Administration seeks FY 2014 funding to mitigate economic impact from Vermont Yankee closing

Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lawrence Miller. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDigger

Secretary Lawrence Miller testifies in front of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDigger

The Shumlin administration wants to start sending funds to southeastern Vermont — beginning in the current fiscal year — to help residents prepare for the closure of Vermont Yankee.

There’s a narrowing window of time to draw up a request. The House Appropriations Committee has already begun vetting the administration’s budget adjustment for fiscal year 2014, and Martha Heath, D-Westford, chair, said the committee plans to finalize the bill by Dec. 17.

Lawrence Miller, secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, said the administration is working on a last-minute addition.

Entergy, the company that operates Vermont Yankee, plans to close the plant at the end of 2014, eliminating most of the 620 jobs — roughly 40 percent of which are held by Vermont residents.

At a legislative forum held in Windham County in October, residents asked the state for $2.2 million to cushion the economic blow.

The administration’s deliberations come amid ongoing discussions with Entergy over the decommissioning process.

Miller gave lawmakers only a general preview of the administration’s spending proposal on Tuesday, and he didn’t cite specific dollar figures.

“There’s a number of different elements,” Miller said. “We are looking at a series of support issues, not just in workforce development but also in entrepreneurship support and continuing education.”

The administration is also looking at beefing up the capacity of the regional planning corporation and expanding the small business development center by funding a full-time staff person instead of a part-time one, according to the commissioner.

Miller said he’ll submit “specific requests” to the Legislature soon, but added that they “would not necessarily be proportional to the fiscal year 2015 request.”

For FY 2015, the administration plans to propose giving a number of performance grants to organizations that promote economic development in the region, according to Miller. But it’s important to start sending funds earlier, he said, to allow the region to begin making plans.

“It’s important to begin scaling that capacity in the last quarter of the fiscal year, in the spring and summer,” he said. “… Then you will see more implementation go into effect the closer we come to the to the plant closing.”

At the same time, state officials also need to make sure their efforts don’t undermine the decommissioning process, Miller cautioned. “One of the things that’s absolutely critical to them [Entergy] and I think to all of us is that they retain the skilled employees they need up until the closing.”

Vermont Yankee

Vermont Yankee on the banks of the Connecticut River. Photo by Deborah Lazar/Special to The Commons

According to Miller, Department of Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan is jointly applying for a national emergency grant from the federal Department of Labor, along with her counterparts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire (whose residents also work at Vermont Yankee). If secured, the nearly $1 million would support laid-off employees from all three states.

Some lawmakers questioned whether the state should be supplying its own funds to mitigate this particular private company’s departure.

“I’m curious about why we feel the obligation to invest money in this region when IBM laid off, over the last few years, several thousand employees,” Heath told Miller. “I don’t remember any investments made in the region due to that happening. I’m sure we can cite many other instances where plants have closed and 300 people have lost their job.”

Miller said there are a number of reasons why it makes sense for the state to step in, and by sending money now, it can obviate future expenses.

“We think development spending will avoid a number of state costs,” he said. “We want to avoid a balloon of Agency of Human Services costs. We want to avoid a deterioration of property values that would reduce property tax receipts to the Education Fund.”

Rep. Bob Helm, R-Fair Haven, is skeptical that the state could do much to alleviate the economic blowback. Citing the average salary for Vermont Yankee employees, Helm asked Miller, “What can you do to compare to a $100,000 salary? What can you create? I don’t get it.”

CORRECTION: Though House Appropriations Committee plans to finalize the Budget Adjustment Act by Dec. 17, a vote won’t be taken until after the Legislature reconvenes on Jan. 7.

Follow Alicia on Twitter @aefreese

Comments

  1. Mike Oltedal :

    One small scale thing the state can do it look at the value of some of the locals who used to work for VY. They have the knowledge about the industry and the state should hire them to oversee the decommissioning as well as the site monitoring that will be needed for years to come , sure it will be only a hand full of jobs
    but its a start and would need to be done anyway and who better but the locals that were VY workers

  2. Dave Bellini :

    Shumlin finally got what he wanted and now it’s an “emergency.”

