Conservation Law Foundation, VPIRG Side With Vermont in Entergy Lawsuit

Claire Morgenstern Claire Morgenstern

CONTACT:
Karen Wood, CLF, (617) 850-1722

Sandra Levine, CLF, (802) 223-5992
James Moore, VPIRG, (802) 505-8698

MONTPELIER, VT  May 13, 2011 – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) today jointly filed a motion in the U.S. District Court to intervene on the side of Vermont in the lawsuit brought last month against the state by Entergy, owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The two groups maintain that Entergy should follow Vermont law and shut down Vermont Yankee as planned in March 2012.

Chris Kilian, VP and director of CLF Vermont, said, “This is an important case that will decide the direction of our energy future.  CLF and VPIRG will support the state of Vermont in its efforts to uphold Vermont law and ensure that the people’s voice and vision for their energy future will prevail over the interests of out-of-state polluters.”

James Moore, clean energy director for VPIRG, said, “Entergy is proposing to break Vermont law. On behalf of our thousands of concerned members, VPIRG and CLF will stand with the Governor and the Attorney General to make sure Entergy Corporation retires Vermont Yankee on schedule. They must be held to their promise to retire in 2012 rather than allowed to run the old, unsound nuclear facility for another 20 years at the expense of ratepayers and the environment.”

Background

By the terms of a Vermont law passed in 2006, as well as the 2002 approval of the sale of Vermont Yankee, and a 2002 express agreement with Entergy, approval by Vermont is needed for the plant to continue to operate after 2012.

In 2002, the Vermont Public Service Board approved the sale of the Vermont Yankee facility to Entergy.  The sale included an agreement by Entergy not to operate the plant after 2012, when its license expires, without obtaining regulatory approval from the Vermont Public Service Board.

Concerned about whether it would be good for Vermont if Vermont Yankee to operated past 2012, the Vermont Legislature passed a law in 2006 requiring approval of the Legislature before the Public Service Board could issue a new license. In 2008 and 2009 proceedings were underway at the Public Service Board to consider a license extension.  In an historic vote in 2010 the Vermont Senate declined approval.  This lawsuit is a direct challenge to Vermont’s authority to regulate and license the power generation facilities operating in the state.

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) protects New England’s environment for the benefit of all people. Using the law, science and the market, CLF creates solutions that preserve natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy region-wide. Founded in 1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The common mission of VPIRG and VPIREF is to promote and protect the health of Vermont’s people, environment and locally-based economy by informing and mobilizing citizens statewide.  Founded in 1972, VPIRG is a nonprofit member-supported organization with more than 14,000 active members and supporters in Vermont.

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