Thursday, January 19, 2012

District Court Upholds the Rule of Law. Guest post by George Angwin

From her hospital bed, Meredith asked me to post a brief note about and link to Judge Murtha's ruling today on the Entergy challenge to the Vermont legislature. The ruling essentially enjoined the State of Vermont from enforcing attempts to close the plant or cripple its operations.

I have paraphrased below the key conclusions of the ruling. Its full text is at

Judge Murtha ordered:

1. The State shall not enforce Act 160 to compel Vermont Yankee to shut down after March 21, 2012, because it failed to get legislative approval for a Certificate of Public Good.

2. The State shall not enforce the provision of Act 74 that requires legislative approval to store spent nuclear fuel after March 21, 2012.

3. The State shall not condition the continued operation of Vermont Yankee on requiring that it sell power to Vermont utilities at rates below wholesale market rates.

My street-talk version of these injunctions is that Judge Murtha is telling the State of Vermont that:

1. You cannot unilaterally change the terms of the 2002 contract between the State and Vermont Yankee.

2. You cannot use the spent nuclear fuel to shakedown Vermont Yankee.

3. You cannot extort ruinously low wholesale rates for Vermont Yankee power.

This ruling re-affirms the rule of law, which is the basis of our prosperity and our freedom.

Personal: Meredith's operation went well, and I expect to bring her home tomorrow.


Finrod said...

Great stuff! Congratulations to all who worked for this outcome. and my thoughts go to Meredith. I hope all is well!

Travelogue for the Universe said...

Thanks for the post! Hope Meredith feels better soon! mary

Joffan said...

Very good news indeed. Congratulations on the coverage and activism on this, Meredith. What a shame the timing for your operation meant you weren't "on the spot" for the big announcement. Still, I'll look forward to your thoughts when you feel fit enough.

Jason Kobos said...

How do you thing this will fare on appeal?

Do you think that they will pass ruling based upon the letter of the law or the intent of the law?

I was just reading through that report and was surprise at how blunt many of the representatives were about how they simply switched the words safety and reliability in the acts passed.

Meredith Angwin said...

Thank you all! I am recovering well and I appreciate the good wishes!

Yes, Jason. They even said "we have to find another word for safety." Just in case the judge didnt "get it" about legislative intent, there it is in the record! I was at some of those meetings. Legislators said things like: "Remember, we can't use the s-word."

Your guess is as good as mine about what would happen on appeal. I should blog about this...Heck. I'm a blogger. Guessing is fun...