In distressing news from the Vermont Digger,
Three justices from the U.S. Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that the Vermont Legislature is federally preempted from shutting down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
After U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha made the same preemption ruling in January 2012, Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell appealed to the higher court. In a 56-page decision, the appellate judges upheld the crux of Murtha’s ruling in favor of Entergy Corp., Vermont Yankee’s parent company.
The judges agreed that the Legislature was chiefly motivated by concerns of radiological safety when it created two laws aimed at regulating Vermont Yankee. Safety falls under the purview of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission — not state legislatures.
There is still a determination to be made by the Board of Public Good. Governor Shumlin was quoted as saying:
While Wednesday’s decision from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York blocks the Legislature’s efforts to close the plant it does not halt review of the Vernon reactor’s operations by the state Public Service Board.
The board is slated to rule later this year on whether Vermont Yankee and its owner, Entergy Corp., should get a certificate of public good to operate until 2032.
- Breaking: State loses appeal on right to close Vermont Yankee (vtdigger.org)
- Court: Vt. Can’t Use Law to Close Nuclear Plant – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- Court rules in favor of Entergy on keeping Vermont Yankee open (vttoday.com)
- Public Service Board may find Vermont nuclear plant “not in the public good” (nuclear-news.net)
- Court rules against Vermont State’s attempt to close nuclear plant (nuclear-news.net)