By Guy Page
Pravda, once the official newspaper of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, has announced why Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant was forced to close: it just couldn’t compete with cheap solar power.
Pravda RU published “In the U.S., solar power ends the era of peaceful atom technology” August 8 online. Founded in 1911, Pravda was the party’s powerful, official “voice” until the Soviet Union dissolved. In 1996, Russian courts allowed the Pravda (“Truth” in Russian) name to be used by two separation organizations: the Russian Federation Communist Party, and Pravda RU, a consortium of journalists with no stated political affiliation.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Pravda’s penchant for propaganda-driven untruthiness:
“In 2014, the U.S. shut down the Vermont Yankee NPP in Wyndham [sic] County near Springfield. ….The reason to close nuclear power plants is simple: expensive nuclear energy cannot withstand competition with cheap solar energy. Solar power plants will save billions of dollars and minimise environmental damage. It is hard to overestimate the importance of the current historic process.”
Truth to Pravda: Vermont Yankee was closed by Entergy (not the U.S. government) mainly because it couldn’t make power as cheaply (4-5 cents per kilowatt-hour) as plants fueled by “fracked” natural gas (2-3 cents/kw-h). Net-metered solar power costs ratepayers 12-19 cents/kw-h, and has only achieved its single-digit foothold in the New England energy market through forced subsidization and central planning.
Maybe Pravda just doesn’t like anything named ‘Yankee.’
Proposal: move drug addicts into monitored housing near prison
A former Springfield select and school board member has an idea to rid downtown Springfield of its drug addict population: move them to a new, monitored housing development near the state prison.
According to the August 2 Springfield Reporter, George McNaughton, a lawyer and longtime anti-drug activist “has proposed developing housing for drug addicts in recovery adjacent to the correctional facility.” The small homes [as yet unbuilt] would be equipped with monitoring devices. The plan would remove addicts from Springfield neighborhoods and reduce drug use and sales.” McNaughton reportedly sent his proposal to Gov. Scott, the congressional delegation, and local authorities.
Vermont drug abuse isn’t limited to selected neighborhoods – according to the August 10 News & Citizen, the Vermont Department of Health said that five percent of Vermont college students had misused opioids in the past year. A pilot program of peer counseling is underway at Lyndon and Johnson state colleges, in the hopes that some students who don’t heed traditional anti-drug messaging might listen to their peers.
Will senators reviewing Act 250 consider pot cultivation energy demand?
Three Vermont state senators appointed to the commission to revise Act 250, the state’s environmental and land use law, have been asked by State House Headliners to assess the energy implications of proposed legislation to license, cultivate and sell marijuana.
Monday, August 14 SHH sent Sens. Dustin Degree (Franklin), Brian Campion (Bennington), and Chris Pearson (Chittenden) a request to comment on the energy conservation implications of the creation of an energy-intensive industry like marijuana cultivation. All responses will be printed in next week’s column.
As reported Aug. 1, about half of the new electricity load on the Denver, Colorado grid is from legalized marijuana cultivation. Cultivation of 2.2 lbs. of pot in an industrial greenhouse requires as much electricity as needed to power a typical Vermont home for more than five months. Kinda gives new meaning to the term, ‘greenhouse effect.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership, Divestment Facts, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Church at Prison.