Today, Vermont Public Radio (VPR) described this issue in a short article: Shumlin Works to Change Image. VPR has these quotes from about two years ago. John Dillon of VPR reports:
(Dillon) The moment was classic Shumlin. And although it happened two years ago, similar issues have come up in this campaign.A lobbyist for IBM – the state’s largest private employer – blasted Shumlin’s proposal to force Vermont Yankee to cover the full cost of its decommissioning. John O’Kane, the IBM lobbyist, complained the bill would raise electric rates. Shumlin confronted him.(O’Kane) “Money has time value, and you’re changing the time.”(Shumlin) “We are not asking for the money. You’re lying about that. We are not asking for the money. The bill says…”(O’Kane) “Peter, that is.. You just called me a liar..”(Shumlin) “I said you’re not telling the truth about that, John.”(Dillon) Shumlin later apologized.\
Further I have heard from IBM officials throughout my seven year tenure that their power costs are too high in Vermont and it has a profound affect on their ability to compete for work and retain or add jobs in Essex Jct. Specifically they have referenced the possible loss of VY as a major threat to their ability to attract capital investment from corporate and add jobs here in VT.
“I don’t think we’ve said anything about moving jobs specifically around the electricity goals,” Couture said. “There was nothing specific, or an ultimatum.”….Couture did say that increases in power costs could affect jobs.
- Lead to the layoff of about 400 employees at IBM Essex Junction
- Wipe out IBM’s world-wide energy cost savings advances
- Perhaps cause IBM headquarters to pull the plug on the Essex Junction facility.