Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vermont Supreme Court Won't Close Plant During PSB Hearings

Vermont Supreme Court 
Request: Shut It Down NOW, Your Honors!

In January, an intervenor went before the Vermont Supreme Court, asking that court to shut down Vermont Yankee immediately.   I blogged about it at the time:  Unique Request: Opponent Wants Vermont Supreme Court to Rule Before PSB Rules. 

The Supreme Court hears appeals after lower courts or judicial bodies have ruled. In this case, the intervenor asked the Supreme Court to rule while a lower-court (the Public Service Board, a quasi-judicial body) was still holding hearings on the same subject. That was unique!

 I predicted that the case would be dismissed because courts don't like to step on the processes of other courts.

Answer: Case Dismissed, Please Go Away, You're Bothering Us

Yesterday, the Vermont Supreme Court denied the petition to close Vermont Yankee.  Andrew Stein at Vermont Digger wrote about it today: Vermont Supreme Court denies New England Coalition's petition to close Vermont Yankee.   A quote from the ruling:

NEC fails to demonstrate, as predicates for the injunctive relief sought, that it exhausted its administrative remedies and that it has no adequate legal remedy.  ....  NEC has not requested, nor has the Board issued, an order directing Entergy to cease operating Vermont Yankee on the grounds advanced by NEC here.  Nor is it established that Board enforcement of Condition 8, if applied for, would necessarily be covered by the federal injunction enjoining enforcement of Act 160.....


In other words: "Why are you asking us, the Supreme Court, to rule about this?  There's a perfectly valid legal process underway, and we see no reason to derail it."

It Was Only Procedural

The attorney for the intervenor seems happy that the Supreme Court ruled only for procedural reasons.  According to the Digger article: Jared Margolis said: "The substantive issue that we brought before the Supreme Court has not been determined to be invalid”

Of course the Supreme Court would rule for procedural reasons.  Courts try avoid stepping on each other's toes!

In my opinion, the intervenor petition was a waste of taxpayer money (court costs) and simply a way to harass Vermont Yankee.

As I included in an earlier blog post, here's a minute-and-a-half WPTZ video of the January Supreme Court hearing that led to the decision yesterday.


jimwg said...

Love this!

"Uh, I'm all scared and shaky of baddie evil nuclear energy that uniquely killed so many innocents at Hiroshima and can one day spawn monsters like Godzilla and since all these plants are giant balloons that just can't wait to blow and create a glowing fog that'll creep under our kid's bedroom doors at night and fry 'em, save us all, Judge and just shut 'em all down so we can start mowing down our lovely mountains to cap with cute peaceful windmills!"

Retort: "Go take a hike off a short pier."

James Greenidge
Queens NY

Atomikrabbit said...


You're badass James - I'm glad somebody in this movement still is.

should be "a long hike off a short pier"