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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



VY makes a PR run

Vermont Yankee owner Entergy appeared to be hedging this week about whether it would release details of its price offer to utilities Friday as company officials have said they would. If they miss their own deadline, that gives leery lawmakers one more reason to roll their eyes.

House Speaker Shap Smith said Thursday: "I think it's a problem for VY if they once again fail to come through."

Meanwhile, though, VY is going on a public relations run. The company released this today about a series of newspaper and TV ads it is running:

A series of print and television ads featuring Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant employees will begin running in state-wide media outlets this week. In the ads, VY employees discuss the safety of the nuclear plant, and the need in Vermont for the jobs and the economic benefits that the electricity generated at VY provides the state of Vermont.

The ads, which feature employees from almost every department at the Vernon plant, initiate a Vermonter to Vermonter conversation about the plant, as seen through the eyes of some of the 650 men and women who work there every day.

According to Mike Colomb, Vermont Yankee Site Vice President, the campaign “brings new insight on plant operation, as the featured employees -- all Vermont residents -- express in their own words the pride and dedication they bring to their jobs, and why it is in the best interest of all Vermonters to keep the plant in service.

“The participation by VY employees in the public discussions of Vermont Yankee has always been key to the general understanding and appreciation of the plant’s role in meeting electricity demands. In fact, many more employees volunteered for this project than we were able to use. Our employees are our greatest asset for continued safe, reliable generation in the state and they admirably serve their communities. In these ads, I think Vermonters will recognize true professionalism when they see it,” he said.

“We’re proud to sponsor this campaign that serves to give a much-needed, state-wide voice to the many Vermonters that are proud to work at VY,” he said. The advertisements which will run for the next two to three months, were produced by HMC2, an advertising company based in Richmond, Vermont.

- Terri Hallenbeck

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You just wait: the group of hard core anti-VY zealots will express outrage that VY is paying for ads in an effort to sway public opinion in favor of the relicensing of the plant. They think that VY using its own money to influence public opinion is improper.

However, these same people think it's perfectly okay for VPIRG and other organizations to run ANTI-VY campaigns.
As an environmentalist, I believe it is ok for VY to use their money - as long as the ads are truthful - and they haven't been up to this point!
Legislators should stop stalling and take a vote already. What are you waiting for? Is it because it's an election year and you don't want to go on record? Stop talking around the issue and make a decision.
All the state workers are taking a pay cut - ARE THE LEGISLATORS GOING TO DO THE SAME THING? Are we all in this together or not?

It seems like they got a raise last session.
Actually, the legislators cut the amount of time they are in session in Montpelier by several weeks thus giving themselves a significant cut.

They are only paid for the weeks they are actually in session - and any study committees they are on.

In actuality, legislators are probably paid less than minimum wage when you factor in their actual time.
If you work less you earn less. That has nothing to do with a "pay cut". Legislators would never take a pay cut!
"As an environmentalist, I believe it is ok for VY to use their money - as long as the ads are truthful - and they haven't been up to this point!"

Truth is in the eye of the beholder. You're against VY, so no matter what they say, you think it is false.

I'll tell you who tells lies: it's VPIRG.
Only a third of VY workers live in VT, according to Entergy. They've known a long time the plant would be closing in 2012. There are lots of jobs available at other plants in the US. As long as we depend on the short term VY plant (it will need to close eventually and is likely to experience more breakdowns that make its reliability highly questionable), we neglect the necessary investment and jobs building potentials that exist NOW in the new green economy. We don't want Vermont to be known as a nuclear waste dump. Close as planned and cut our losses. That's what Entergy is trying to do by transferring responsibility for the inevitable decline of the plant to a shell corporation with no assets. WAKE UP VERMONTERS! Entergy is in this for its own bottom line, not Vermont.
I am very much so for keeping VY open. It provides jobs and is a clean power sources. I live in Vernon. How many of you actually live in vernon? This affects the people of Vernon and The plant employees more than anyone else. Of course most of the environmentalists won't be satisfied until all of vermont is powered by windmills. -keep VY open
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