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Voices / Letters from readers

Made in the U.S.A.

Why do we discourage business at VY?

America is the greatest nation on the planet. Period.

When we’re out shopping and see those three words “Made in America,” there is a small bit of pride that we get out of knowing we are supporting jobs right here at home. Whether it’s a small mom-and-pop store or a multibillion-dollar corporation, an American business is still an American business.

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant is run by one of those American businesses, and it supports more than 620 jobs right here in our local community.

Many workers who run the facility are veterans who have proudly served our nation in uniform. Some started off in the Coast Guard defending our shores and saving those who fall into harm’s way. Some started off serving in our nation’s Navy, keeping waters across the world safe from hostile enemies. Some started off protecting the skies in our nation’s Air Force. Still others served in our Army and Marine Corps, defending our freedom in times of both national crisis and war.

We must salute these men and women who selflessly defended our nation and are now working in our community.

As the legal battle over Vermont Yankee’s future has played out, there has been a near-complete disregard by the state of Vermont to realize that Vermont Yankee supports well-paying American jobs, and there is no rational economic reason for shutting down the facility.

Gov. Peter Shumlin, a longtime critic of the facility, once said, “We’re doing all we can so that Vermont can move on from this old plant and move towards an energy future that sends Entergy Louisiana back to Louisiana.”

Governor, in case you didn’t realize, we are all Americans. We all salute the same flag. We all are part of the same nation.

Frankly, I am disgusted by your inability to realize that by shutting down the facility, you will gain nothing but force 620 Americans out of their jobs.

Vermont Yankee should be a symbol of pride for the community and region. Here, skilled Americans produce clean, cheap, and reliable electricity, while supporting dozens of nonprofit organizations with hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations each year.

The facility produces power right here in Vermont. Not in Massachusetts. Not in New York. Not in Canada. Vermont. Wouldn’t you rather have your hard-earned money stay local and support local American jobs?

When we buy products with those words “Made in America,” we know we are supporting jobs right here at home in these rough economic times.

So why is it that we can’t as a community, as a state, and as Americans support the Americans who work at Vermont Yankee and are such an integral part of our community?

Evan Twarog
Keene, N.H.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #187 (Wednesday, January 23, 2013).

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