September 22nd, 2008


by Philip Baruth

How Vermont. Just when you think that the Vermont Yankee problem defies human solution, because opponents face an out-of-state corporate monolith wealthy and powerful enough to mandate public opinion, WCAX releases a set of fairly eye-popping poll numbers. You guessed it: a rock-solid majority favor shutting the damn thing down, nearly twice the number who oppose the idea.

vermont yankee

And a solid two-thirds of those polled said a) they were either “concerned” or “very concerned” about safety issues with the plant; and b) they’d be willing to pay a bit more for energy if they could see the plant shuttered.

Of course the battle for public opinion is far from over.

Entergy spokesman Rob Williams released the results of an internal corporate poll, in which 650 Vermonters were asked the following questions: “If closing down Vermont Yankee meant returning to the ‘Age of Flint,’ and you could no longer refrigerate meat, and you and your spouse would need to commence a life of hunting and gathering, without benefit of either antibiotics or toilet paper, would you favor the idea? And if so, would you be willing to pay one-third of your yearly income to make decommissioning a reality?”

As far as VDB is concerned, bring on the stone and flint. And the wind, and the sun. It’s heartening to see that more than a few people around the state agree.