Evidence is mounting that Entergy, owner of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, will employ devious means to counter legitimate complaints of local environmental groups. A marketing research company has recently been contacting area people to carry out telephone interviews.

The interviews last approximately fifteen minutes and are comprised of questions about the environmental impacts of Pilgrim’s operations on Cape Cod Bay (including the millions of fish killed by the facility each year), climate change and whether it is a real threat to Pilgrim’s operations (including the dry cask storage facility that could become flooded by storm surge and sea level rise), perceived impacts to taxes and energy bills if Pilgrim were to shut down, and opinions of various politicians in the area (including Senator Murray, Governor Patrick, U.S. Senator Warren, and others). The interviewers also asked for public opinion about local environmental groups, such as Jones River Watershed Association, Cape Cod Bay Watch, and others, and asked whether the interviewees were aware of the funds Entergy has provided to local environmental issues.

No members of Jones River Watershed Association or Cape Cod Bay Watch were eligible to participate.

A Boston-based marketing research company (called Focus on Boston) also recently organized two “Energy Study” focus groups in Braintree. We suspect the focus groups were related to the phone interviews and also sought to gather public opinion about the issues mentioned above.

The nuclear industry has a history of “greenwashing” nuclear power and misleading the public by rebranding it as “clean” and “emission-free.” Every aspect of nuclear operations has negative impacts to the environment – including pollution caused by uranium mining and processing, carbon emissions produced throughout a facility’s lifecycle, the billions of aquatic organisms killed via once-through cooling processes each year, and the creation of highly-toxic nuclear waste as a byproduct that will remain dangerous for thousands of years. Nuclear operations, especially those at aging facilities like Pilgrim, are fraught with multiple hazards that put the environment and the people of Massachusetts at risk.

Be educated and be prepared, and don’t be greenwashed!