Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Teen's View of Vermont Yankee

This letter to the editor appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer on November 4, 2011. Evan Twarog was kind enough to allow me to reprint it in this blog.
A Teen’s view of Vermont Yankee

Editor of the Reformer:

Nuclear power ... Vermont Yankee ... all increasingly con­troversial topics today. But no matter what side of the aisle you rest on, if you live in Vermont or New Hampshire, you’ll be affected if Vermont Yankee closes. Do I know for sure what the future holds for Vermont? No, not me and certainly not anyone else. But I can take a look at the statistics to deter­mine what is most likely best for Vermont, and so can you. We all want what is best for Ver­mont, but we all have miscon­ceptions and it takes will-power to overcome them. If we all open our minds to listen to the other side of the argument, we will be in a much better position to make decisions. In order to be a true leader, you need to have the courage to do that.

My dad works at Vermont Yan­kee. I’m incredibly proud of him. He’s worked tirelessly to get to the position he has now. He is a shift manager, and is in charge of operations at the plant when he is on shift. He is an incredibly smart man, and he wouldn’t have moved his family to this region if he felt that VY was in any way dangerous. On top of working 12 hour days and being a terrific father, he runs the Keene Youth Lacrosse Program. Many other employees of the plant are actively involved in other organ­izations as well. I understand that you might have negative feelings about the plant, but just try to put yourself in my shoes. Maybe you’ll see that my dad’s not the monster the media and anti-VY groups make him and the other VY employees out to be.

I’ve always thought that good things happen to good people, but clearly life is not so simple. I’ve always given back to the community, pushed myself in school, and helped others. Every night my family wonders what we will do if VY does shut down. We have to live with the fact that if VY closes, we won’t have the life that we enjoy now. No one, let alone a kid should have to deal with that. My family’s story is only one story of more than 600.

I have done the research, and I truly believe that Vermont Yan­kee is not only safe, but it is a reliable and clean source of energy. It is a major employer, which our area needs desperate­ly in these tough economic times. I am proud to be part of the VY family.

Evan Twarog,

Keene, N.H., Oct. 31


Evan Twarog appears in these two pictures of the Rally in support of Vermont Yankee on October 23. He is wearing a red jacket and appears with his mother and younger brother. I thank the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant Facebook page for allowing me to use these pictures.


Anonymous said...

I am glad you are putting a human face on this issue. It never ceases to amaze me that opponents of facilities like VY have no qualms about ruining the lives of thousands of honest, productive citizens in their quest for a political "victory". Here you have an incredibly valuable economic asset that has harmed no one, has very little if any environmental impact, and provides a good living for hundreds of families, yet you have political leaders and others seeking its destruction. That makes no economic or moral sense.

Meredith Angwin said...

Thank you for the comment. Closing the plant is morally indefensible. The opponent forces think they occupy the moral high ground, but they don't.

squirtygirl said...

Wow! That is very insightful for someone so young. If only some people who were older and (supposedly) more mature could learn from his example! :)

It makes me wonder if the VY protestors take into account EVERYTHING that will actually be lost if that plant closes. Sure, there will be less jobs in the area, less money and electricity will be more expensive...but what about the loss of the human side of things? What if this family moves? They've just lost a lacrosse coach. This kid could be the next "big time" athlete or the person to find the cure for cancer. Who knows? The point is, wouldn't you want your community to be the one credited for that person's start? That community could lose some really amazing people and not even know it...which is very, very sad.