On Monday, March 12, the Post Vermont Yankee Task Force, made up of business leaders in Windham County, announced it will ask the state to come to the county’s financial rescue when Vermont Yankee closes, with a bailout of $2 million annually. This amount was determined by a study which cites job losses, decline in local revenue, and in general paints a pretty grim picture if a huge property taxpayer and the employer of 600 full-time jobs is forced out of business.
I live here, too. I get it – losing Yankee will be an economic disaster. What puzzles me is why there hasn’t been a more determined local effort to keep this clean-power economic powerhouse running. The only possibly “good” reason to close Vermont Yankee would be if it were unsafe. Any unbiased, non-partisan reading of the industry, regulatory, and inspection situation should lead to the conclusion that, fear-mongering aside, Vermont Yankee has been safe since it opened, is safe now, and will continue to be safe.
I suspect that some of those who recognize Vermont Yankee as a necessary economic resource have been afraid to fight the fear-mongering. All along they have hoped that someone – the feds, the state, another big employer – would bail them out after VY is closed. As that appears unlikely, all parties concerned with the outlook of Windham County’s economy might want to find the courage to stand up for their own beliefs about both the benefits and the safety of Vermont Yankee.
– Al Blakley
Notes & Events
Thursday, March 22: Vermonters for Economic Health presents: “A Tale of Two Futures” by Robert Maynard and Tom Licata. The event will involve and examination of Vermont’s economic future and will be held at 6-30-8:00 pm a the Grange Hall in Essex. (116 Center Road, Essex Junction, Vermont Next to Frank’s Motorcycles)
Saturday April 14th: Castleton Republican breakfast at the Trak-In on Route 30 in Bomoseen, VT. Breakfast at 8:30 am followed by Guest Speaker Senator Randy Brock. RSVP to Castletonrepublicans@yahoo.com or for additional info contact Al Gustafson at 802-273-3954.
Wednesday April 18: Ethan Allen Institute’s 19th annual Jefferson Day Event, 7:30 PM, Sheraton Burlington – University Amphitheatre. EAI Founder John McClaughry will speak on “Mr. Jefferson’s Economy.” Governor Jim Douglas will introduce John McClaughry.
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