August 24 Election Likely to Affect Valley Nuke's Future

The problem-plagued Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. The outcome of primary elections on August 24 in Vermont are likely to have a major impact on whether Entergy, the Louisiana corporation that owns Vermont Yankee, will get permission to run the reactor until 2032. The Vermont senate voted in February to close Vermont Yankee in March 2012. But Entergy officials are trying to get the senate to reverse itself when the senate reconvenes in January.

Local anti-nuclear activists say they have little doubt that Vermont senate president Peter Shumlin, who lives near Brattleboro, is the best candidate among the five Democrats and one Republican who are running for governor. Shumlin's web site is www.ShumlinForGovernor.com

But there is less clarity in the primary race for state senate in Windham county, which is home to Brattleboro and the nuclear power plant. On August 24, people voting in the Democratic primary will choose from among three candidates who are running for the county's two senate seats. (Shumlin is not seeking re-election to the senate.)

Jeanette White is running for re-election. “White voted in the public interest in every one of the many votes on Vermont Yankee,” said Paul Burns. He is director of www.vpirg.org which supports closing the nuke in 2012, if not sooner. White has the support of most anti-nuclear activists. She can be reached at www.leg.state.vt.us

Toby Young is also running as a Democrat for state senate from Windham county. She is the chair of the Westminster select board, and a former state representative. In a recent interview, Young told the Valley Post, “Vermont Yankee should be closed right now. If I am elected, I will do everything I can to make that happen.”

Young said she has attended public hearings about Vermont Yankee held by federal and state regulators in the Brattleboro area, but did not speak at the hearings. She can be reached via http://westminster.govoffice.com

Also running as a Democrat for state senate from Windham county is Peter Galbraith, a self-employed businessman and former diplomat. President Clinton appointed him to be the U.S. ambassador to Croatia.

Galbraith recently told the Valley Post, “If I had been in the senate in February, I would have voted to close Vermont Yankee in 2012.” He said that, if he is elected, he probably will oppose any move by the state to close Yankee before 2012. He said federal regulators might object if the state tries to close Yankee before 2012.

Galbraith said he has not spoken at any of the public hearings about Vermont Yankee held by federal and state regulators in the Brattleboro area. His web site is www.PeterWGalbraith.com

Paul Burns of VPIRG declined to comment on whether Young or Galbraith would be a better senator.

A history of Vermont Yankee and the grassroots movement to close it, is at www.valleypost.org/2010/02/21/500-rally-say-close-vermont-yankee

The leading anti-nuclear group in the Greenfield/Brattleboro area is hosting a benefit concert on August 15. Details are at www.NukeBusters.org

Comments

We are Vermonters who live

We are Vermonters who live within 20 miles of Entergy Corporation’s Vermont Yankee (VY) nuclear reactor and who, like most Vermonters, feel the urgency of making sure that VY is finally retired no later than March of 2012 when its original 40-year license expires.

With all the recent publicity about VY’s continuing accidents and breakdowns, including the massive tritium leak earlier this year and Entergy’s repeated lies (under oath!) to Vermont officials, we don’t have to tell you how important it is to close VY as soon as possible and move swiftly ahead in replacing its power with safe, renewable, job-creating energy alternatives.

What does this have to do with Vermont’s upcoming elections, and particularly the gubernatorial election? A lot! Entergy has made it quite clear that they will do – and have already begun doing – all they can to elect a pro-VY legislature and governor this fall so that the Vermont Senate’s historic 26-to-4 vote to deny Entergy permission to run VY for another 20 years will be overturned. Perhaps you’ve already seen the expensive ads Entergy and its well-heeled business allies have been flooding our newspapers and airwaves with. No doubt, they are also busy filling the candidates’ campaign coffers.

With Peter as governor, Vermont Yankee is almost certain to be shut down when or before its license expires in March of 2012. Entergy and their allies know this, too, which is why they’re determined to get someone else besides Peter elected as governor in November — hopefully, from their perspective, the lone Republican and outspokenly pro-nuclear candidate, Brian Dubie. This crowd would even rather have one of the four other Democratic candidates become governor, rather than Peter, because none of them has come out strongly for closing Vermont Yankee, much less taken leadership on this issue the way Peter has.

Having worked closely with Peter on this issue and seen him in action, at the grassroots level and on the floor of the Vermont Senate, we feel he will make a fine governor. Check out his website — www.ShumlinForGovernor.com — and we think you’ll agree. We know and appreciate the fact that Peter has been a terrific leader on a number of important issues, including marriage equality, single-payer health care, jobs, and the environment.

Friends, the Democratic Primary is on August 24th, so time is short. Please join us in doing everything you can to support Peter’s candidacy. This includes – in addition to voting for Peter on August 24th – any or all of the following:

-Make a financial contribution. The legal limit is $2,000 per individual. There’s a place on Peter’s website that explains how to make an on-line contribution. If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to “Shumlin for Governor” and mail it to P.O. Box 5353, Burlington, VT 05402-5353.

-Volunteer to make phone calls and/or knock on doors (training for which will be provided – see his website for details).

-Write letters to the Editors of Vermont newspapers in support of Peter’s candidacy.

-VOTE for Peter on August 24th!

Electing Peter as Governor really matters! Thank you!

Signed,

Ed Anthes

Bob Bady

Nancy Braus

Ann Darling

Dan DeWalt

Rich Garant

Joy Hammond

Ellen Kaye

Leo Schiff

Walter and Janet Schwarz

Chad Simmons

Jeff Unsicker

Betsy Williams

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