Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vermont Yankee, Facebook, Vermont Tiger and Brian Dubie

On Tuesday of this week, various aspects of my energy life came together and beat me up. I try to take life one-thing-at-time, but sometimes things gang up on me. Everything from media relationships to conservation.

Among other things, I
  • Took over the administration of the Save Vermont Yankee group on Facebook (I was annoyed).
  • Went to a Vermont Tiger symposium and practiced media relations (I apologized)
  • Heard Brian Dubie speak (I was impressed)
  • Talked to people about Vermont Yankee (I was depressed)
  • Read a good report about renewables (I was impressed again)
  • Went to a meeting about conservation (I was discouraged).
I will cover part of this list today, and part tomorrow.

Vermont Yankee and Facebook

I took over the Save Vermont Yankee Facebook group. An Entergy employee was running the group, and Entergy was concerned that the group could be misconstrued as something corporate-authorized. It was easy for me to become administrator, but it was also awkward.

But the group is in good shape now. Due to the former administrator, the group has over 1200 members! If you are on Facebook, think about joining.

After a certain amount of emailing on this subject, it was time to get in the car and drive to Burlington, about ninety miles away, for the Crunch Time meeting.

Vermont Tiger: Media Relations and Apologies

Geoff Norman of Vermont Tiger had invited me to a seminar on Crunch Time Vermont. I was happy to attend.

As soon as I got there, I saw Anne Galloway of Vermont Digger. I apologized to her for an earlier post in which I thought that Digger had taken down a debate between me and Donald Kreis. It turned out that the Digger site had suffered a virus attack and two hacker attackes within a two-week period. Since my debate had survived the virus attack, I thought Anne had deliberately taken it down. Actually, it was lost in the hacker attack that happened AFTER the virus attack. What a miserable time Anne must have had of it! (Now the debate is restored.)

I have always thought the Vermont Digger site is extremely important to Vermont, posting news and clips of events that don't make it into regular media. I was very glad to clear the air with Anne.

Vermont Digger has a complete story and extensive video clips of Crunch Time on its site today. Crunch Time was co-sponosored by Vermont Energy Partnership, which is in its turn partially sponsored by Entergy. I know the Vermont Energy Partnership people, but I didn't know they were co-sponsoring this meeting.

Vermont Tiger and Brian Dubie

At the meeting, I heard Brian Dubie speak. Except for Vermont Yankee, I try to stay away from Vermont politics. Democrats and Republicans support Vermont Yankee, whatever they may think of capital gains taxes and so forth. When Shumlin attacked VY, I defended it, but otherwise, I tend to avoid politics. So I wasn't sure what I expected from Dubie.

Dubie gave a very thoughtful speech about the different ways the Vermont tax and regulatory climate hurts businesses and people in Vermont. Everything he said was well expressed and well referenced. I decided that, even if I didn't know anything about Vermont Yankee, I would prefer Dubie to Shumlin. Shumlin went off half-cocked about how Germany gets its electricity. Shumlin also showed he doesn't understand property rights, freedom of the press, or the difference between Red China and Taiwan. In contrast, Dubie lined up facts (and a few anecdotes) for a persuasive presentation. Well, okay, Dubie's talk was slightly dull, too. Somehow, I prefer "dull" to "wrong."

Yesterday's Vermont Buzz shows another example of local Democrats being loose with the facts. I hope they don't make a habit of this. Vermont Buzz also has a good synopsis of Dubie's talk and the symposium in general.

Vermont is a Small Town

At the Crunch Time seminar, I was happy to meet one of my Carnot Communications clients, Bob Zider of Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center. I was also glad to meet Geoffrey Norman, of Vermont Tiger, who invited me to come to the meeting.

Nice people and a free lunch. What could be better?

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

More later.

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