  3. Jim Barrett :

    Thanks Shumlin for the hog headed position you took to force this company out of Vermont and the loss of hundreds of extremely good paying jobs…..! Shumlin deserves a gold medal for picking and choosing which companies he personally likes and destroying the ones he doesn’t. No wonder no large company wants anything to do with Vermont and IBM and GE are waiting in the wings for their invite to leave!

    • Jim,
      Vermonters were not wise to select a real estate expert for governor. Maybe they will do better next time.

      That person must have 50% of the vote, otherwise the legislature gets to decide!!

    • Bob Stannard :

      Mr. Barrett, you do understand that the reason VY is closing is because of their inability to negotiate a good deal with Vermont’s utilities. Instead, they made a calculated decision to go on their own into the open market. Unfortunately for them the market was lower than their ability to sell power. It was simple finances; they couldn’t compete.

      Yes, it was made clear to them by our governor that he wanted them to close and that most likely help contribute to Entergy’s decision to close the plant.

      But lest you forget, Gov. Shumlin campaigned and won on this issue. It was a clear choice what Vermont wanted. They wanted this aged, tired plant operated by less than honest people to be done with. And that’s what’s happening.

      Partisans don’t like it. I get that.

  4. Wayne Andrews :

    Punch someone in the mouth and then claim “There’s blood”. Way to go liberals.

  5. Phyllis North :

    Let’s take some state money and start our own nuclear plant. Vermont power for Vermonters!

    • Paul Lorenzini :

      What state money? The litigators and the lawyers and the environmentalists already have it all and you don’t expect them to spend it productively do you? They will only be happy when Chittenden County is the only city in the state and the rest of the state is just a playground for them. We peasants don’t need paychecks and power. We just need foodstamps and a pristine environment for all the tax eaters to play in.

  6. Elisabeth Hebert :

    Have you folks heard about Chernobyl, about Fukushima, about Three Miles Island? Have you read the news in the paper at least once a month about another failure of VY, another leak?
    To close this disaster-waiting-to-happen plant down is the only reasonable option! How about training people who are loosing their jobs in the process in alternative energy projects? There must be another solution than poisoning/killing us all in order to keep jobs!

  7. Wayne Andrews :

    Mr. Stannard logic and/or info is somewhat slanted. The reason why VY could not close a deal with local utilities is the Shumlin administration poisioning the well. With threats of govt shutting down VY is it apparent that the likes of CVPS and GMP would stay clear of an uncertain future.

    • John Greenberg :

      Wayne Andrews attempts to rewrite history: “The reason why VY could not close a deal with local utilities is the Shumlin administration poisioning the well.”

      The critical negotiations began and ended during the Douglas administration with a letter from Entergy’s Jay Thayer to the PSB in December of 2009. The Senate vote took place in February 2010; Shumlin was elected in November of that year and replaced Douglas on the 5th floor in January, 2011. While negotiations continued after that, the crucial time frame was BEFORE the Senate vote, and try as Mr. Andrews might, Peter Shumlin can’t be blamed for that failure.

      • Bob Stannard :

        Thank you, John. I was finding it tiresome to try to debate this with Mr. Andrews

      • John, a feeble and quite frankly dishonest effort on your part to cover up Peter Shumlin’s role in the Vermont Yankee matter.

        You well know, Peter Shumlin was President Pro Tem of the Senate from 2006 until his election as Governor at the end of 2010. You also know that he led the charge against re-certifying the Vermont Yankee plant resulting in the February 2010 Senate vote of 26 to 4 for non-certification. Senator Shumlin voted against re-certification and has his finger, thumb, palm, toe and every other one of his prints all over this festering mess. He wasn’t in the middle of this mess, he was leading the charge that has resulted in the debacle Vermont is facing today and we now witness him asking for taxpayer money to help plaster over his misjudgments.

        So maybe you and Bob Stannard need to cut Wayne Andrews some slack as he is essentially correct in saying that Shumlin was/is all over the Entergy/Vermont Yankee debacle.

