Letters 4 – 10 – 2012

Government doesn’t create jobs, but Vermont Yankee does 

The positive impact of a socially conscious business cannot be understated. It is an unfortunate and recurring pattern in American life that our returning troops struggle to find good jobs at a time in their lives when they are most in need of the provision, stability, socialization, and dignity that employment confers.

Government can and should do all it can to help, but it has its limits, and one of them is the ability to actually provide jobs. So it is heartening to this veteran that one of Vermont’s largest employers, Vermont Yankee, and its owner Entergy, are stepping up to fill the gap and engage in the proactive hiring of America’s fighting men and women.

Certainly Vermont Yankee has its critics in Vermont, but to those who would put politics over the needs of our returning veterans of the good jobs they so need and deserve, I would say as President Roosevelt once said, “tell it to the Marines” – and to the Air Force, Army, and Navy, too.

– Tom Salmon


VY policy is a jobs killer

The number of people who participated in the recent Vermont Yankee protest was about equal to the number of jobs that will be lost if Vermont Yankee closes.

In 2009, a study was done by Northern Economic Consulting that described the economic impact of Vermont Yankee on Windham County and Vermont. The study showed that closing VY will cost Vermont about 1,300 jobs. About half of these jobs were at Vermont Yankee, and the other half were off-site jobs, including construction, retail, accommodations and food services, healthcare, and professional assistance.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has performed extensive reviews to confirm that Vermont Yankee can be operated safely for another 20 years. I’m proud to live in a country where free speech is a guaranteed right, and I respect the rights of the protestors, but I have to question how many of them protested with an accurate understanding of Vermont Yankee’s proven safety record, its contribution to Vermont’s clean air quality, and its necessity to Windham County.

– Jim DeVincentis


Too many taxes, too little predictability

Our state legislators are at it again – putting their political agenda ahead of the needs of Vermonters. Not that we weren’t expecting it.

About a month ago, CNN aired a report on Vermont Yankee and the push by some state officials to shut down the plant. The reporter in that story suggested that the state’s next move would be to try to make it so expensive for Vermont Yankee to operate here that it would be forced to pack up and ship out. Well, guess what? She was right! The legislature is chugging away on a bill that would impose a 120 percent tax increase – that’s an additional $ 6million on top of the current $5 million – on the plant for generating power in Vermont.

If the state succeeds in this latest power-play, who is to stop our legislators from raising taxes on other industries? These tax increases could easily be applied to any in-state power generator; and guess who would end up footing the bill? Vermont ratepayers. While lawmakers will claim they are trying to make up for lost funding, they are setting a dangerous precedent by enacting “miscellaneous” taxes on businesses.

If we Vermonters support a plan to drop a new miscellaneous tax bill upon Vermont Yankee’s Vernon facility, we must be prepared for some ugly unintended consequences. Our state’s bad business practices threaten to drive away vital industries and good-paying jobs and halt any potential for economic development or prosperity.

Reg Wilcox


Notes & Events

Tuesday, April 10: Gubernatorial Candidate Randy Brock speaks at the Orange County Republican Dinner in Randolph, Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church. 43 Hebard Hill Rd. (Route 66), Randolph, VT $10/person, $5/person for guests who are first time attendees. Bring a guest!!

Thursday, April 12: Shelburne Republicans host Jack Lindley, new chair of State Republican Party, at 7:30 am meeting at Dutch Mill Restaurant, Shelburne. All are welcome.

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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