Thursday, September 25, 2014
Members of the Decommissioning Advisory Panel: Guest Post by Guy Page
Introducing the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel
Guest post by Guy Page of Vermont Energy Partnership
The newly appointed, 19-member Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (CAP) reflects many of the policy and advocacy positions on all sides of the ongoing Vermont Yankee discussion. CAP’s first meeting is this Thursday, September 25, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of Brattleboro Union High School. All meetings are open to the public.
The CAP will serve a similar role in decommissioning Vermont Yankee that the disbanded Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel (VSNAP) served for the operational plant: providing a question and comment forum for members and the concerned public. However, the new panel, unlike VSNAP, includes two seats reserved for Entergy, owner of Vermont Yankee.
Kate O’Connor and Martin Langeveld were appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin. Ms. O’Connor is a longtime Democratic operative, having mainly worked for governors Madeleine Kunin, Howard Dean, and Peter Shumlin. Most recently she lost the August, 2014 Democratic primary for the Brattleboro House seat. Mr. Langeveld is a Vernon planning commissioner and former Brattleboro Reformer publisher who has expressed, at local post-closure hearings, a strong interest in leveraging the closing of Vermont Yankee for the economic benefit of the local economy.
Senate Pro Tem John Campbell appointed Jim Matteau. During his tenure on VSNAP, Mr. Matteau often took an aggressive posture against Vermont Yankee. Campbell also appointed James Tonkovich of Wilder, Windham County. He is an employee of Vermont 2-1-1, a United Way of Vermont program that helps people in emergencies find the assistance they need. In this capacity, Tonkovich has participated in mock emergency drills at Vermont Yankee.
Speaker of the House Shap Smith appointed Rep. David Deen (D-Westminster), chair of the House Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee, and River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council, an environmental advocacy group that is a frequent critic and legal challenger of the plant’s use of river water for cooling. Mr. Smith also appointed Derrick Jordan of Putney, a past member of the Citizens Awareness Network.
Besides Matteau, appointments from VSNAP include Chair Chris Recchia, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, Sen. Mark MacDonald (D-Orange), and Mike Hebert (R-Vernon). Labor representative, Vermont Yankee employee, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers official David Andrews has been a strong Vermont Yankee supporter.
Representing Entergy Nuclear on the panel are T. Michael Twomey, vice president of external affairs of Entergy Wholesale Commodities, and site vice-president Christopher Wamser. Other panelists include Human Services representative designee William Irwin, state officials David Mears and Pat Moulton, and Windham Regional Commission executive director Chris Campany. Planning Commissioner Stephen Skibniowski will represent the Town of Vernon.
State Sen. Molly Kelly of Keene, N.H., will represent five nearby New Hampshire towns. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has yet to name a panel member.
Guy Page of VTEP has frequent guest posts on this blog. His most recent post was Reasons the Public Service Board Should Approve the CPG for Vermont Yankee.
I also have a recent post on the topic of the panel membership, Decommissioning Panel Appointments: Good, Bad and Ugly However, I did not describe the complete membership of the panel. Page's post is a valuable reference for understanding the panel.