        • Bob Stannard :

          No, Peter, there is no need or reason to cut Mr. Andrews any slack. He has it wrong. John explained the timeline very clearly.

          Of course, then Senator, now Governor Shumlin was opposed to the VY plant. That’s no secret nor is it news. He campaigned on shutting down the plant and Vermont voted him in as governor.

          Frankly, his first election could be seen as a referendum on VY. As Pres Pro Tem did what he could to carry out his convictions.

          Whatever he did, or didn’t do, still doesn’t change what really happened with Entergy and their inability and/or unwillingness to offer Vermont a favorable deal.

          You will note that in the end the utilities were able to negotiate a very favorable deal with HQ and Seabrook. Have you ever asked yourself why could VY have offered at least as good a deal as those two power sources?

          Let me help you out. It was because they never wanted to, nor did they ever intend to sell us power at a discounted price. They were convinced that they could tell us to go pound sand; that they would continue to operate in our state and basically give us the finger.

          It didn’t work out, because once they cut us lose and went into the open market the market changed dramatically. They should’ve seen it coming. Others did. They played a bad hand wrong and lost.

          Their closing of the plant is of their own doing.

  8. Bob, I don’t know what variables, or how they were weighed, factored into the decision leading Entergy to give up on Vermont Yankee (VY). But its highly probable that the unprecedented and constant political beating that Entergy took from Senator/Governor Shumlin, many in the legislature plus the anti-nuclear activists weighed heavily on the company deciding to leave Vermont.

    Senator/Governor Shumlin and his followers cannot run away from their role in the shut down of VY and the subsequent economic disaster for Vermont, as their actions created economic stresses and uncertainty that had to tip the decision toward closing.

    What makes Shumlin’s anti-nuclear actions back in 2010 so amazing is that while he was fighting to close VY, President Obama was promoting the expansion of nuclear power.

    Looks like the ideological wiring for nuclear plants among democrats was malfunctioning back then, sort of like healthcare exchanges today.

    I wonder if President Obama ever said: If you like your nuclear plant, you can keep it, period. If he did, Shumlin didn’t get the message.

    • John Greenberg :

      Peter:

      1) You can join Wayne’s attempt and pursue your political agenda, but you can’t change the facts.

      Peter Shumlin was, as you note, Senate majority leader, NOT governor, when the VY negotiations failed. Jim Douglas was governor. From 2006, when Peter Shumlin was not in government until the 2010 vote, the Vermont Senate took no important action on VY, but the Douglas administration’s DPS, led by David O’Brien, was a full participant in PSB hearings, which were intended to include Power Purchase Agreements.

      Originally, as part of the CPG process, the PPAs were due in September, 2009, following 2 years of negotiations. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s Entergy’s Jay Thayer laying out the picture for the Public Service Board in a December 2009 letter:

      “In 2007, EVY initiated negotiations with Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation
      (“VYNPC”) on a Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) for the period following Nuclear
      Regulatory Commission license renewal pursuant to the “Sale MOU” between EVY, VYNPC, and’ other parties VYNPC ultimately elected not to pursue a new PPA.. Subsequently, EVY entered into direct negotiations jointly with CVPS and GMP Those negotiations have produced an extensive sharing of data and views but have not produced a new PPA governing the period following license renewal.”

      VYNPC is the corporation which owned VY prior to Entergy. Its majority owners were CVPS and GMP, but other New England utilities also owned shares.

      There’s really no mystery here, if you would bother to inform yourself.

      Entergy spent years in denial of where New England energy markets would be going, and therefore consistently insisted on pricing VY power higher than the market could bear. That’s the point summed up by GMP’s Mary Powell, stating quite clearly why the negotiations failed: “Candidly we were never able to get a contract we thought was a good value,” she said.” (http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130827/NEWS07/308270019/Power-grid-unaffected-by-Vermont-Yankee-closing)

      The very same Thayer letter from December 2009 offers VY power at 6.1 cents in 2012, stating “the pricing of the PPA is expected to be far’ below the wholesale price forecast for energy and capacity ….” Actually, the price ended up being almost 50% HIGHER than the market, and as Bob notes above, substantially higher than the HQ and Seabrook contracts the utilities DID sign at the time. Blame Shumlin and the utilities if you wish to, but please explain the obvious discrepancy between Thayer’s forecast, Entergy’s offer, and actual ISO-NE prices when you do so.

