|Connecticut River near my home in Wilder|
For years, Vermont Yankee opponents have insisted: “Let the State have more say.” A recent news article reports now that state environmental officials seem likely to find in favor of the plant. One longtime Vermont Yankee foe is fretting about the national ramifications of a looming decision by a state agency.
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources plans to uphold the safe, proven practice of running cool Connecticut River water over steam-filled Vermont Yankee pipes, then discharging it downstream. The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CWRC) is concerned about the “precedent” this ruling might set.
The CWRC risks inflicting economic and environmental harm to Vermonters so that it can make a national statement. The agreement between Entergy and the state to decommission Yankee will provide several more months of low-carbon, low-cost electricity – an increasingly scarce commodity in New England – followed by millions of dollars for economic redevelopment. But the State of Vermont has to keep its end of the settlement agreement for this to happen.
Vermont Yankee will shut down at the end of the year. Vermont does not need to risk the financial benefits Vermont Yankee has agreed to provide so that the CWRC can make a point.
Jaffrey, New Hampshire
This letter to the editor has appeared in several newspapers in Vermont.
Richard January is a senior lead engineer at Vermont Yankee.
It is important to note that the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) is a group opposed to Vermont Yankee. The name sounds fairly official, but it is not a government consortium about the watershed. There IS a government consortium about the watershed: it is the Connecticut River Joint Commissions. I explain the difference between the two organizations in this post: The River and the Rhetoric--Who Speaks for the River