Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Ten Best Things about Entergy Not Investing Enough Time and Money to Assure that VY Is Well Maintained

Dear God,

On March 17 the Independent Oversight Panel on the Comprehensive Reliability Assessment of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant gave its report to the Vermont legislature. Here are the ten best things about it!

10. Nobody read it. How could they? It's 66 pages long. Why didn't the panel just put something short on YouTube?

9. The report said that "acceptable reliability … beyond 2012 is possible if the recommendations of this report and the NRA report are taken." That gives me something to brag about, and most people will stop reading at the end of that sentence because that's about as much polysyllabism as people can stand.

8. If people were to read on they would learn that Entergy does not spend enough time and money to assure that VY is well maintained. But they won't read on. See item 9 for reason.

7. Panel member Arnie Gundersen tried to bring to the fore the fact that Entergy has not necessarily got the right stuff to make the plant acceptably reliable. In his own testimony, he said, "I concur with the group consensus that it may be possible for Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee to operate for an additional 20 years. However, Act 189 did not require, nor does the Audit itself contain, an assessment of just how difficult that process may be…. I believe that Entergy faces enormous challenges to operate ENVY past 2012. To me as an Engineer, many of these problems may be surmountable if taken individually, however, neither Act 189 nor the NSA Audit required abroader perspective of how these pieces all fit together. As a former nuclear engineering Senior VP with more than 35-years of uuclear engineering experience, I believe it will be extraordinarily difficult for ENVY to continue to operate reliably due to the corporate cultural problems uncovered by both the Oversight Panel and the NSA Audit." Well spoken, Arnie, but make it shorter and put it on YouTube.

6. David Letterman got married this week, and so everyone will pay attention to his 10 Best Things about Getting Married instead of questions about the level of resources we are willing to put into reliability and safety for Vermont Yankee.

5. Arnie Gunersen also pointed out that the cooling tower collapse and the transformer fire were preventable. But since his testimony, Portia De Rossi came to her senses and apologized for marrying Ellen DeGeneres. So who do you think Vermonters are more apt to listen to? Arnie Gundersen or two women with complicated last names?

4. The panel's report has prompted Entergy to repeatedly assure Vermonters that it is a really nice company. There have been groans of disbelief, but they've been drowned out with applause for and huge waves of relief over Lindsay Lohan's statement that she is a really good person.

3. Little Fockers (the movie) is a go, and Little Fockers (the relicensing) may be, too.

2. Jenny McCarthy gets Botox treatments, and says that sex with Jim Carey is still great but he might not know because her face is frozen. How can anyone even think about disparaging Entergy when she puts herself out there like that?

1. They've been talking about vibrators on "The View." And people are still worried about our energy future? Get a life!

God, Amen,


Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Wonderful World of Leonard

Dear God,

I don't understand the uproar over AIG. They got bailout money from the Feds, and they gave it to their executives. So what?

As I prayed almost a year ago today, back in 2006 the Feds bailed out Entergy, giving them $200 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)[Katrina relief] funding (via Louisiana) and $81 million in CDBG funds (via Mississippi). Roughly 9.7% of the disaster relief funds went into J. Wayne Leonard's very own, private pocket.

Like AIG, Entergy did not try to hide what it was doing. Fleecing taxpayers was as legal then as it is today. According to the website, in Entergy's 2008 proxy statement, the Entergy board cited J. Wayne Leonard's ability to gain the Federal relief funds as one of the reasons he deserved such big bonuses--and a total compensation package in 2007 that works out to $100,721 per day, or $12,590 per hour.

The similiarities of Entergy then to AIG now couldn't be clearer.

Anyway, the big income stream for AIG in 2009 seems like it might be collecting fares for bus tours giving angry taxpayers glimpses of AIG executives' homes. Do you think we could generate income from tours of Mr. Leonard's castle? I hear it's a carousel of color--wonderful, wonderful color.

Let me know what you think, Lord. I'm so inspired by the idea, I feel a song coming on.



Friday, March 6, 2009


Dear God,


I'm a flexible guy, Lord, but this steady stream of news is getting me down. Earlier this week I had a one-two punch. At town meeting 31 towns (I think) gave Vermont Yankee a no-confidence vote, and then the VSNAP meeting on March 4 degenerated into bickering and sniping. And now all this on the Alt Energy front. Jesus.

I would like to pray for a moment with you about pornography, if I may, now that I've got your sympathy, God. (Don't worry. I'm not going non sequitur all over you again.) It's just that ... well, people have called Entergy's attention to energy production dollars over health and safety obscene, especially given recent advances in alternative energy. I know that lust is one of the Seven Deadlies, and I'm trying hard as all get out to avoid it. But I do think I see differences between Entergy's values and pornography in general, and I truly believe those differences are important for us to examine. Together.

For example, here's the flow of action in a typical porn movie compared to the flow of action here at Vermont Yankee. You'll have to click the image to see it well enough to read it, but I think you'll understand me when I say that we may sin in thought at Entergy Vermont Yankee, but not so terribly badly in deed.

Am I right, Lord? Aren't we looking pretty good--at least as opposed to most porn movies? If so, should I talk to the press about this to counter all the bad news we've been getting lately? Or would that be bragging? Pride is Deadly, as you know, and I don't want to die.