Friday, July 12, 2013

LocalVolts plus the Legislative Process

Day lily in my garden
Plant received from a friend
A summer's day, and I thought I would cover two separate issues, in a not-too-organized fashion.  So here goes.


The horrendous rail crash in Quebec has added fuel (so to speak) to Vermont's usual summer protests. Pat Bradley of WAMC interviewed several people in the radio segment: Disaster Spurs Debate Over Energy Transport in Region.   Protests against gas pipelines and tar sands pipelines are planned for the near future. Quitting the use of all fossil fuels is a major goal of the pipeline protestors.  In Bradley's  interview with me, I noted that we are dependent on fossil fuels, and no-fossil-fuels is not something we can accomplish quickly.   A three-minute radio segment.

President Obama's message on what we need to do about climate change might be described as "all of the above" (natural gas, cleaner coal, conservation, nuclear, renewables).  However, around here the general message is "none of the above."  Tim McQuiston,  editor of Vermont Business Magazine, spoke about energy on VPR yesterday.  (Another three-minute radio segment).

McQuiston noted that people in Vermont are protesting everything: gas, oil, nuclear, wind, pipelines, transmission lines.  His conclusion is that we should be looking at "localvolts."   He expects that "Vermont Yankee (may) get a second look here once Governor Shumlin steps down..." McQuiston concludes that "Just as with the localvore movement, where we take responsibility for our food supply, maybe we should initiate a 'localvolt' movement to take more responsibility for our electric supply."

I agree.

Note: Kenyon Webber spoke at the Public Service Board hearings last fall.  Her statement is similar to this "LocalVolts" idea: Buy Local and Help Your Community.

Getting Inside the Legislative Process

Howard Shaffer
In a recent post at ANS Nuclear Café, my friend Howard Shaffer explains how he was invited to speak about nuclear fuel storage to a Vermont legislative committee.   This committee has a history of inviting people such as Arnie Gundersen and Robert Alvarez. As a matter of fact, these were the other people who testified about spent fuel.  Indeed, it sometimes strikes me that the Vermont legislature is Rick's Cafe Americain for nuclear opponents: everybody comes to our legislature!

I was very pleased that Shaffer was asked for his opinion. Shaffer's post includes the history of the invitation, and ways people can make similar invitations more likely.

After his testimony, the committee clerk thanked Shaffer for his clear communications. His post at ANS Nuclear Café includes the text of his testimony. Shaffer supplied a package of information to the legislators and the media, and I link to pdfs of that packet at the Energy Education Project website.

 An inspiring story.


We are finally having some lovely weather here, after weeks of muggy weather, rain, and flooding. I plan to enjoy the good weather. I took the picture of my day lily this morning.

Have a good weekend!

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