The Public Service Board (PSB) has approved the memorandum agreement between the Public Service Department and Entergy, dealing with closing down Vermont Yankee. PSB approval was given over the vocal protests of the New England Coalition people.
The PSB approved Yankee’s operation until the end of this year, noting gratuitously that it might well have demanded a shutdown if there was any prospect of the plant continuing beyond then.
The Order spent a lot of space discussing what it considers to be a “fair partner” with the state. It described what it called Entergy's "corrosive and bullying attitude and said that Entergy had made "frivolous arguments to resist valid discovery.” Well, I admit that Entergy made some mistakes that it should not have made in its presentations to the Board.
But what is curious to me is the Board’s totally ignoring the effect of the 2006 legislature’s passing Act 160, the law that destroyed the 2002 memorandum of understanding between the state and Entergy. Act 160 is mentioned only once, and only in passing, in the 84 page order.
So tell me: What kind of “fair partner” was the State of Vermont, when it irresponsibly turned the plant’s future over to legislative control, based on no standards at all? This was outrageous, and the Federal courts overturned it six years later. The Public service Board harped on Entergy’s procedural shortcomings, but ignored the state’s far more severe misbehavior.
This post first appeared as a radio commentary on WDEV on April 21, 2014.
John McClaughry is a founder and current vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Meredith Angwin is head of the Energy Education Project, which is part of that institute.