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Vermont's Fanatic Anti-Nuclear Movement

John McClaughry, president of the Ethan Allen Institute, wrote a commentary piece to the Rutland Herald about Vermont's Fanatic Anti-Nuclear Movement:
In the face of all science, reason, and experience, the anti-nuclear zealots fiercely maintain that the Vernon nuclear power plant [Vermont Yankee] is a standing death threat against the population for miles around, that its pall of radiation will produce deformed children, and that the plant's present owner, Entergy, is a reckless and sinister enterprise making enormous profits while scornfully dismissing the concerns of its likely Vermont victims.


The attack on Vermont Yankee has escalated since 2003, and especially since 2007, when the champion of the anti-nuke/VPIRG forces, Windham County Sen. Peter Shumlin, returned to the Senate and again became its president pro tem.

In return for the state's non-objection to an increase of Vermont Yankee's electricity output by 20 percent, the legislators in 2003 demanded that the company pay $7.8 million to clean up algae in Lake Champlain, and another $2.1 million to subsidize low-income home heating.

In return for state permission to store its oldest and least radioactive spent fuel rods in dry casks instead of in a water pool, the 2005 Legislature required Entergy to pay $28 million into a "clean energy fund," from which subsidies would be distributed to wind, solar and methane projects.


The great irony is that Sen. Shumlin and his VPIRG allies are pressing legislation (S.350) to force Vermonters to stop emitting greenhouse gases that supposedly threaten the planet with Al Gore's Heat Death. Yet they are also working hard to shut down the nuclear plant that produces dependable lowest-cost electricity without emitting any greenhouse gases at all.

This contradiction simply does not compute. The anti-nuclear activists will not be satisfied until every trace of Vermont Yankee is gone, and the Vernon site is returned to the peaceful wilderness it was when only the Abenakis roamed.

This constant warfare against nuclear energy is, to put it plainly, mindless fanaticism. The sooner it goes the way of anti-Masonry, Know-Nothingism, and Prohibition, the better off Vermonters will be.
Amen to that.


Anonymous said…
Vermont has attracted a large population of aging 1960s era hippies. As such, Vermont serves what it gets. It used to be an ideal example of New England at its finest some 40 years ago. Now downtown Brattleboro has its heroin addicts and its left wing Mao Tse Tung parades. Sadly, the honest farming communities which used to dominate Vermont in decades past have been marginalized by anti-nuke, elitist liberal yuppiee skiers in the winter and hemp growing, hemp smoking anti-nuke nut cases in the summer.

Like New York, Vermont is going to get exactly what it deserves. By the way, don't wonder why Entergy is trying to spin off its nuke plants in the Northeast. All the liberal Dems up there oppose Indian Point, Pilgrim and VY (they are those skiers and retired hippies). JAF is mainly left alone with Constellation's Nine Mile because in central NY (unlike Albany) people understand what jobs really mean and place growing apples and milking cows ahead of hemp (unlike Vermont). Sadly, this isn't the case in Westchester County where IPEC is located (and where Hillary makes her residency).

I sure am glad I am 800 miles away! I just feel that still isn't far enough away.
Dan said…
I think this group has the right idea in one regard: Entergy needs to place $28 million (and more) into a clean energy fund -- and use that fund to build more nuclear reactors.

I wish these groups would do at least a little research on nuclear power. Even reading (and taking seriously) a Wikipedia entry would be enough to set them straight.

This group may as well believe that nuclear plants consist of a nuclear bomb constantly being detonated in open air to spin a turbine.
Rod Adams said…
It would be worth digging a bit deeper into the motives and politics associated with the anti-nuclear movement in New England. I happen to be a sometimes skier, so I have seen a whole lot of SUV's in the parking lots at various ski resorts. I know that there are a lot of members of New York's financial community that have retreated to various portions of New England and I am pretty sure that they do not fit the characterization that Anonymous provided.

It is always worthwhile to try to find the "means, motive and opportunity" behind any "murder" or even attempted murder of a technology. When the technology is an enormously powerful energy source that threatens the profitability of all other existing energy sources, it is easy to find opponents with plenty of monetary motives for their efforts.

On the topic of the spin off of nuclear plants, I am hoping that more of the utilities that own nukes will separate them into companies that can operate and market themselves without worrying about offending a fossil fuel division. Fission is simply a better source of heat than combustion, and it is time to let the communications people work on ways to tell that story.
Anonymous said…
"When the technology is an enormously powerful energy source that threatens the profitability of all other existing energy sources, it is easy to find opponents with plenty of monetary motives for their efforts."

Hey David Bradish, you were pestering me for proof that commenters were positing conspiracy theories for fossil fuel support of antinuclear activities. Here you go.

Are you going to incessantly badger Rod Adams for proof of his point, as you did me? I doubt it...Rod's pro-nuclear.
Anonymous said…
To the last anonymous, the fact that the anti-nuke organizations such as Gunter's NIRS won't reveal their sources of funding is simply awefully suspicious. It's to the advantage of natural gas suppliers to try to knee-cap the nuke industry by financing the fear and hysteria mongering of the anti-nukes. Every so often, Rod Adams does come out on his blog site with smoking guns of how big coal opr big gas does something to ingratiate itself with politicians who oppose nuclear power, or something along those lines.

Indeed, if Germany keeps its nuke phase out in place, Russian natural gas wins. So would Gazprom FAIL to support the anti-nuke efforst of WISE, the European part of NIRS? I think not.

