclear power plants and to examine other options for cleaning the air and reducing global warming. It is our belief that if China is not participating in global warming programs, then the programs are irrelevant. Although there are great challenges in the United States for achieving clean air and reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs), we believe China and the U.S. can cooperate to mitigate ground level smog and global warming.

Derry Bigby, Zhang Xiaoping & Norris McDonald at Tsinghua University

Derry Bigby, Zhang Xiaoping & Norris McDonald at Tsinghua University

The Center is promoting the expanded use of nuclear power in China.  There are ten nuclear reactors at six facilities currently operating in China with five reactors under construction.  There are plans to build 30 to 40 more reactors in the next decade.  Although this is an aggressive plan to expand the use of nuclear power, we believe it is inadequate to meet electricity demand and to reduce global warming emissions from China. 

The Center believes nuclear power has to be the cornerstone of any strategy for producing emission free electricity. As such, we designed a trip to China to examine their state-of-the art technology and current nuclear power plant building projects. We also intend to promote an accelerated nuclear power plant building program in China. Although there are plans to build about 30 plants over the next decade, we believe China needs to pursue a 'Great Nuclear Wall' that would include approximately 400 new reactors over the next two decades. China produced a 'Wonder of the World' by constructing the Great Wall. We sincerely believer that China has the genius and wherewithal to provide at least fifty percent of its electricity from nuclear power before 2050.

The Center will also promote the use of carbon offsets based on increased use of nuclear power as a tool for mitigating global climate change.  Nuclear power has been excluded as a source of offsets in greenhouse gas reduction programs in the United States and within the Kyoto Protocol.  We will work to establish nuclear power as a legitimate source of greenhouse gas reductions through the use of the United Nations Certified Emissions Reductions (CER) and the Clean Development Mechanism. (CDM). China is currently examining the feasibility of participating in a Post Kyoto climate change treaty.


Center President Norris McDonald and Vice President Derry Bigby began the trip to China by greeting Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) and Congressman Eni Faleomavaega at Dulles Airport and sharing our itinerary. We also briefly met with Congressman Conyers at the Hyatt Hotel in Beijing before his heavy meeting schedule. Congressman Conyers is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and was in China to meet with high-ranking government and business leaders for purposes of strengthening US-China relations. Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, was leading the congressional delegation, which also included Congresswoman Diane Watson of California.

Photos: Norris McDonald, John Conyers, Zhang Xiaoping & Derry Bigby (right)

The Center promotes plug-in fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles as the complement to emission free nuclear power as the other emission free technology that can significantly reduce global warming and smog. We will promote production of such vehicles in Detroit with possible investments and technical assistance for Detroit from China. Of course, we will include the rank and file. For more, click on the links below:

McDonald and Bigby met Center China Office Director Zhang Xiaoping in Beijing. Her translation services were invaluable during the entire trip. The Center recruited Ms. Zhang and established the office in China in 2006.  The purpose of this office is to protect the environment in China, particularly in the areas of air pollution and global warming.  The Center China Office gives us standing regarding environmental issues in China and serves to facilitate mutually beneficial projects with the United States.  The office also provides us with efficient outreach capacity and translation services.