(Host) Governor Peter Shumlin says he hopes the Vermont Public Service Board will take additional testimony before deciding the fate of Vermont Yankee’s request to extend its operating license for another 20 years.
The Board’s final decision on the license extension was put on hold in 2009 as the Legislature debated the future of Vermont Yankee. The Vermont Senate voted against the license renewal in 2010, but a federal judge ruled last month that the Legislature overstepped its authority when it gave itself veto power over Vermont Yankee.
Now, the case is before the PSB once again and the question is whether the Board should take more testimony in the case.
The plant’s owner, Entergy Vermont Yankee, says no. But the Governor has a different point of view:
(Shumlin) "Obviously we know that in the past two and a half years there have been a number of incidents from the leaking pipes that they swore under oath to the Board weren’t there, to the spin off to Enexus and other events that certainly would seem relevant to Vermont as the Board contemplates the plant’s future."
(Host) The Attorney General’s office has spent several hundred thousand dollars in the case, and the state’s financial liability could grow if Entergy asks the federal court to make the state of Vermont pay the company’s legal fees.
The Governor says the state’s potential legal bill is a factor – but not a defining factor – in deciding whether Vermont should appeal Judge Murtha’s decision:
(Shumlin) "To suggest that we don’t consider costs wouldn’t be correct, but the most important decision we make is what’s in the best interests of Vermonters and how do we get the result that we want."
(Host) The state has 30 days to appeal Judge Murtha’s decision and the Governor says it’s likely that Attorney General Bill Sorrell will use most of that time to review the pros and cons of filing a formal appeal in the case.