Entergy forced to retract zero emission claims


Thursday, March 12
BRATTLEBORO -- Claiming Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant emits zero emissions is inaccurate, stated Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell on Wednesday.

The attorney general investigated zero-emissions claims Entergy made in advertisements in Vermont media around the state last year after the Vermont Public Interest Research Group complained about the statement.

"Experts agree that while greenhouse gas emissions from the nuclear generation of electricity are negligible, such emissions -- a major cause of global warming -- do occur when uranium, the fuel used in nuclear reactors, is mined, processed and transported," wrote Sorrell. "Applying a life cycle analysis, nuclear power lies toward the lower end of the emissions continuum, but well above zero."

"The ad wording was obviously unfortunate and we will strive to present clear, fact-based comparisons in future communications," said Rob Williams, spokesman for Yankee.

Sorrell urged all stakeholders in the discussion of global climate change to be "clear, accurate and transparent in their statements about carbon emissions."

"Global warming is a critical issue," he wrote in a press release announcing its agreement with Entergy, which owns Yankee. "The public needs good information in order to make decisions about how best to address this environmental challenge."

Entergy, which owns and operates the power plant in Vernon, has since acknowledged to the Attorney General that its zero emissions claims were inaccurate and pledged not to use them again without a clear and accurate explanation of exactly what they mean.

"All participants in the public debate on climate change policy should ensure that factual statements about carbon emissions clearly and truthfully specify what the emissions claims refer to," wrote Sorrell. "I am pleased that Entergy has agreed to do so in its future communications."



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