Governor Douglas vetoes Vermont Yankee decommissioning bill

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today issued a veto of H436, An Act Relating to Decommissioning Funds of Nuclear Energy Generation Plants. The legislation sought to guarantee that Vermont Yankee owner Entergy Corp ensure that it would have sufficient funds to close up the plant once it stops producing electricity. Entergy had counted on investments to cover the cost, but the stock market retraction has resulted in those funds suffering. The original license expires in 2012.Entergy has applied to extend the license to 2032. Legislative leaders have vowed not to approve the license extension until Entergy offers a power contract. A new contract was expected last March. The Public Service Board, which must also approve the license extension, recently began hearings on it.The governor is concerned, however, that forcing Entergy to set aside sufficient founds immediately upon decommissioning would result in the company raising electric rates to cover the costs. Many Vermonters are struggling as a result of the current recession and all are facing pressure from rising costs, said Governor Douglas.  While I do believe there are opportunities for operational improvements at Vermont Yankee, this legislation does nothing to increase protections for Vermonters, ratepayers or our state s economy.  Rather, H.436 threatens our economic recovery by unnecessarily increasing electric rates for consumers and businesses.  Further, this legislation substitutes an objective process with political calculations, it breaks a promise made by the state of Vermont to a private entity and it exposes taxpayers to certain litigation.In his four-page statement sent to the Clerk of the House, Douglas went on to say, “It is clear that Vermont Yankee will eventually be decommissioned, whether in 2012 or afterward. How it is decommissioned is a question of great importance. This legislation’s approach is to extract money in any way possible, creating a hostile business environment. I propose that we work together constructively, observe our own laws and procedures, and design a balanced solution that allows for all parties to benefit.The full text of the Governor s statement is attached. AttachmentSize Yankee Decommissioning Veto Message.pdf2.34 MBlast_img

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