Two days ago, Vermont Law School (VLS) announced they were starting a blog about the Vermont Yankee law suit. The announcement was quickly picked up by the Burlington Free Press, and you can read the Law School blog here. I have also added it to my blog roll.
As a blogger, I would call it a weak blog. That is not a comment on the views expressed but on the shallowness of the blogging. There' s one blog post by Pat Parentau, there's a reprint of a Vermont Public Radio interview with Entergy's lawyer, Cheryl Hanna, and there are links to several posts by Donald Kreis. These posts previously appeared in Vermont Digger: the most recent of these posts is An Inconvenient Truth: Entergy Might Win.
I feel as if someone at VLS said: "You know, we should be blogging about that lawsuit. We've been advising the legislature about it forever, so we should really get out there with a blog." So they threw some old posts together, and presto, a blog!
So far, the VLS blog doesn't have much value-added, but that may improve. Pat Parentau's post is new content, at least. I find Parentau's arguments a bit muddy. However, I am also prejudiced by the fact that he made so many mistakes on a radio show recently.
Parentau was on WCFR on May 5, along with some friends of mine such as John McClaughry. On that show, Parentau claimed that several things had "disillusioned" Vermonters and caused Vermont to pass Act 160. (Act 160 took power from the Public Service Board and gave it to the legislature.)
According to Parentau, three things that caused the legislature to pass Act 160 were:
- the cooling tower collapse (2007),
- the tritium leak (2010)
- the "lies" about the underground pipes (2009).
However, Act 160 was passed in 2006, before any of these things happened!
I have a hard time taking a person seriously when he has the event sequence completely backwards. I couldn't believe my ears, and had to check with other people who were listening to the radio program. Did Parentau really say those things? The other people said that they heard what I had heard. However, I hope that WCFR posts a tape or transcript of the show so I can check further.
The VLS Blog Could Be Good
VLS started a blog. It isn't very good. So why do I care?
The problem is that the lawsuit situation in Vermont is getting out of hand. Lawsuits are breeding like rabbits--the kind of rabbits that live where there aren't enough natural predators. I want to blog about the lawsuits, but I am feeling overwhelmed by the number of legal actions (and by the fact that I'm a not a lawyer, I'm a chemist). Here's a list of existing lawsuits as I understand them now.
- The main Entergy lawsuit against Vermont
- The Entergy request for injunction, so that Vermont does not take action while the main lawsuit is pending
- Vermont's answer to the request for injunction.
- Massachusetts joining the main lawsuit on the side of Vermont.
- Various groups (VPIRG, NEC, CLF) attempting to enter the main Entergy lawsuit on the side of Vermont (as intervenors) and being turned down by the court.
- The same groups filing Amicus Curiae briefs.
- A separate lawsuit claiming that Entergy didn't apply for a water quality permit. This lawsuit is against Entergy, brought by another state agency in Vermont.
- Various groups bringing actions against the NRC, saying that they shouldn't have given Entergy a license extension because of the supposed lack of water permit, or Fukushima, or something. I lose track of these anti-NRC actions very easily. They come so fast and furious around here.
There's more. The Attorney General of Vermont is preparing some kind of suit about the piping. Just a bit late, hey? Also, I think the state passed a Bill of Attainder against Entergy and I want to blog about that.
I would welcome a respectable blog by lawyers about the Vermont Yankee legal situation, even though the VLS lawyers are on the other side of the fence. What I see is something quite different. The VLS blog is a "we should be blogging, right?" blog, practically devoid of content, except for reprints of old articles.
Oh well. I think it is going to be up to me to blog about all these rabbits--I mean, all these lawsuits. I hope the VLS blog can become useful, but so far...well, not really.