      2) By FAILING to negotiate PPAs successfully, Entergy left itself completely open to the fluctuations of energy market power. Just as utilities sign PPAs to protect ratepayers from power price surges, energy suppliers sign them to protect themselves from big drops in volatile markets. Entergy failed to do so and that led to VY’s downfall.

      Accordingly, when Entergy prices dropped, beginning in 2008 due to a collapsing world economy, Entergy was left to sell its power into a market from which the bottom had fallen out. That has NOTHING to do with Peter Shumlin, and everything to do with poor management.

      3) Fast forward 5 years and little of consequence had changed in this picture. Entergy still had no contract for VY power and accordingly has been selling it into the ISO-New England market, now dominated by cheap (fracked) natural gas. If you want to “blame” Peter Shumlin for aggressively pursuing demand side management programs which helped to keep electricity demand (and therefore wholesale price) lower than it would otherwise have been, I suppose there’s a bit of a case to be made. Shumlin did this, however, not because he hates VY, but because it’s sound energy policy; in fact, other New England states followed suit and because their markets are far larger, their programs were even more consequential for New England energy prices.

      The main cause of low prices, however, is exactly what Entergy blamed in its statement announcing that it would close VY: low natural gas prices (due largely to major discoveries of fracked gas). You can’t blame Shumlin for that one: he signed a bill outlawing fracking in Vermont (where it wasn’t likely to occur anyway).

      4) Indeed, the only mystery here is not WHY VY is closing, but why it took Entergy so long to admit the obvious: they’re a high-cost producer in a low-priced market. Having the foresight to have negotiated favorable PPAs when prices were high would have saved the plant from its fate, but Entergy management failed to see that, for which I am deeply indebted to them.

      Finally, there is nothing at all amazing about Shumlin’s attempts to shut VY down while President Obama pursues pro-nuclear policies. First, Democratic politicians disagree on many issues; there’s nothing novel in inter-party disagreements of this kind. Second, President Obama doesn’t support EVERY aspect of the nuclear industry, nor does Peter Shumlin oppose nuclear power more broadly. Indeed, Shumlin SUPPORTED VY for many years in the state senate (trust me, I know – he was my senator) until he finally changed his mind. Still, if it pleases you to note that Democrats were not operating in mindless lockstep, feel free to rejoice in the supposed contradictions.

      Contort it how you will, however, you still can’t re-write the history to suit your theories.

    • Bob Stannard :

      ….And, if I may point out for the umpteenth time, Peter Shumlin ran on a platform or opposing VY and HE WON. Then HE WON again.

      You can be angry that he won. Many are. But your discontent will not change the facts articulately laid out by John Greenberg above.

      Nice try, though.

  9. Wayne Andrews :

    Peter: Great comments above. Lets create a “pick and shovel” storyline where the average citizen wants to lock their heating oil with the nearby dealership. The State government (either party) tries its best over the years to discredit that fuel oil dealership reputation and threatens every avenue with legal action. Now are you Mr. Stannard going to lock in with that dealership knowing there is a possibility of being driven out of town? Heck no you wont and that was the way CVPS and GMP thought.
    The problem with some of the intellect out there commenting in any posts of any news outlet is those commentators have a hard time placing themselves in the shoes of the fisherman. This Shumlin administration is so obvious and blatant that Helen Keller could have seen these tactics.

  10. John Greenberg :

    Right, Wayne, let’s play make believe. It’s so much more fun than sticking to the facts.

    Two teensy weensy problems with your little fairy tale:

    1) CVPS and GMP are not in any sense equivalent to “average citizen.” and

    2) Even if they were, your charming tale does not account for the ongoing attempts of Vermont utilities over many years — attested to in sworn testimony before the Public Service Board — to reach negotiated contracts with Entergy.

    And, as previously noted twice now, the negotiations began and the failure occurred during the DOUGLAS administration.

