Thursday, September 30, 2010

They Write Letters, Don’t They?

6a00d83451b91969e20120a60c350d970c-320wi They write letters:

Shutting down Yankee would be disastrous.

So true. This is written by PJ Beaumont, who wrote a letter to the Bennington Banner’s editors to say so. And more:

We received a flier in our mail from "Green Mountain Future," recommending Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant be shut down. The flier distorts the facts about Yankee, implying that the water tower leak contained radioactive water (it didn't) and throwing out of context the past minor radioactive leak (the Vermont Department of Health determined it posed no significant adverse health threat).

The flier was put out by a recently formed group with the "Democratic Governors Association" purportedly backing it. The purpose of the flier is to make an issue of Vermont Yankee to get Democrats elected, even when the Democrats know in the end Vermont Yankee has to stay open, regardless of who is governor.

Beaumont is right on the facts – I might substitute “no significant adverse health threat” for “no threat whatever” - and the supposition in the second paragraph – well, who knows? But if Beaumont is right, the Green Mountain Future’s effort backfired:

We may well be the most historic generation in history. We are the first generation to realize that burning millions of years worth of accumulated carbon (essentially earth's trash) in 150 years may not have been a good idea. Unlike the Titanic, we have no lifeboats for our Earth. If we upset the very powerful but delicate balance of what makes Earth habitable, we have nowhere to go.

Future generations are going to analyze our response. Until power generation with nuclear fusion is feasible, we are going to have to use the best primitive weapon we have against global climate change, nuclear fission.

This is one of the best because most straightforward pieces I’ve ever seen on the value of a nuclear energy plant – might have hesitated on “primitive weapon” myself, but let’s give Beaumont whatever metaphors work – and a reminder that newspaper readers are not passive consumers of information.

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To be fair, despite Beaumont’s quotes around it, Green Mountain Future is real enough, although its purpose seems to be to attack one of the gubernatorial candidates – the Republican, current Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie - over his support for keeping Vermont Yankee operating. Maybe those quotes are appropriate after all.

Green Mountain Future, a new independent organization, launched today with a TV campaign to address key policy issues facing Vermont, including the environment, the economy and energy.

The inaugural ad highlights Dubie's stance on the issue of keeping Vermont Yankee open despite “major concerns” about safety at the nuclear power plant.

You can see the ad at the link. It all has a certain, shall we say, ordure about it. (I’m neutral on the Vermont governor’s race – that’s for Vermonters to decide – but fair Is fair.)

Candidate Dubie enjoys a moment. Peter Shumlin is his Democratic counterpart. In a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, the two were within the margin of error. Yes, another squeaker.

1 comment:

DocForesight said...

So the Republican candidate is pro-nuke and keeping VY open while the Democrat candidate is anti-nuke and wants to shutter VY and replace it with ... what?