An Oped by former VT Governor Tom Salmon has been widely published in recent days. Leslie Sullivan Sachs of Safe & Green quickly scribbled a response when she heard the local weekly paper was also publishing it. We have posted both on our Letters to the Editor page. Salmon’s twisting of history should irritate activists and citizens alike. Here’s Leslie’s response:
There is plenty to criticize in Tom Salmon’s ode to Vermont Yankee, but two paragraphs are particularly odious. He writes, “Eight years ago…I began to notice the heat being turned up on Vermont Yankee. A rather fierce ideological battle from the hard left ensued. Some were Vermonters, but the vast majority lived in other states…However, in Windham County, a hardy band of citizens said, “We want to be heard on these issues.” And so the nonprofit Vermont Energy Partnership was founded to advocate on behalf of public policies that facilitate affordable, safe, reliable, clean power…”
The Vermont Energy Partnership was founded by a “hardy band” of the most powerful corporations, few from Windham County, including IBM, Casella Waste Management, and Pizzagalli Construction, plus business associations like the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. And, of course, Entergy.
Despite being a former governor, Mr. Salmon conveniently forgets democratic process – unless he believes that our own legislature and towns were infiltrated by the folks living downstream from the reactor. In Town Meeting votes across the state over the years on referenda on the future of Vermont Yankee, 51 towns voted to close Vermont Yankee and only 3 towns voted down the resolution. The Vermont Senate said shut it down in February 2010.
To paraphrase Sen. Randy Brock, a Republican who reluctantly voted against Vermont Yankee, if anti-nuclear activists had infiltrated Entergy’s board of directors, they couldn’t have done more damage to Vermont Yankee’s reputation that Entergy did to itself.
Leslie Sullivan Sachs