- Took over the administration of the Save Vermont Yankee group on Facebook (I was annoyed).
- Went to a Vermont Tiger symposium and practiced media relations (I apologized)
- Heard Brian Dubie speak (I was impressed)
- Talked to people about Vermont Yankee (I was depressed)
- Read a good report about renewables (I was impressed again)
- Went to a meeting about conservation (I was discouraged).
I covered the first half of this list in my post yesterday. Today I will talk about Vermont Yankee and communications.
Vermont Yankee and Communication and Depression
The Vermont Tiger Crunch Time meeting was a perfect rendezvous for Vermont Yankee supporters. Republican candidates, economists, a meeting co-sponsorship by Vermont Energy Partnership. It could have been moderately cheerful for me.
Alas, I was not cheered. In many off-the-record conversations, I heard the same thing: "I like nuclear, I even like the plant, but I can't stand Entergy."
People expanded on the theme.
- Entergy has to convince me they are telling the truth.
- It's nearly impossible to get information out of them.
- The plant is an asset to the state, but I don't want to see us sign a twenty-year agreement with those guys.
I heard this over and over again.
I found it very discouraging. I blog for Vermont Yankee because I believe nuclear is the best option for the future, and the best transition to renewables. I can't defend Entergy's corporate communication style. I know that the plant is good: it just had a magnificent breaker-to-breaker run. The reliable electric power and the statewide economics of Vermont Yankee are very good for the state.
However, Entergy's communication style can be useless to counter-productive. For example, a story of a tour of the plant. I grant you that the author of this article is president of VPIRG and an opponent of Vermont Yankee. I also grant you that the tour took place during the outage. Still, this kind of tour is no way to win friends and influence people. Don't ask questions because your guide won't be able to answer them? Be abandoned in the parking lot with no further information?
Now, I can see why Vermont Yankee would NOT want to speak to these particular people. With the anti-s, any statement that can be taken out of context and vilified WILL be taken out of context and vilified. Still, there are better ways to communicate with anti-s then to refuse to answer questions. Perhaps only answer questions afterwards in a meeting room, with recording in place? Something like that?
Sometimes I think that the best way for Entergy to get Vermont Yankee's license renewed would be to sell the plant. I find this depressing. It's good plant, but nobody trusts Entergy.
I will post about renewables and conservation tomorrow.