VY Push Poll?

On Wednesday, June 28, a caller identified himself as calling from “Vermont Opinion Services,” asking me to answer some questions. It soon became apparent that this was what is known as a push poll – a poll paid for by one side of an issue. The questions in this poll all related to Vermont Yankee, energy in general, and nuclear power. 

Some of the questions were as follows: (not exact quotes, but taken from my notes of the call)

-Do you support keeping Vermont Yankee operating knowing it helps make Vermont energy independent?

-Would you support closing VY if you knew the area would lose 1500 good paying jobs?

-Would you support closing VY if it would lead to increased greenhouse gasses?

-Do you think VY operates with environmental sensitivity? (the question that got the most laughs from me)

-Should the Public Service Board issue VY a Certificate of Public Good?

-Should the Public Service Board issue VY a Certificate of Public Good if it provides economic and clean air

I can’t find any “Vermont Opinion Services” on the internet, and the caller refuses to tell me where he was calling from or who paid for the poll. He only told me he is not in

I am curious if others have gotten this call, as well as who is paying and why.

Nancy Braus, Putney

Comments | 7

  • What did he say when you told him no

    What did he say when you told him “no” to all of his questions?

  • Plummeting Value

    After I read about this push poll I wondered, “why now?” so I looked up a couple things.
    I seemed to remember hearing or reading that VT is no longer getting electricity from VY. That turned out to be true – sort of.

    – As of March 2012 Vermont no longer has a contract to buy power from VY. VY sells its power to the ISO grid, where Vermont gets much of its power. So we might be getting VY power, but not directly and not at below market rates as before 3/’12.
    VPR’s article about this:

    – The lack of CPG (Certificate of Public Good)and license to operate from the state of Vermont has not closed VY but it seems to have hit their bottom line hard.
    One international stock rating service in Switzerland dropped Entergy’s rating from “neutral” to “sell”.
    Also, the value of the plant has fallen from $517 mill. to $162 mill. since March 2012. The NRC is looking into their finances to make sure they have the wherewithal to run the plant safely.


    While they can legally run the plant another 20 years based on their Federal court victory, there are some serious cracks forming in their financial armor.
    What this push poll has to do with their situation is any ones guess.
    Maybe its the prelude to making a run at getting their CPG and license from VT back?
    That seems far fetched, but what else could the reason be?

    • Plummeting Value?

      Excellent analysis, Paul
      Nukular energy seems to be losing its luster around the world. The ROI just doesn’t seem to be there anymore.
      I can see the day, in the not too distant future, when Entergy decides that Yankee is no longer sufficiently profitable, and they decide to pull the plug, leaving the premises to be decommissioned by…who?

      In 2009, VPR’s John Dillon reported: As the stock market has plummeted in recent months, so has the value of the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund. It’s worth around $397 million these days. But the expected cost of decommissioning is around $875 million.
      Entergy, the company that owns Vermont Yankee, wants to mothball the plant after its license expires. The process is known as “Safestore,” and it’s designed to give the decommissioning fund time to grow.
      But Entergy recently disclosed that it wants to put the plant in Safetstore mode until 2067.

      Dillon goes on: (Former) Governor Jim Douglas vetoed legislation that would have clearly made Entergy responsible for covering the full cost of dismantling the plant. The bill required Entergy to come up with the money – or a line of credit – to pay for decommissioning when Yankee’s license expires in 2012.
      Entergy has not put any money into the fund since it bought the plant in 2002. The company says it will add $60 million to the fund. But it plans to wait another 18 years to put more money in.


      It’s called “Privatize the Profits; Socialize the Losses”

      • Correcting some misconceptions

        The VY decommissioning fund was ~$569 million as of 3/31/13.

        Entergy is already clearing responsible for decommissioning the plant. Federal law does not allow them to simply walk away.

        Entergy never planned on putting any money into the fund. They expected to get a license extension and just let the money grow.

        BTW, there are ~60 reactors planned or under construction in 13 countries.

        • Nice Job Again PR

          Here’s some facts.


          Oh and notice what it says in paragraph five. Here I’ll quote it.

          “As part of President Barack Obama’s goal of promoting clean sources of energy, he guaranteed $8.3 billion in federal loans for the reactors, which helps spread the massive cost of the projects.”

          That’s right your beloved Barack Obama is actually helping to fund new reactors.

          Will you arrest him if he comes to Vermont?

          And I wonder what Comrad Sanders had for input on that issue? Could he have been responsible for some of that funding? Hmmmm.

          • Old News

            In his first presidential campaign in 2008, Obama promised to build more nukes.
            We lefties have been pissing and moaning about that ever since.
            The reason that nobody wants to impeach him is not because we’re hypocrites, but because building nukes is not unconstitutional (wish it were!).

          • Old news indeed

            Lefties using bad science to make being anti-nuke some sort of political litmus test is just as silly as republicans using bad science to turn climate change into the same thing.

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