Lockheed Goes, Sandia Stays

Lockheed Martin has pulled out of a carbon-reduction partnership with the City of Burlington but has remained active at UVM through their subsidiary company Sandia Labs, according to VTDigger.org. While a City Council veto may have contributed to Lockheed’s decision to exit Burlington, climate change research may still be conducted through a partnership between Sandia Labs and UVM. The Vermont-Sandia Partnership website highlights the efforts of both companies to bring smart grid technology to Vermont energy consumers by 2015, focusing on saving energy and efficiency. Students and professors have been able to capitalize on this relationship through conducting studies and internships, senior Nate Palmer said. Palmer spent this past summer as an intern at Sandia’s Headquarters in New Mexico, where he worked on figuring out the best ways to use energy. “Bernie Sanders had this idea for a long time to get a smart grid program going in Vermont,” he said. “He thought Vermont was one of the few states where people are in the right mindset for energy efficiency.” Palmer and other UVM students needed to get government clearance before being accepted into the internships, Palmer said. “We did have to get government clearance but it’s because it was on an Air force base,” he said.  Yes they do a lot of national defense work but our group didn’t do anything of that caliber.” Earlier this year, Senator Bernie Sanders and Mayor Bob Kiss drew criticism in supporting the agreement to bring the major weapons manufacturer into Burlington.  ” Lockheed and Sandia Co it represents things that promote violence. People hear about nuclear weapons and they don’t want people to be building bombs in Vermont,” Palmer said. “The other thing is money, taxes will go up initially.” However, there are several different sections to Sandia Co. as well as Lockheed Martin, and while some of them deal with weapons development his not the entire company is based on that, Palmer said. “A lot of the stuff they do has nothing to do with weapons,” he said.