    If you want to understand what happened, rather than make up nice stories, try starting with the actual facts.

  11. Paul Lorenzini :

    I think George Bush was at fault or was it Clinton?

  12. Coleman Dunnar :

    To all you historical revisionists:
    The salient fact missing from this discussion is the fact that Schumlin and his flock were responsible for shepherding a piece of legislation requiring legislative/Schumlin approval before the Public Service Board could proceed with the CPG process and not so subtlety let Entergy know that there was going to be a price to pay for lifting the de facto injunction the legislature had put on the Board. Calculated poisoning of the well by the Legislature.
    Hindsight is always twenty twenty. At the time the possibility of drastically declining natural gas prices wasn’t in anyone’s conversation. How many experts were short the gas market at that time? If you were one that was I’d like to have the name of your broker to handle my account.
    To claim a Vermont contract with Yankee would have saved Yankee from suffering the pains inflicted by the market is absurd. If he contract were for the same amount as the expiring contract it would be only one-third of VY’s production leaving two-thirds exposed to the market and zero clearing prices.
    How do you rationalize that the same players claiming that 6 cents was to high are willing to pay from 10 to twenty cents for wind and solar power?
    Really Stannard and Greenberg, nice try at spin but you’re not going to convince me the Emperor is really wearing flesh colored long johns.

  13. John Greenberg :

    Coleman:
    1) “The salient fact missing from this discussion is the fact that Schumlin and his flock were responsible for shepherding a piece of legislation requiring legislative/Schumlin approval before the Public Service Board could proceed with the CPG process …”

    The law you’re describing was passed in 2006 when Shumlin was not in the legislature.

    2) “If he contract were for the same amount as the expiring contract it would be only one-third of VY’s production leaving two-thirds exposed to the market and zero clearing prices.” That’s factually incorrect. The expired contract covered all of VY’s power. Clearing prices have averaged about 4-cents, not zero for the last 5 years or so.

    3) In addition to being factually wrong, your argument is economically mistaken as well. VY’s cost of production is not DRAMATICALLY below market prices. If enough of its power (e.g. 1/3) were sold at 6 cents or above and the rest at market prices, that could well have been enough to keep the plant solvent during the low-price years. The plant has been operating at marginal, not deep, losses since the market collapse of 2008.

    Facts obviously don’t convince you and your friends Wayne and Peter, but that doesn’t mean they’re not the facts!

    • John, the fact remains…….there has been/will be a massive explosion(s) in southeastern Vermont. Not nuclear, but economic explosions that will negatively effect thousands of Vermont families, businesses, schools and community charities for years to come.

      Shumlin knows this explosion is coming along with accompanying economic devastation for the region, thus he’s got his hand out for taxpayer money to help clean up the mess resulting from his actions.

      You’ll remember Shumlin’s actions demanding the closure of VY. Not for safety reasons of course as he and all of his comrades will now tell us, but for reasons, well, I assume will be defined in about 50 or 60 years when the clean up is concluding.

      In the meantime the Governor is at the legislature’s door asking for taxpayer money. Now that’s a fact.

      • Bob Stannard :

        Uh, Peter, FYI, it was Entergy that decided to close its plant.

        • Bob, you’re probably familiar with the old idiom: “The straw that broke the camel’s back”.

          Well, in a highly competitive business environment compounded by a locally hostile political climate, Entergy couldn’t stand the added stress and uncertainty posed by Mr. Shumlin’s actions.

          So yes Bob, Entergy decided to close the plant under the weight of the last straw, that straw being Shumlin’s ideological jihad against VY.

          Now the taxpayers of Vermont are being asked by Gov. Shumlin to pay……..pay for his ill considered actions while the green glowing remnants of those actions will remain in Vermont for most of our life times.

          • Bob Stannard :

            Peter, at the risk of repeating myself, repeating myself and repeating myself (thinking that perhaps if I say this often enough it might get through to you), Peter Shumlin’s key issue in his campaign was his desire to see this plant close. Peter Shumlin was elected by the majority of voters; TWICE.

