Thursday, August 29, 2013

Local Towns Counting the Cost of the Vermont Yankee Shutdown

Entergy's Vermont Yankee
Here at NEI, we're used to producing economic benefits reports to quantify exactly what sort of impact the operation of a nuclear plant has on a local economy.

But from time to time, it's important to hear from the folks who live closest to the plants to really understand how important they can be. Here's an excerpt from a story that ran earlier this week on VT Digger that reinforces the point:
“Rep. Mike Hebert, R-Vernon, said the closing will have an irreparable impact on local towns. ‘It’s going to be devastating to our communities because of the volunteers,’ he said. ‘Our local rescue is predominantly Yankee employees, the volunteer fire department is predominantly Yankee employees, just about every charitable organization in the county has received something from Yankee. … It will be a brain drain,’ he added. ‘It’s not just the economic impact.’

The economic impact will be significant. Since 2007, the Windham Regional Commission, which is the county planning commission, has been preparing for the one of the area’s largest economic engines to turn off. ‘There’s a significant impact to having those very highly paid jobs,’ Hebert said. “Those are the people that buy your cars and eat in your restaurants.’ Entergy workers make roughly $90,000 a year, and the company contributes nearly $100 million to the state’s economy through wages, charitable donations and payments in local and state fees and taxes. Once Vermont Yankee closes these sources of income will begin to dry up.’”
For more on what folks living closest to nuclear power plants have to say, take a look at our latest plant neighbor survey.


Anonymous said...

What is happening to the towns is important, but who is most devastated is the employees. Their livelihoods have been taken away. Their lives have been turned upside down. Nobody ever thinks about that. These are good, honest, hardworking people who have lived by the rules and paid their way, and now they get the shaft as a "reward" for their hard, honest work. Children will be uprooted from the lives they have come to know, spouses will be burdened with the hassle of leaving the homes they have built, and the breadwinners will be thrown out in the street. Yet you've got political figues and activist groups standing by cheering their misery and hardship. I say a curse on those who have harmed such good people. May they and their progeny be damned.

Anonymous said...

Well, those guys in NYC are experts at putting hard working people out of a job. This is just a drop in the bucket compared to what they did to the country as a whole. I saw a good article about how NYC financial firms have now spent over $100 billion on lawyers to lobby and fight the government to keep from being help liable for any part of the financial crisis. Imagine how many dirty old coal plants could be replaced if that $100 billion had been spent on new nuclear plants instead of lawyers who contribute nothing to society.

The article says the average plant worker made $90,000 which is a good wage, but likely only a fraction of what the lawyers being paid to sue this plant into oblivion made. This plant isn't losing money making power, it's losing money from having to fight frivolous lawsuits and government intervention. Sometimes I wish the utilities would just intentionally shut down all of the power plants across the county that people protest against and see how long it takes until they start protesting for them to be turned back on. I bet it would be about the length of time it takes for everyone's iPhone battery to go dead and they realise there is no power to recharge it with.