|News Flash: Entergy and State agree to fund clean energy programs|
While corporate contributions are a fact of life, and the lifeblood of many needy organizations, is it fair for corporations to “buy” your support with their money? VY is after all, an out-of-state company that sells power to other companies (not in Vermont), power goes out-of-state.
While we have had no choice who we pay for our electricity (until now), we do have a choice about who we accept money from!
Entergy’s ability to do business here in Vermont depends on massive quantities of cold water from our river, this heated water kills fish and eggs and other aquatic life in the Connecticut River. There is only 1% of the Shad left since the early records in 1990s – Shad have been wiped out! What is the cost for a non-replaceable part of the eco-system?
Cooling water gulp in billions of gallons of river, lake and coastal water to cool power plant machinery. Along with the water, these intakes devour countless fish and fish larvae, devastating fish populations across the country.
Entergy also enjoys massive insurance guarantees (the Price Anderson Act) and Entergy appears to enjoy public good will. But do they really?
Buying good will is easy – since PR firms handle this task quite well. Below is an incomplete but growing list of organizations that are “supported” by VY in whole or in part. This topic is a double edged sword so to speak, since all of the organizations either are needed by the community or are helpful to the community and the state. I just have to wonder what effect these massive donations and contributions have on rational people that might be on the fence about Nuclear Power?
The short list:
- Brarttleboro Chamber
- Brattleboro Drop in Center
- Brattleboro Arts Initiative (Latchis)
- Empty Bowls Events
- Building a Better Brattleboro (correction – only for Christmas lights in town – not direct to BaBB)
- Clean Energy Development Fund!
- Vermont Energy Partnership
- Brian Dubie has taken more than $5,200 in gifts and political contributions from Entergy and its lobbyists.
- The United Way
- MANY MORE HERE
When financial support comes from an organization that has a vested interest in continued operations in Vermont – is it right to buy support by giving support? Is it correct to pack meetings with their own employes? Is it ok to encourage employes to contribute to the politician that favors Entergy? Or does it taint all organizations including our State government?
Is it morally acceptable to allow large corporations to engage in politics or in any attempts to change public opinion on maters that effect entire populations in locals and regions? The laws in Vermont about financial contributions are not transparent. The secrecy makes it impossible for the public, journalists and watchdog groups to know who or what may be influencing a campaign.
Lets talk truth about Jobs: Entergy employs only 218 people who actually live in Vermont. That number of good jobs that could be generated through efficiency and the creation of other renewable energy power plants would supersede what Entergy contributes to the area.
With a commitment to renewable energy, conservation, and efficiency, Vermont could become a leader in job creation. Efficiency Vermont currently employs 150 people, and will need more when their programs expand. Additionally, closure at VY can employ the skilled Yankee workers in cleanup of the contaminated site for 15 years or longer. UNLESS they go into “safestore”.
Lets speak the truth about electric power too:
The New England electric grid operates with a 25% – 35.3% reserve margin surplus of electricity.
Vermont Yankee supplies about 2% of the total amount used in New England.
Of the total power produced (650Mw) at VY, no power is used in Vermont.
A report commissioned by the Vermont Department of Public Service in 2007 conservatively estimated that 19 percent of Vermont’s electric energy could be saved by 2017, at a savings to Vermonters of just under $1 billion.
Demand for electricity is going down; – 28,130Mw in 2006 – 26,145mw in 2007 – 26,111mw in 2008 – 25,081mw in 2009
- Vermont has a voluntary goal of generating 25 percent of electricity consumed in the state from renewable energy resources by 2025.
- In 2010, Vermont had the Nation’s lowest carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation
Thanks in part to Vermont’s efficiency utility and to consumers lowering their usage. While usage is down, prices for electricity continue to rise. As LED street lighting replaces regular lighting and more efficient appliances are purchased replacing older appliances our usage will continue to decline (you can help by changing lights, indoors and outdoors) – Can we use 350MegaWatts less, Statewide? Probably not, but then again we will not freeze in the dark. Does anyone notice when VY goes off line – thankfully not.
I see an incredible amount of money flowing to PR and political campaigns, to change public opinion, and influence elections. All the while the De-commissioning fund shows little growth, with a shortage of long-term funding, how will Entergy clean up the site?
Isotopes include; strontium-90, cesium-137, zinc-65, cobalt-60, and tritium!
Other links: VT Democrats Refuse Campaign Contributions From Entergy – http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/88540/
Show Us the Money – http://www.vermontnewsguy.com/show-us-the-money
CommonDreams.org – http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0308-09.htm
Thanks for reading – this site opperates without any sponsorship, funding or affiliation – all views expressed are shared by the Safe and green campaign, C.A.N., Nuclear Free Vermont, Union of Concerned Scientists