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Vermonters: Take action against VY’s defiant operation

This letter was written on behalf of the Safe and Green Energy (SAGE) Alliance.


Defying the will of Vermonters, Entergy Nuclear has successfully won the first stage of its trial to allow it to break its word and to usurp the rights of the Vermont legislature.

Judge J. Garvan Murtha effectively delivered a slap in the face to the people of Vermont by saying that, contrary to prior Supreme Court judgments, the legislature has no right to regulate the operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor. The Public Service Board is now the only state entity that has the power to decide VY’s future.

The judge also bought Entergy’s argument that he should base his judgment not by reading the written legislation in question, but rather by retroactively reading the minds of the legislators to determine what they were thinking at the time.

This ruling goes hand in glove with current federal policies that enrich the 1 percent and keep power firmly in the hands of America’s largest corporations.

It affirms that corporate profits trump the interests of the citizenry. And it reinforces the laughable notion that only the federal government can be trusted to keep us safe from radiological accidents caused by corporate malfeasance and profit-driven lax practices.

More significantly, the ruling should serve as the catalyst to spark Vermonters who have been watching this struggle from the sidelines to join the citizen effort to shut down VY before an accident shuts it down for us.

A majority of Vermonters knows that Vermont Yankee has run its course and needs to be shut down as originally licensed.

Now is the time to turn to your neighbors. With as few as five to ten people, you can form an affinity group that undergoes nonviolent training to help in the effort to shut down VY.

You can customize your affinity group to match the interests and willingness of its members, from being a group that pledges to engage in direct action and civil disobedience to being a group that simply pledges to stand quietly on the sidewalk in support of others.

While a coalition of organizations works hard to coordinate our efforts, you can also engage in any way that seems appropriate to you.

March is going to be a month for taking action. Students at Greenfield Community College are organizing a walk from GCC to the reactor on March 3.

On March 11, the anniversary of the ongoing Fukishima nuclear disaster in Japan, commemorations will be held in various locations throughout the state.

On the weekend of March 17-18, non-violence training is scheduled for Middlebury. These free trainings are available now to any group who requests one.

There will be a shut-it-down rally at the Statehouse with our state representatives on March 21.

On either March 25 or April 1, a major rally (without a civil disobedience component) will be held in Windham County, where we will make clear how strongly Vermonters support the state’s right to regulate our utilities.

Civil disobedience and direct action will be directed toward Entergy Nuclear if the company continues to operate past the March 21 license expiration date. These actions may take place on March 22 and 23 and continue as needed thereafter.

Our state will continue to assert its right to control our energy generating future, but it needs our help. Only with a strong partnership of people power and government action will we be able to achieve victory over the entrenched interests of the money-powered corporate oligarchy.

Please contact us at to see how we can help you organize your affinity group and help us take back Vermont from those who would put us at risk for the sake of their profits.

The Arab Spring and the Occupy movement have shown us the potential power of the people. When we stand by and watch our leaders lead, we often find ourselves in peril.

When we assert our own sovereign power we take the first step towards building a better future for us all.

Never violence, only victory.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #137 (Wednesday, February 1, 2012).

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