(Host) The legislature has hired a consultant to investigate the corporate structure of Entergy, the company that owns Vermont Yankee.
Entergy wants to set up a new company that would own some of its nuclear power plants, including Vermont Yankee. The new company has been called SpinCo or NewCo.
The Legislature will vote next year on whether to allow Yankee to operate for another 20 years, after its license expires in 2012. Senate President Peter Shumlin says lawmakers need expert advice before they make that decision.
(Shumlin) "Our concern is that we don’t Vermont ratepayers to be left holding the financial bag if something goes wrong at Entergy. There are real concerns that the ratepayers don’t get caught with several hundred million dollars in bills, and we find that this new structure allows Entergy to walk away."
(Host) An Entergy vice president testified last week that the new corporate structure did not change the company’s obligations to pay for decommissioning the plant.
But Shumlin said the company’s explanation was not satisfactory.
(Shumlin) "You know, the finance committee took some testimony on this from a number of people, and even Entergy could not explain to the committee exactly what this accomplished. So when that happens, it makes one nervous. So we just needed a level of expertise that we don’t have in this building."
(Host) The Legislature hired Richard Saudek, a former chairman of the Public Service Board, to look at the new corporate structure.
Under the terms of the contract, Saudek is to get paid no more than $5,000 for his work.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot