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Something different

When you’re at VLS, I strongly recommend that you go to as many talks, presentations, activities as you can. Or at least go to a lot. Yesterday, I went to two very different talks at VLS. One was on the energy future of Vermont, in light of the recent decision on Vermont Yankee. In case you haven’t been following the story, Vermont has a nuclear power plant in the southern part of the State. It has been supplying a small part of Vermont’s electricity needs since it’s been running, but those contracts only go through March of this year. After that, the State had decided to shut down the plant. However, Entergy, the company who now owns Vermont Yankee, decided to appeal that decision. They recently won in court, allowing them to continue operating, but the State appealed the decision yesterday. So, the drama continues. But, almost everyone realizes that nuclear is not going to be a major part of Vermont’s energy supply in the coming years. That’s because all of the electricity companies have contracts with other suppliers, and the cost of building new nuclear plants is very high. So, the discussion yesterday is about where Vermont is headed. If you include transportation and heating into that discussion, it’s a very interesting one for Vermont, since those are the two major hurdles for the state.

Right after that discussion, I went to meet with a group of Egyptians who are in the US on a State Department sponsored program. There were five professionals from Egypt, and it was just an open discussion with them. Of course, we were all very keen to know what things are like in Egypt right now, and what’s happening with their constitution, laws, etc. It was a pretty interesting talk. I was most impressed with a young woman who was so articulate and seemed to know so much. I feel like it is people like her who give hope in these uncertain times. She was clearly well-educated and was working for women’s rights and democracy, among other things. Pretty cool. I’m not entirely sure why they came to VLS, or to Vermont for that matter, but it was a really neat opportunity.

So, my advice is, make time for these interesting and different events while you’re here. You never know what you’ll learn or get to experience.


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