            Are you with me here or would you like me to repeat this a few more times. Peter Shumlin ran as an opponent of this plant and got elected TWICE.

            The majority of the voters of Vermont supported Peter Shumlin and presumably supported his position on closing the plant.

            You do see how this works, right? Someone runs for office on issues that are important to him or her. They win. The voters FULLY EXPECT THEIR CANDIDATE TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON HIS/HER PROMISES.

            This is how the electoral process works in Vermont and in America. You do understand this, right? It’s called majority rule.

            I didn’t like George Bush or any of this policies, including leading us into a war he kept off the books. But hey, HE WON.

            So, you can moan and groan all you want about Peter Shumlin, the closing of the plant, single payer healthcare, or any other issue on which Peter Shumlin ran for office, AND WON, and it doesn’t really matter. Nor, do I particularly care if you want to continue to wine about being a loser. It’s how the process works.

            Now, I presume you’re going to come back at me with some sort of pivot argument. I look forward to it, because you might, once again, provide me with an opportunity to explain to you how the electoral process works. Perhaps I’ll just continue to refer to this post…..over and over and over again in hopes that you will (finally) understand that when one runs for office declaring that they want to close an aged leaking nuke plant run by people who have reneged and deceived us, and they win, then the plant might very well close.

            That, my friend, was what was supposed to happen. And yes, it makes eminent sense that we would now do what we can to address the economic impacts of the closing; a process that should have been initiated under the Douglas Administration, because we knew back then that the plant was scheduled to close in 2012.

            Now, have I made myself clear or would you like me to repeat this again?

      • John Greenberg :

        Peter:

        First, as Bob Stannard has already noted, Entergy, not Peter Shumlin, made the decision to close Vermont Yankee. As I noted above, Shumlin had nothing to do with the basic economics of that decision, since he has no control over natural gas prices.

        Second, did you think the plant was going to last forever? Are you aware that Vermont has been considering the consequences of closing VY since at least the mid-1980s when DPS did a shutdown study? Now that the plant’s operators decided to close a business losing money, just as thousands of other businesses do every year in this country, the governor is trying to position the State to avoid as much of the economic fallout as possible. Would you prefer that he NOT do that?

        Have you considered the economic implications of every Vermont ratepayer paying more than necessary for overpriced power while simultaneously absorbing whatever risk there is of a catastrophic accident? Have you considered the potential economic dampening effects of housing the plant in Vermont in the first place? If not, I suggest you read some of the testimony presented to the Public Service Board in the CPG case, which in both the previous AND the current administration suggests that there are downsides to hosting a nuclear plant.

        Indeed, are you aware that the DOUGLAS administration’s position in the CPG case (prior to the Senate vote) was that the plant should NOT receive a CPG because the downsides of hosting it outweighed the benefits?

        Perhaps this is just one more instance of your patented “ready, fire, aim” school of Shumlin bashing at work. It sure looks that way.

        • John, we finally agree……another Shumlin “ready, fire, aim” event.

        • Patrick Cashman :

          So, as the Luddites win and decry science and knowledge as our answers, they then go on to explain how the economic impacts are indeed our own fault for placing our faith in learning. Ain’t fearful ignorance great?

          • Bob, we all don’t have your superior intellect that allows us to see things as quickly and clearly as you, so I guess you’ll just have to be patient.

            While your being patient, the Shumlin “Ready, Fire, Aim” strategy of management has apparently regressed to: “Not Ready, Lie and Deny”.

            The Governor’s and his administration’s recent performance implementing the health care exchange clearly demonstrates his sad regression to a: “Not Ready, Lie and Deny” strategy of management and communication.

            Specifically: the Governor proceeded with the introduction of the health care exchange when it was clearly NOT READY to go. The launch was followed by Commissioner Larson’s LIE to the legislature on security and the Governor’s DENIAL that he knew what Larson was lying.

            Bob, if you read this a few times, I’m pretty sure you will comprehend the concept, especially with you superior intellect that the rest of us don’t have according to your way of thinking.

          • Bob Stannard :

            Nice try, Peter. It’s got nothing to do with intellect. It’s simply have a 101 basic understanding of how elections work. You can make it out to be something else, but you would, once again, be wrong.

