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Emily LakdawallaJune 9, 2010

U.S. Citizens: Please write your elected representatives about restarting plutonium-238 production!

I'm hereby posting a request that was sent earlier today to members of the Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society by its chair, Candy Hansen (edited to write out acronyms in long form and to insert links):



Members of the DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee and the DPS committee carried out our annual "Hill" visits May 13 to key members of Congress. We had two messages -- restart domestic production of plutonium-238, and our concerns about R&A carry-over language. With regards to the production of plutonium-238, we are not out of the woods. We still need to convince the members of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water that this is a critical need right now -- that NASA is already curtailing missions to the outer solar system, and anywhere else plutonium-238 is required (the New Frontiers 3 Announcement of Opportunity ruled out missions which require plutonium-238).

In particular we need constituents of the following states to write letters:

Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Dorgan (ND)
Byrd (WV)
Feinstein (CA)
Bennett (UT)
Hutchison (TX)
Murray (WA)
Bond (MO)
Alexander (TN)
Shelby (AL)

Also, Johnson (SD), Cochran (MS), Harkin (IA), Landrieu (LA), Lautenberg (NJ), McConnell (KY), Reed (RI), Tester (MT), Voinovich (OH).

If these are your representatives we need you to write

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Visclosky (IN)
Frelinghuysen (NJ)
Edwards (MD)
Pastor (AZ)
Davis (TN)

Or you live in these districts: IN-01, TX-17, AR-01, PA-02, NY-02, OH-17, MA-01, TN-04, CO-03, NJ-11, TN-03, ID-02, MT, CA-44 and LA-05.

We have a handout that you may wish to send with your letter.

For more background and a letter template, see this page.

Thanks for your efforts!

Candy Hansen

Read more: Planetary Society Political Advocacy, Plutonium-238

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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