Democratic presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have finally agreed on a date for what is sure to be a spirited debate in Brooklyn ahead of New York’s primary on April 19.
The candidates will face off on Thursday, April 14 for a debate moderated by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.
To accommodate the invitation, Sanders—who initiated the call for another televised debate on the heels of his landslide victories in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington state—was forced to reschedule a New York City rally. His campaign had put forward a number of other suggested dates.
“We hope the debate will be worth the inconvenience for thousands of New Yorkers who were planning to attend our rally on Thursday but will have to change their schedules to accommodate Secretary Clinton’s jam-packed, high-dollar, coast-to-coast schedule of fundraisers all over the country,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement.
Both campaigns are looking beyond Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary to the contest in the Empire State, where Sanders grew up and Clinton served two terms as U.S. Senator.
On Monday, for example, Sanders called for the closure of Indian Point Energy Center in Westchester County, a longtime source of controversy and concern among local residents.
“I am very concerned that the Indian Power nuclear power reactor is more than ever before a catastrophe waiting to happen,” Sanders said. “In my view, we cannot sit idly by and hope that the unthinkable will never happen. We must take action to shut this plant down in a safe and responsible way. It makes no sense to me to continue to operate a decaying nuclear reactor within 25 miles of New York City where nearly 10 million people live.”
The plant is roughly 15 miles from Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) annual review of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) performance and nuclear plant safety, more than 60 percent of the “near miss safety violations” in 2015 occurred at three plants owned by Entergy Corp., including Indian Point.
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Clinton, The Journal News reports, “has long expressed concern about Indian Point, sponsoring legislation that would require an independent safety assessment of the plant when she represented the state in the U.S. Senate.”
But Clinton has called for improving operations at the plant rather than shutting it down entirely.
“Even in a perfect world where energy companies didn’t make mistakes, nuclear power is and always has been a dangerous idea because there is no good way to store nuclear waste,” Sanders said Monday. “That is why the United States must lead the world in transforming our energy system away from nuclear power and fossil fuels.”
MSNBC reporter Alex Seitz-Wald noted that “Sanders is the only candidate in either party who wants to end nuclear energy production, which currently accounts for 20% of U.S. electrical generation. But this is the first time Sanders has leaned into the issue in a high-profile way as a potential wedge issue between rival Hillary Clinton and the Democratic base.”
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