The Public Service Board is holding hearings around Vermont seeking input for their docket on whether or not to grant Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant a new certificate of public good to continue operating. The PSB should deny Vermont Yankee a new certificate for the following reasons.
We cannot count on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to look out for our public good. Historically, it has proven to be 1) of the nuclear industry, 2) by the nuclear industry, and 3) for the nuclear industry.
Nor can we count on Vermont Yankee’s parent, Louisiana-based Entergy, to look out for our public good. Entergy’s “fiduciary responsibility” is to make decisions that benefit their shareholders. This has meant deferring maintenance, postponing major equipment replacements and ignoring the rising but impending costs of decommissioning. Entergy subsequently filed suits against the state of Vermont and the Public Service Board to try to reverse a decision they had previously agreed to and demanding that Vermont taxpayers cover their legal fees.
We cannot count on Vermont Yankee to enhance our public good since they have not even proposed a competitive energy price acceptable to our utilities.
We have counted on the Vermont Legislature, and the Vermont Senate examined closely Entergy’s corporate record. The Senate deemed that record was not conducive to the public good and, reflecting the expressed will of the majority of Vermonters, voted to reject PSB approval of a certificate of public good for Vermont Yankee.
We could not count on the courts to look out for Vermont’s public good. Federal Judge Gavin Murtha’s pro-Vermont Yankee decision in the case Entergy brought against the state was based on inference — what Entergy said the legislators were thinking when they voted — rather than on the written legislative record. Murtha’s decision is being appealed, but meanwhile Murtha returned the certificate decision back to the PSB — hence, the PSB docket and public hearings.
I ask the PSB to value the constitutional concept of states’ rights and respect the Vermont legislative decisions; examine the history of Entergy’s corporate behavior; and following the precepts of its own mission statement, deny Vermont Yankee a new certificate of public good.
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