Vermont Energy Partnership

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."

The Vermont Energy Partnership (VEP) describes itself as a group "committed to finding clean, low-cost and reliable electricity solutions to ensure Vermont stays a great place to live and work." [1]

Hiring Patrick Moore, nuclear booster

In January 2007 it was revealed that VEP had hired Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., the PR company founded by one-time Greenpeace activist Patrick Moore. In an e-mail to The Reformer, a Vermont news service, Moore stated "we are not lobbyists but rather strategists and communicators. We believe that nuclear energy is a clean and safe choice for electricity production. That doesn't mean we won't have a conversation with an elected official but we do not work behind closed doors and we are transparent in our policies and our relationships," he wrote. Since 2006 he has been a consultant to the Nuclear Energy Institute front group, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. "Nuclear energy is clean and safe compared to other energy sources," Moore claimed. More also claimed that "dry cask is a perfectly safe and secure way to store spent fuel." [2]

Based on a February 1, 2007, editorial by the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper, part of Moore's work for VEP included meetings with local media: [3]

One can argue that the Vermont Energy Partnership, a corporate-backed group that supports the continued operation of Vermont Yankee, may be paying Moore to serve as a "greenwasher," someone hired to make a dirty and dangerous technology seem clean and environmentally friendly.
But Moore can't be dismissed that easily. In a visit to the Reformer on Wednesday, he brought up many good points about why nuclear energy should still be part of Vermont's energy mix.

Business survey

In February 2008, VEP co-sponsored a business survey with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce that found that "nearly 65 percent of 256 Vermont business leaders polled ... believe Vermont Yankee should keep operating through 2032 in order to keep electricity prices affordable and guarantee the competitiveness of the state's business sector," reported the Brattleboro Reformer. VEP's Amanda Ibey characterized the executives polled as representing a cross section of state businesses. However, the respondents "are all active members of one or more of the business organizations that sponsored the survey" -- meaning that VEP and the state Chamber of Commerce simply polled their own members. [1]

Membership

Personnel

The media contact listed in VEP's press releases is Amanda Ibey. [4] (PDF) [5] (DOC) [6]

On February 27, 2007, Amanda Ibey -- identified as "Executive Director, Vermont Energy Partnership" -- was scheduled to testify before the Vermont House Natural Resources & Energy Committee on "H.225: Renewable Resources." [7]

Paul F. Steidler is also listed as a VEP media contact on statements released in March, April and August 2005. [8] [9] [10] [11] (DOCs) Steidler is also listed as the media contact for the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance, and is the communications director for the PR firm ProActive Communications. [12] [13]

Contact details

Vermont Energy Partnership
45 State Street, Suite 152
Montpelier, Vermont 05601
Phone: 802-223-0575
Fax: 802-223-0574
Email: info.vtep AT vtep.org
Web: http://www.vtep.org

SourceWatch resources

External links

References

  1. Bob Audette, "Many Vermont businesses back VY relicensing," Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont), February 12, 2008.

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