And I think I can speak for many when I say I thought the campaign would never end. It's been negative. Very negative.
Oh yeah. It's over and Peter Shumlin won the race for governor. Did I mention that?
Peter Shumlin stated, over and over, that he was against Vermont Yankee being relicensed. He won the election. On the other hand, in the early days, when he talked almost exclusively about the Radioactive Peril and how he would Shut It Down, he was losing. As I noted in an earlier post, when he changed his tune to women's reproductive rights, jobs, and single-payer health care, he pulled ahead. I find these New York Times charts of election projections over time fascinating. Dubie was ahead while Shumlin ran against Vermont Yankee. When Shumlin finally noticed and began running on the Democratic agenda, he pulled ahead.
Also, the most recent vote count is Shumlin 115,222 (49%) and Dubie 111,728 (48%) Not exactly a Shumlin landslide. A squeaker. And if Shumlin hadn't gotten off the "Vermont Yankee and only Vermont Yankee" rhetoric sometime in September, he would have lost.
Phil Scott Won
If the people of Vermont hate Vermont Yankee, they should have handed Mr. Phil Scott a resounding defeat. He's a Republican during a year of the Democrats sweeping Vermont. He was running for Lieutenant Governor; the Democratic candidate for Governor won. Most importantly, Scott was one of the four honorable Vermont Senators who voted FOR relicensing Vermont Yankee in February. Remember that 26 to 4 business? Scott was one of the four.
Poor guy. Everything was against Mr. Scott, if you are one of the people who believes that Shumlin's attack on Vermont Yankee was the source of Shumlin's squeak to success.
Phil Scott won by a far bigger margin, about 10 percent. Scott credits his success to his experience in the Senate, and to running a positive race. Clearly, supporting Yankee didn't defeat Scott. A little more about Scott at this article in Vermont Digger. Among other things, he's a serious race-car driver.
(Hint for future candidates: Scott talked about jobs and the economy and being bi-partisan. As the Clinton campaign said, ever so long ago: "It's the economy, stupid.")
I don't think this election was a referendum about Vermont Yankee. However, if it was a referendum, the clear supporter of the plant won by a far greater margin than the plant's chief detractor.
MORE TO COME
The plant is up for sale, legislators are commenting on it, and is the Secret Garage Meeting one of the issues?
Last I looked, there was only one of me, and I have to give a talk about reprocessing in France at a class this afternoon. So...for now, a quote from the Entergy Press Release:
Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) announced today a process is under way to explore the potential sale of Vermont Yankee, its 605-megawatt nuclear plant in Vernon, Vt.
The sale process is being conducted on a confidential basis and no additional details will be released at this time. While no decision has been made to sell the plant, the company expects interest from multiple parties. The plant has an outstanding operational record. It completed 532 days of continuous operation in April 2010, the second breaker-to-breaker run in the last five years. The record run for the plant is 547 days, which ended in 2007.
"Our motivation for exploring the sale of the plant is simple - we want to do whatever is in the best interest of our stakeholders, including the approximately 650 men and women who work at the plant," said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy's chairman and chief executive officer.
The Secret Garage Meeting and the Implausible Denial
This is worth a couple of posts, really, but I have to get ready for class...
There was a meeting in a garage (really) with Democratic Movers and Shakers, including Peter Shumlin. Supposedly, Mr. Shumlin said that..yeah, with some other company owning the plant, and a good power deal for Vermont...he might give the matter some more thought. Someone leaked this to the press.
Shumlin was asked about it, and said he "couldn't remember saying that." (Really? Have we elected a man in early stages of memory loss? Or is there another explanation?)
Later Shumlin compared Vermont Yankee to a junker car that would not run better because it had a different owner. However, Shumlin never stated: "I never said that, in that garage. Whoever said I said anything like that, that person is a liar." Since Shumlin calls a person a liar at the drop of a hat, this means...they weren't lying. Shumlin said it, in that garage. That's my opinion.
As I said. More later.