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A activist responds

Has the former governor forgotten the democratic process in his ode?

Leslie Sullivan Sachs, a longtime antinuclear activist along with her husband, Gary, offers this response to former Governor Tom Salmon’s piece. She is a member of the Safe and Green Campaign.

Brattleboro

There is plenty to criticize in Tom Salmon’s ode to Vermont Yankee, but two paragraphs are particularly odious.

He writes, “Eight years ago [] I began to notice the heat being turned up on Vermont Yankee. A rather fierce ideological battle from the hard left ensued. Some were Vermonters, but the vast majority lived in other states. []

“However, in Windham County, a hardy band of citizens said, ‘We want to be heard on these issues.’ And so the nonprofit Vermont Energy Partnership was founded to advocate on behalf of public policies that facilitate affordable, safe, reliable, clean power...”

The Vermont Energy Partnership was founded by a “hardy band” of the most powerful corporations, few of them from Windham County, including IBM, Casella Waste Management, and PC Construction Company (formerly Pizzagalli), plus business associations like the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. And, of course, Entergy.

Despite being a former governor, Mr. Salmon also conveniently forgets democratic process, unless he believes that our own legislature and towns were infiltrated by the folks living downstream from the reactor.

In Town Meeting votes across the state over the years on referenda on the future of Vermont Yankee, 51 towns voted to close Vermont Yankee and only three towns voted down the resolution. The Vermont Senate said shut it down in February 2010.

To paraphrase Sen. Randy Brock, a Republican who reluctantly voted against Vermont Yankee, if anti-nuclear activists had infiltrated Entergy’s board of directors, they couldn’t have done more damage to Vermont Yankee’s reputation that Entergy did to itself.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #285 (Wednesday, December 17, 2014). This story appeared on page C1.

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