Same thing here in the US. Natural gas supplies in New England WANT VY to be shutdown because that means more natural gas will have to be bought and consumed to run all those ski resorts. Anti-nukism is all about the money. True, anti-nukes themselves are usually dope-smoking, retired ex-hippies in their 60s with nothing better to do with their time than to show up for Obama and Hillary rallies, and quake in fear and trembling over the possibility of more nukes. But underneath it all natural gas and coal benefit from their aims.
David Bradish said…
anon 11:52 AM,

Either you can't read or you have the worst memory.

Hey David Bradish, you were pestering me for proof that commenters were positing conspiracy theories for fossil fuel support of antinuclear activities.

I didn't ask you to prove those comments existed here on this site. We already know that. Here's what I asked you to do:

"You say the anti-nukes are not getting their money from Big Coal. Prove it."

Rod Adams provides some evidence (not impeccable yet) that questions the motives of antis. So far you haven't provided any evidence to rebut these claims.

Like I said during our last conversation: "Write back only if you can answer my original question to Paul Gunter."
Anonymous said…
We're just going in circles, including your insults of me.

Your position defies logic. I don't have to prove a conspiracy IS NOT true. I don't have to prove jack. The person alleging a conspiracy, in this case Rod Adams, has the burden of proof. So far he's shown no evidence, just innuendo.

And I have no responsibility to answer your or anyone's question to Paul Gunter...I ain't him.
Anonymous said…
"Every so often, Rod Adams does come out on his blog site with smoking guns of how big coal opr big gas does something to ingratiate itself with politicians who oppose nuclear power, or something along those lines."

That has NOTHING TO DO with whether or not fossil fuel interests fund antinuke groups. Big Coal courts politicians? Sure they do, that's not news, let alone a "smoking gun." So does NEI; they have an entire lobbying wing and spend a lot of time on the Hill. Alex Flint isn't just paying social calls to his former colleagues.
David Bradish said…
anon 12:45 PM,

Let's recap what's been said here. I asked Paul Gunter to answer who funds NIRS. No accusations were made in the question. For some reason YOU felt the need to comment because you don't like "unsubstantiated propaganda." Fine, whatever. YOU were also the one who brought up the speculative connection between antis and fossil-fuel organizations and YOU claimed the connection doesn't exist. When asked what evidence YOU have to back up that statement, YOU refused to answer. Newsflash for you - you're not on trial so stop with that "guilty until proven innocent" cry. This is a discussion here. When claims are made in discussions, you need to back them up. I'm not making claims, I've simply asked one question to someone who is not you.

Rod Adams provides some evidence to his claims. You call it innuendo - that's fine. What YOU fail to do is back up any of your statements with anything.

And I have no responsibility to answer your or anyone's question to Paul Gunter...I ain't him.

So if you're not Paul Gunter, then why are you commenting? My question is for him and if you can't answer his question, don't comment.
Anonymous said…
"So if you're not Paul Gunter, then why are you commenting?"

Uh...because this is supposed to be a discussion forum?

Unless the blog editors happen not to like what someone is saying, in which case they get pilloried and bullied by the moderators.

Man up...the nuclear renaissance isn't going to take place without a lot of criticism from opponents along the way, and the industry needs to be prepared to field and respond to it coherently, not just badger those who don't buy absolutely everything they say at face value or launch unsubstantiated conspiracy theories that rival Oliver Stone.
David Bradish said…
Man up? Who's the one who continues to comment anonymously?
Anonymous said…
Because here I'm expressing my personal opinions, not representing my company or job.
Anonymous said…
I'm amazed at the responses here, most of which are fanatical in explanation. Nuclear power is NOT safe. We are generating waste we don't even have the technology to deal with. To blindly state it is safe without consideration is more mindless than the movement against it.

The population in Vermont is well educated, you can use hippies if you want, your tiny mind is made up. But those who live here in Vermont are more concerned with where and how we live. We are concerned for the beauty of our state. We are concerned about our neighbors. We love our families. We think it's time to develop more appropriate forms of energy. Energy that will be safe and affordable and not held by Arabs and profit mongers. If that's fanatical, so be it. But don't worry about Vermonters, we can handle our own. How about you?
FredinVT said…
I find it hard to believe that people would give such irresponsible comment to the principals and intelligence of the people of the northeast and Vermont. This is what everyone needs to know, it's not for anyone to say, especially those who do not live in Vermont or the northeast, that we need to accept the status quot. Regardless of what others might think, we are smart enough to know what energy is and we know what nuclear energy is. We also know that there is currently NO PLACE to put the spent fuel. Unless, of course, you want to store it in your back yard? Send us an address and we'll send it along?

Spent Nuclear fuel is as dangerous as any. This plant is falling apart and Entergy is doing piecemeal on repairs. This is nothing new, since the bush administration has been in power, safety standards have been cut in every industry for the sake of profits.

This is not taken lightly by the residents of Vermont and we are almost a self sufficient state. We take pride in our ability to make good choices and the right decisions when needed.

As far as the hippies, I was born and raised in Windsor, a small town in Vermont, and I am proud of my heritage. I recommend "YOU" do your homework on Vermont's population, many of which were born and grew up here. I don't care to have the likes of you telling my friends we are a bunch of dumb hippies that know nothing. We are far ahead of your mentality when it comes to living, taking care of ourselves and caring about our communities. Just because we question the motives of a company that sees only $$$$$$$$$$$$.$$, does not mean we are a backward State. We are, in fact, the reason most flat landers and outsiders move to Vermont and our simpler way of life. And until you got here, we were doing just fine!

So, if you want friends here in Vermont, or the Northeast, treat them and their principals with respect. Don't even look down on them. Every state and region has a subculture and ours is ours.

Visit Vermont, enjoy your stay and rather than judge by your principals, get to know ours. They might make sense to you.


PS: Clean energy is our priority, without toxic by-products in our back yards.

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