Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Yankee Doodle

I tried to say this on my own Facebook page, but it just sounded scoldy and soapboxy, so it felt like I should maybe take it over here, where I actually have a soapbox.

There's a nuclear power plant in our region that has been bad news for lots of very real reasons, and people have been protesting its existence for a long time.

And now it's slated to shut down.

 And a lot of folks are celebrating, and I get it, but — I grew up near a nuclear power plant that employed a lot of people, and this is not all good news.

In a town of about 2,200 people, 630 jobs were just lost. Obviously, not everyone who works at Vermont Yankee lives in Vernon — which means we'll feel the effects regionwide. And 630 people either lost their jobs or will be relocated to other areas. That's hard for many of them.
And also:

  • For those who benefited from those individuals' presence in the community
  • For those who made money selling them goods and services
  • For those who are served by the nonprofits they donated to or volunteered for
  • For those who were already looking for jobs who will now have to compete with a whole new pool of skilled labor
  • For really, probably, everyone in the region, whether they understand it or not.

Other people have also already acknowledged that (there's a really great editorial out there that I suddenly can't find; if you know the one, please feel free to link to it in the comments), but my own circle seems much more inclined to rejoice first, ask questions later. And I do not mean to diminish the role of people who've spent countless hours working to stop something that has been (and will continue to be for decades, actually) a real danger. I know I sound scoldy. I don't mean to sound scoldy.

But I'm seeing this as a mixed blessing, for sure. There are people I like having around who will not be as a result of this, and it makes me sad.


April said...

Also, one reason for the shutdown is the low cost of natural gas, large reserves of which are now available partly due to fracking. I could give you my views on fracking, but then I'd sound scoldy.

Joe said...

Well said, CMC. The reporter in you is seeing all sides of the issue. Good stuff.

Mike said...

It sucks, it really does. But that's part of The Thing About Unsustainable Industries: whether they shut down abruptly or ooze out of business in a lingering demise, they can't end well or justly or humanely. The socioeconomic damage was done when the plant opened, not when it closed.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Correct, Mike. Well-put.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Also, because I've said it to her personally but not publicly: Correct, April.