  14. Carl Werth :

    Although the facts appear to be on his side – is it just me, or does anyone else hear the voice of Francis Buxton when they read posts by John Greenberg?

    • Bob Stannard :

      You are correct, Carl. The facts are on John’s side.

  15. Carl Werth :

    As a former lobbyist, Bob, I am sure you know that facts don’t always get you where you want to go. Emotions can be very powerful things.

    • Bob Stannard :

      Yes, Carl, emotions are powerful, but when the dust settles they are writing law using words. By the time they get to the final draft of any bill, the emotions are long gone and the focus is on what do the words say.

      • Carl Werth :

        I would certainly like to hope so, Bob. however, when a bill is voted on, here come those emotions again…mainly because not all of those voting are from the same party.

        • Bob Stannard :

          Carl, have you served in the legislature? Do you have firsthand knowledge as to how this process really works?

  16. Carl Werth :

    Bob, one of my friends currently serves in the Vermont house, and another good friend was a member of the house – but is now a deputy secretary in the current Shumlin administration. I have spoken to them both at length about the process.

    • Bob Stannard :

      That’s great, but it’s not like serving. If you’ve served in the General Assembly then you would know.

  17. Cheryl Twarog :

    So, Mr. Stannard, going by your argument, it would stand to reason that you feel that the only people qualified to comment on Vermont Yankee and nuclear power are those who have “served” or worked there. It’s great to throw out insults and your version of the facts, but it’s not like “serving”. If you’ve worked at VY or in the nuclear industry “then you would know.”

    • Bob Stannard :

      Ms. Twarog, you’ve made quite a leap here. I never said that you had to serve in the legislature to be able to comment on VY. What I said was that having served in the legislature I feel qualified to speak to the legislative process.

      Although I’ve never worked at VY I do feel reasonably well qualified to speak to the issues surrounding the plant, as I’ve worked on the issues since 2007.

      That’s all.

  18. Carl Werth :

    As if I didn’t figure you would play that card. It’s like how the Sapir-Whorf Hypotheis applies to anthropology.

    Okay, Bob, you have stood behind the curtain. I have only glimpsed the great and powerful and stood in wonder…

    I stand down. You win.

    • Bob Stannard :

      Call it whatever you want. I call it a life experience. I’ve been there. All I’m saying is that there’s a difference between doing a job for 6 years and knowing someone who’s done the job.

      All I can try to do is to share with you my experience in the process. Yes, of course, people who serve are passionate and emotional about every issue. However, there comes a time when their passions and emotions are translated into words that may become law.

      Add to that the fact that there are 180 people in the building. Emotions don’t carry the day. Yes, they help drive an issue, but in the end it’s the (emotionless) words put down on paper that carry the day.

      Don’t make more out of my words than need be.

      • Bob, you like to make references to elections in your comments. If the comments above were votes and this were an election, you would lose in a landslide.

        But, that’s okay, keep up the comments, we’ve got time to kill until the Patriots come at 1 PM.

        • Bob Stannard :

          Peter, I have no idea what that even means. Yes, I talk about elections, because as I said in what I thought was a clarifying post, elections have consequences. I appreciate the fact that you are unhappy with Gov. Shumlin being elected and then re-elected, but as we like to say in our house,”Thems are the breaks”.

          I hope your team wins.

  19. Carl Werth :

    Bob, I appreciate your lessons, but before you judge me further, there are two points I think you should know – one, I was raised by two very free-thinking adults to always question authority, no matter who authority thinks it is or appears to be – and two, I have been anti-nuke since I went to my first protest against Seabrook as a high school senior in the late 1970′s.

    • Bob Stannard :

      That’s good news. I was raised in the same household. I didn’t protest at Seabrook. I never thought nuclear power made any sense because of the residual, radioactive material left behind for future generations to deal with.

  20. Carl Werth :

    Exactly.

Comments

*

Comment policy Privacy policy
Thanks for reporting an error with the story, "Administration seeks FY 2014 funding to mitigate economic impact from..."