Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Nuclear Supporters than Opponents at Public Service Board Hearing

The scene at the meeting
Note the green stickers and buttons of VY supporters

Public Service Board members at head table
David Coen, Commissioner John Volz, John Burke
Court Reporter at left
For continued operation, Vermont Yankee requires a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB).  The only in-person public meeting for this docket was held last night at the Vernon Elementary School across the street from Vermont Yankee.

I hoped that supporters would come to this hearing.  Sometimes plant opponents practice the politics of intimidation.  I hoped this meeting would be civil.

State Representative Mike Hebert
of Vernon and Guilford
The meeting was civil. The meeting was informative. I think one reason for the civility was that plant supporters outnumbered opponents. I have noticed that the higher the percentage of supporters, the less shouting and intimidation takes place.  Also, I give much credit to the PSB members. They ran a tight, controlled meeting. They timed the talks and did not let people go over their time.

The Brattleboro Reformer article by Bob Audette started: Supporters of the continued operation of Vermont Yankee outnumbered opponents by a margin of three-to-one. Audette quoted several plant supporters in the article: I encourage you to read it.

Plant supporters spoke of local economics and the economics of electricity prices.  They spoke of environmental impacts and family life.  They spoke of reasonable and unreasonable fears.  Over the next few days, I hope to have several of their presentations as guest posts on this blog.

Former Governor Thomas P Salman
speaking in favor of Vermont Yankee
Former State Representative Patty O'Donnell
Now Chairwoman of the Vernon Selectboard
Bruce Shields, President of the Ethan Allen Institute
The Energy Education Project is part of the Institute

Thank you to Stephanie Thomson of VTEP for the pictures.


Joffan said...

How did the first three speaking spots go to anti-nuclear speakers? By my reckoning (and Bob Audette's numbers) that's a one-in-64 chance, if it was random. Call me suspicious, but I start looking for other forces at work at those odds.

Meredith Angwin said...

The sign up was a bit chaotic at the start. A group of opponents were standing by the table when the Commission members got the sign up sheets out. So the opponents signed first. Then people got in line for the rest of the sign ups.